How can we use images to develop and scaffold the writing process for children?
What are picture prompts for writing?
Everything that makes a learner is already in children. Unlocking and developing this potential is one of the most significant rewards as instructors. Children are born with an innate ability to learn, but it takes time and effort to develop their natural skills.
Children have all the skills to be enviably creative because they are naturally interested, energetic, driven, spontaneous and exploratory. In this article, we will look at how simple visuals can be manipulated into different manifestations to generate ideas. This playful approach can fuel the creative writing process and be incorporated into all kinds of student writing.
Our job is to help each kid discover and develop their unique talents while also allowing them to do so from a position of strength. Simple imagery can create new thoughts that act as writing prompts. Whatever type of writing you are developing, an intriguing image can generate story ideas to spur on child imagination. The key to helping each kid flourish is providing a secure atmosphere in which innate talents may grow, develop, and mature.
Why should we use picture prompts in KS1 literacy?
Children benefit significantly from visual cues in their quest to make sense of the world around them. Picture writing prompts can help a child add more meaning to their work and put them on a path to developing the art of writing. Whether your school is trying to embrace a daily writing challenge or advance non-fiction writing, picture writing prompts are a very useful utility. In recent years, Dual coding has received a lot of attention and it has shone the light on the importance of incorporating pictures in all kinds of writing. Descriptive writing assignments can also benefit from inspiring images that help pupils generate new adjectives.
Using a wide variety of ever-evolving skills and expertise, images can…
- Invoke recollections
- Develop vocabulary
- Generate fresh ideas ideas
- Sequence and organize ideas
- Assist memory
- Develop imagination
- Encourage us to "think beyond the box.
How should we use picture prompts?
A simple image or series of photographs might prompt children to describe what they see. Amazing images are waiting to be explored using rich language. This type of generative activity can very quickly help young school children find the words they will use in a piece of writing. Argumentative writing can be developed with pictures that cause someone to take a certain position. This conflict can be discussed through Oracy activities acting as the perfect writing stimulus.
Fear of giving an incorrect response is eliminated by opening the assignment to interpretation. The children will believe that this is a secure place to express their creative thinking without fear of consequences. Talk is the prerequisite for personal writing as children discover what they believe by entertaining different perspectives.
Encourage pupils by asking:
- Can you locate a picture of anything you like?
- What do you think you've noticed so far?
- What is it, exactly?
- Is there anything else it may be?
Children will soon be talking, reasoning, and explaining due to this process. For children who don't want to talk, we can show them how to make observations, play with words, and develop imaginative ideas. They'll develop the confidence to join their friends and give it a go on their own in due time.
Sequencing picture prompts for structuring writing
Fantasy images are very useful for stimulating new ideas but the photos don't always have to be stunning images. Simple icons available from sites like the Noun Project can be used instead of complex imagery that might distract the child away from the task at hand. These visual writing prompts are often one colour and represent one idea. As pupils place the image next to another they often combine the meanings and generate new ideas. This can act as a very effective story starter for even the youngest children. Having a collection of story picture prompts in your top draw will mean that you'll always have new ideas ready to be forged.
How do we go about using a simple photo prompt to structure writing? Request that the children select two or three photographs that they like or find fascinating.
You may then use a simple yet engaging statement to link these images.
'A big dinosaur once went into a dark wood and discovered a magical potion.'
Celebrate the children's innovative ideas that they came up with, which you then expressed aloud. Children can then choose two or three additional images they like and explore them by linking them. You should expect to hear them discussing the photographs in various ways shortly after you introduce them. Using their speed, they can connect and expand their thoughts.
It is possible to create high expectations for vocabulary and creative content in young children as early as the stages of language development allow for sensitive inquiry.
- What do you think will happen next?
- What are their options?
- What are their movements like?
- What are their emotions?
- What's the best way to put it?
By linking more and more photos, children may build on this.
As time goes on, they'll be able to compose whole stories, poems, and recounts that enable them to immerse themselves in their creativity and communicate the fascinating worlds they possess in their thoughts.
Picture prompts can help build tomorrow's enthusiastic writers
Utilising imagery into a daily writing habit is not cheating. We are utilising a different medium to help pupils order and combine their thoughts ready for writing. Children will remember good experiences like this for the rest of their lives, creating a formative sense of what it means to be a writer. If you are interested in this process and want to explore other areas relating to this practice you might want to read our other articles on:
Picture prompts can be a powerful tool in the classroom, particularly when it comes to fostering the creative process and encouraging reluctant writers. Visual prompts can stimulate the creative juices, providing a springboard for all types of writing, from personal writing to more advanced non-fiction writing.
Here are ten ideas to help teachers use pictures more effectively to promote writing across primary and secondary schools:
- Sentence Starters: Use a simple picture as a sentence starter. Ask students to write a sentence or paragraph about what's happening in the image.
- Storytelling: Encourage students to create a story based on a picture. This can be a great way to stimulate creative writing prompts.
- Descriptive Writing: Choose an image with a lot of detail and ask students to write a descriptive piece of writing about what they see.
- Compare and Contrast: Provide two images and ask students to write about how they are similar and different.
- Personal Connection: Ask students to choose a picture that resonates with them and write about why it's meaningful to them.
- Predicting: Show students an image and ask them to write about what they think will happen next.
- Non-fiction Writing: Use images related to a topic you're studying in class and ask students to write a non-fiction piece based on the image.
- Character Development: Use a picture of a person or animal and ask students to create a character profile based on the image.
- Emotion Writing: Choose an image that conveys a strong emotion and ask students to write about what the people in the picture might be feeling.
- Structure Writing: Use a series of pictures to help students structure a longer piece of writing, with each image representing a different part of the story.
Remember, the goal is to use visual prompts as aids in writing, to inspire and engage all kinds of student writing. The more you can make the process interactive and fun, the more your students will be motivated to write.