Saturday, February 18, 2012

Picture Writing Prompts

In the never-ending battle to get my students to write with concrete details instead of abstractions, I've found that visuals often help.

Here's a picture prompt that has been particularly effective. I ask my students to imagine themselves inside this bike racer's body. What does he hear? What does he see? What's going through his mind? How do his legs feel? I ask them to put the reader in the moment--in a sense, become the bike rider.

This probably works better than just assigning a topic because it's so focused. The students aren't trying to tap into a personal experience where there are side stories and distractions.

After they are finished writing, we find any abstractions that have slipped through ("tired," "excited," "motivated") and work on better ways to show these concepts.

Click here for a linky party where you can access a whole bunch of picture writing prompts from some pretty awesome teachers.


  1. I just awarded you with the Liebster Award for your blog!! Thanks for sharing your ideas! Come see my blog that has the information on it so you can pass it along!
    JD's Rockin' Readers

  2. Looks like great minds think alike - Nice start to your blog! I'm awarding you the "Liebster Award" for new blogs! Check out the details here: Liebster AwardTeacher Talk

  3. Hi Laura! I love to use the five senses when writing too! These picture prompts are great!!! Thanks! I am so excited to be your newest follower!

    One Teacher's Take