This item contains seven (7) different Picture Guess Prompts. If you use them as a special prompt once a week, there are enough for almost an entire quarter.
I made these slides after thinking about how much I used to love the close-up-picture feature in the children's magazine Highlights (Remember those?!?).
I use these Picture Guess Slides as fun alternatives to my usual writing prompts. The open-ended nature of the Picture Guess Slides allow students to really use their imaginations. I spend a good deal of class time allowing them to write and having them share their writing with the class. I have used these in 6th grade and in 4th grade. They have always been very popular at both grade levels. These would also work at other grade levels as well.
I prepare my students first by saying that there is absolutely no talking once I display the image so that nobody will spoil the fun of guessing for anyone else. Then, I tell them that they can write their first guess (or two) about what the image shows at the top of their page before they complete their writing warm-up.
I also explain that for the writing warm-up, students can choose to respond to the prompts in two ways:
Creative fiction response – write a story or poem inspired by what you imagine this picture to be. (I have had students write poems about ants and stories about alien colonies on Mars, for example.)
Descriptive response – Use your best figurative and literal descriptions to explain what the image looks like. Imagine that you are describing it to someone who cannot see it and you want them to picture it in their head. (Encourage students to focus on using words creatively – no boring “It has red dots” sentences allowed!)
My favorite part of this activity is having students share their writing with the class BEFORE I show them the “answer.” After each student reads aloud, try to give positive feedback about one writing/literary technique you heard them use that was really great – like use of repetition, some spectacular adjectives, or a particularly good simile. It’s part of the fun!!!