by Larry Ferlazzo
"My personal favorite is using photos using the Picture Word Inductive Model. As I described briefly in my recent New York Times guest post, and in my book, it’s an “inductive learning process where students first brainstorm twenty words related to a picture, then put those words into categories and add new ones that fit those categories. Next they complete a “cloze” (or fill-in-the-blank) activity with sentences about the picture which are then put into categories of their own. They convert those sentence categories into paragraphs, and, finally, arrange the paragraphs into essays.” You can see sample pictures and read more about it here.
"A related lesson is using Picture Data Sets. For example, students can identifying images that fit a specific criteria (one week my ninth graders compiled images of Jamaican music, Jamaican history, and Jamaican nature attractions and then wrote about each one). These can also include students putting images into different categories and then having other students try to identify which ones they had in mind. Sites on The Best Online Virtual “Corkboards” (or “Bulletin Boards”) list work very well for these kinds of activities."