Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

Inspire Student Writing with Picture Prompts


smithsonian“But I can’t think of anything to write.” Can you even count the number of times you’ve heard that line? Probably not.

We’ve all experienced those moments when students sit and stare at blank sheets of paper or screens, almost as if they have been asked to do the impossible. Well, the next time you assign a writing activity, take the handicap away from hesitant writers by providing them with a visual prompt—a picture or image used to trigger personal experiences, thoughts, feelings or even questions that can be transferred into words to craft a piece of writing.

So, where do I find these visual cues? A great starting place would be to check out the winning entries in the Smithsonian’s 11th Annual Photo Contest in which 60 finalists were selected from over 50,000 images submitted by photographers from 132 different countries.

With categories such as the Natural World, Travel, People, Americana, Altered Images and Mobile, there surely has to be a picture or two from this collection of original photos that can ignite creative writing within your students.

Check out one of my most favorite winning photos below.

dog on beach

Classroom Connection:

Use photos from the Smithsonian Photo Contest (or any other resource) as a way to visually motivate students to write essays, stories, poems, etc.

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Hey, edu-tech gurus!

Looking for some technology integration ideas to enhance your classroom lessons? Then be sure to check out my "Tech Tips" for the latest and greatest Web 2.0 tools, applications and web sites that can be incorporated into activities and/or projects. Although some posts may not be applicable to your content area or grade level, be sure to check back often as I will be varying ideas in order to provide resources across the K-12 curriculum.

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