4. WARM UP ACTIVITY
• Find your partner for this workshop by
finding the match to the card in your
• With your partner, come up with a list
of uses for pictures in the English
• You got five minutes for this activity.
5. WHY USE PICTURES?
• Students like to look at pictures.
• Pictures catch their interest and
• Pictures provide a visual description of
the world – including people, places
and things that students have only
6. RATIONALE FOR USING
• Visuals are a good and useful tool for
examination purposes because they
lead the learner to draw out language
from their own knowledge and
personal experiences through
exposure to the stimuli presented.
7. RATIONALE FOR USING
• They also permit strategies to
organize knowledge into semantic or
associative clusters. Moreover,
imagery is combined with texts to
make subjects more likely to think
about the process of language more
8. RATIONALE FOR USING
• Visual images encourage the learner
to predict, infer, and deduce
information from a variety of sources.
Images help to bring the outside world
into the classroom, and thus help to
make the situation more real and in
turn help the learner to use
appropriate associated language.
9. RATIONALE FOR USING
• Humans have several distinct
intelligences, and any significant
achievement involves a blending of
• Blending is useful because different
intelligences are valued to varying
degrees by different cultures.
10. How many uses for
• There must be hundreds of ways to
use pictures in the classroom
• teach, practice, or review new
• do guided practice (drills)
• practice grammatical structures
11. HOW MANY USES FOR
• do writing activities
• practice listening comprehension
• do semi-guided or free speaking
practice such as problem solving
activities, role plays, discussions, and
12. HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU
• Depending on the purpose of the
activity, a task can take up five
minutes at the beginning or end of a
class, or last 20 minutes or more in
the main part of the class.
13. CHOOSING PICTURES
• Pictures are illustrations that are cut
from a magazine, newspapers or
other sources. They're mostly
photographs, but drawings, collages,
maps or other illustrations can be
used for certain activities. Each
picture should be at least 13 x 18 cm,
but preferably about 20 x 25 cm, i.e.,
almost an entire magazine page.
14. AVOID TEXT IN YOUR
• Pictures are easier to use without any
printed text on them. You will only be
able to use pictures with text for
certain activities. If pictures do include
text, the text should be in English.
• You can collect the pictures yourself,
or ask your students to bring them in
15. GET TO KNOW YOUR
• Students are good at getting pictures
of famous people, sports and objects
they like, which gives you a good
opportunity to learn about students'
16. SORTING THE PICTURES
• Try to identify a structure or function
that can be practiced with each
picture. You should paste the pictures
on letter-sized paper, and punch holes
in them to keep them in a binder. You
can sort them out by level or grade, by
activity or by topic.
17. LABEL YOUR FOLDERS
• Some topics are: faces, famous
people, clothes, food, actions, sports,
unusual pictures, cities, interiors,
nature, and so on. You can write
notes on the back of the sheets.
18. IDEAS, IDEA, IDEAS
• The following is a catalog of ideas we
have put together from a variety of
• We hope you can add your own list of
ideas to it as well as gather others
from your colleagues.
19. WRITE A PORTRAIT
• Hand each student the photo of a
person, not a celebrity, and have
him/her describe it using the handouts
for both physical and personality traits,
and the imagination to provide a
suitable job and hobbies according to
the age of the person.
20. WRITE A PORTRAIT
• Once the portrait is completed,
students can come to the front to
describe their portrait, or can submit it
as a writing assignment.
21. WHAT’S FOR DINNER?
• Provide students with a photo of a
dish and have the student come up
with an entire menu for dinner that
• The student/group with the most
detailed menu wins a small prize.
• Write short captions describing the
achievements for each celebrity
• Hang the celebrity pictures nearby
and have the students match the
caption for each.
• Material: Pictures with unusual
situations (e.g., a man balancing
chairs on his arms, feet and head, a
female executive tied and gagged in
her office, a very muddy Mercedes
parked in the business district of a
• Elicit question words and write them
on the board: where, why, who, when,
• Tell the students to work in pairs or
small groups and explain the picture,
using the questions words. Do one
picture with the class as an example.
26. INTERVIEW A CELEBRITY
• Distribute pictures of some of the
students’ favorite celebrities including
sport figures, entertainers, politicians
• Have the students complete a list of
questions in preparation for an
interview of their favorite personality.
• The student with the longest list wins.
• Write a caption describing each
celebrity such as their place of origin,
most celebrated accomplishment,
marital status and so on.
• Have the students match the caption
to the photo.
28. BEFORE AND AFTER
• Provide each student, or group, with
an intriguing picture and ask them to
come up with an explanation as to
what happened immediately before
the picture was taken and right after.
30. WHAT’S THE STORY?
• Bring a group of pictures showing
people doing something.
• Distribute one to each student.
• Have the students create the most
imaginative story behind the picture by
emphasizing that there is no right or
31. WRITING A SHORT STORY
• Give each student an envelope
containing photos of 2-3 people, a
photo of a landscape (place) and a
• The student writes a short story based
on the materials in front of her/him.
32. HOW DO THEY FEEL?
• Teach or review adjectives describing
moods and feelings: happy, sad,
angry, upset, cheerful, etc.
• Hand out pictures and ask students to
describe how the people feel, and why
they feel that way. What happened
that made them feel this way?
33. HOW DO THEY FEEL?
• As a follow up, students can present
their descriptions to the group, and
their classmates can add additional
information about the person in the
• Variation: You may want to use this
activity to have students speculate,
using modals like may, might/might
have, must/must have, etc.
34. SIMILARITIES AND
• Provide each pair of students with a
set of pictures containing similar, but
not identical items.
• Students sit back-to-back and ask
each other “Yes” or “No” questions to
find out what the pictures have in
35. WHICH PICTURE IS IT
• Give each student a picture and have
them write five sentences, all true,
about their picture.
• Pictures are displayed around the
room and each student read their
description while the rest try to guess
which picture is being described.
36. PICTURE DICTATION
• Picture dictation targets several skills
and learning styles.
• Listening is at the forefront.
• Good enunciation skills are necessary
for the person doing the dictating.
• Both the “artist” and the person
dictating must use good
38. LOOKING FOR A DATE
• Put a picture of a person on the board
and ask the students to tell you his/her
name, age and job. Write whatever
they tell you on the board.
• Then ask them to describe him/her
physically (again write what they tell
you on the board). Repeat this
procedure for his/her character and
39. LOOKING FOR A DATE
• Read the description of the person
and elicit from the students that
he/she is not happy because they are
single and would like to meet a
• Students should provide a portrait of
the type of person the man/woman in
the picture is looking for.
40. LOOKING FOR A DATE -
• Students get their own photo, describe
it without showing it to anybody else,
leave it face down on the table and
then walk around listening to other
students’ descriptions of their photo
until he/she finds a suitable person for
their own character.
41. LOOKING FOR A DATE
• After you have given them enough time to
find partners, stop the activity (if they are
being very choosy give them a time limit
and tell them they must compromise and
find a partner). Conduct a feedback session
and ask the students to tell the class about
their invented character and the partner that
they have found. The class can then see
the pictures for the first time and decide if
they think it will be a successful
42. LOOKING FOR A HOUSE -
• You can change the context and
replace the pictures of the people with
pictures of houses/flats and ask the
students to be either estate agents or
buyers looking for a place to live.
Again they can write descriptions of
places they want to sell (of varying
standards) and places they would like
to buy, mingle and try to find their
• Students gather in groups of 3-4.
• Teacher hands a picture/postcard to
the student who will be doing the
describing. Famous paintings,
drawings, and sculptures are great for
• The student describes and the rest
draw their picture.
• At the end, the teacher gathers the
original picture and the drawings.
• Drawings are displayed and the rest of
the class is asked to guess what the
original picture was.
• If they can guess correctly, the team
wins a point.
PREPOSITIONS OF PLACE
• Students sit back to back and listen as
the teacher describes a picture
containing details about a room: living
room, dining room, bedroom, porch,
• Each students draws a picture of the
room. At the end, the teacher shows
her picture and students compare
theirs to see who came closest to it.
PREPOSITIONS OF PLACE
• The teacher distributes a picture to the
student in the pair who will be doing
the describing while the other student
• At the end, the students compare
pictures to see how well the dictation
47. COMPARATIVES AND
• Provide students with photos
containing a group of people and have
them practice comparatives and
superlatives by focusing on the
characteristics of the people in the
photo such as age, height, build,
attractiveness, musical talent, sense
of humor and so on.
48. COMPARATIVES AND
• Have the students bring a family
group photo to the class and then
describe each member using
example: My brother Brian was the
tallest while my sister Brooke was the
49. IF I WERE THERE….
• Show students a picture of a location
and have them brainstorm about the
place: where it is, what people
normally do there. Also elicit
vocabulary words related to the
• Ask the students what they would do if
they were there, how they would be
50. “HAVE THAT
• Show a sample picture – not the one
you want students to use later. Ask
what the people are doing, what they
are talking about, what some of the
words or expressions are that they are
using. Elicit or teach vocabulary if
• Distribute pictures to the students to
create their own conversation.
51. “HAVE THAT
• As a follow up, you can ask several
pairs to perform their dialogs in front
of the group. The class votes on the
best dialog for the people in the
52. WHAT DO YOU SEE?
• Bring a collection of landscape photos
to the classroom and distribute one to
• Students write a description of what
• Display the photos and description
side-by-side and have the students
53. WHAT’S GOING ON?
• Distribute a picture to the student on
the front row who looks at it and writes
an action verb in his piece of paper.
• He/she passes down both pieces to
the next students who adds another
verb and so on to the end of the row.
• The row who finishes with the longest
list wins a point.
54. WRITE THE CAPTION
• Show a picture on the board and ask
students to create a caption for it.
• Hand each student an interesting
picture and ask him/her to write an
appropriate caption for the local
• Pictures and captions are displayed
around the room and students match
55. WRITE THE CAPTION-
• For lower level students, compose two
alternate captions for each picture and
have the students select what they
consider to be the appropriate one
working in pairs or small groups.