Friday, 20 May 2011

Every Picture Tells A Story: Let The Students Speak!

Some of you may already know that we have a Twitter "group" which goes by the hashtag #eltpics, and each week we have a 'theme', this week's being Every Picture Tells a Story. These pictures here form part of my contribution to this theme. If you would like to share your photos, read through Sandy's post on how to join us.

In recent weeks, I've suggested ways of using images to get students to speak, and I've given examples of prompts that teachers can use in order to encourage their students to use their imagination. Those are, of course, just ideas which you can either use as they are, or adapt to your style and to that of your students'.

Let us now go a step further, or rather for the students to take a step forward, and the teacher one step back:
  •  Divide the students into groups of 4 or 6, and within each group, split them further into two.
  • There are two sets of images here (Images 1-3, and Image 4). Allow them to select whichever they prefer. Or if they have their own (in their mobile phones, for example), they can use them instead, if they wish. Set them a time limit.
  • Using the mind maps I had shown in the previous posts as a guidance, one half of the group prompts the other, encouraging them to elaborate in all the little details (remind them of the 5 senses: sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste).
  • Depending on how they get on, you may wish to reverse their roles: the one prompting before will now do the describing.
  • From the description they've imagined, they will then form a story.
  • At the end of the time allocated, each group tells the class its version.
  • They then decide which story they liked best, which was the most fantastic, the funniest, the least/most plausible, etc.
  • For homework, they could write up the story (not necessarily the one they'd invented) to accompany the image.

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