Take a photo for descriptive writing starter

This lesson came about after I had seen a few posts about using pictures as writing starters. These were using online pics or doing photography lessons then some writing. I thought I had seen this lesson but couldn’t find a link for it so I went ahead and created it. I had forgotten to bring some colouring pictures that I often used as a creative writing starter. Necessity sparked some creativity.

Students were asked to go outside with 10 minutes to walk around and find something interesting to take a picture of. This picture would then be the object of their descriptive writing task. The task required them to describe the photo they had taken in a letter that a blind person, who had previously been able to see, was able to form a mental picture of the picture from the description. Link to lesson.

These are 2 pictures I took whilst outside with the class.

At first many students struggled to be able to paint a picture using words to fully describe what they could see. It took a few revisions and guided feedback to form sentences that described shapes and colours of the picture. How it was positioned, shaped or interesting observations that could be made. Some really struggled to put words into sentences, there were some words but not enough to paint the full picture.

I believe this lesson provided the students with a varied learning experience. Most seemed to enjoy the challenge of writing and using iPads to take the pictures, and in some cases to write the words also. The task was suitable for all students in this grade 4 class, everyone was able to participate, and some wrote more words than others. They enjoyed being able to start the activity outside, some really taking the challenge to take and find a few interesting and varied objects to photograph. I will use this again with other classes in upper primary schools.


Simon Youd

the #reliefteacher


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