Bright Ideas: Photo Prompts and Writing

Hey everyone!

It's time for some bright ideas!

This time I'm sharing my ideas about photo prompts. Now, there are a lot online that you can find. Or you can take some pictures yourself! But the possibilities are endless with what you can do with them!

Journey of a Substitute Teacher

And I'm linking up with:

Students could do all sorts of narrative writing with this picture. They could write about a time they saw a rainbow. Or write an imaginative bit about the rainbow (or should I say rainbows, as it a double one). 

Descriptive writing about these tulips would be fun. Students could describe the flowers from the colors to their smells (and they did smell incredible!).

 Students can infer from real photo prompts. Here we have my cousin Landon. What would you infer happened in this picture? I'll wait a moment... if you guessed he just smashed into his birthday cake (he's one!), you would have inferred correctly!
I love getting students going with opinion. Usually it is about sports teams. They like to say their team is the best, but then cannot defend their reasoning. "Because" is not a reasonable answer. This example above is my friend's dog and my cat. The opinion could be which is a better pet, a cat or a dog. You could place any two pictures, sports teams, beach/mountain, etc. 

Ah, informative writing. Where you have to explain how to do something. Here's my dad building a pumpkin trio. I guess this picture would actually be double informative, because I taught him how to do it and now he's showing you!  What would be even more fabulous, is having kids bring in real photos of them doing whatever they are writing about.  (And if you were wondering, they did turn out cute!)

Research writing. I had a few ideas about this. The teacher could post a photo for students to research. Or, for example, put a picture of the ocean and tell students they have to research something that lives in that habitat. Third, students could bring in pictures to go with what they researched. Here, we observed my friend's dog Sierra eating peanut butter ice cream. I know most dogs love peanut butter, but I didn't know if she would like ice cream. So I 'researched' by buying some when I dog sat. Conclusion? There was not a drop left!. 

Real photo prompts can bring writing to a whole new level, especially if students get invested with it. Now with many classrooms having iPads, students could even use those to take pictures in class for their writing.

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For more bright ideas, check out the bright ideas link up, with tons of other great bloggers and ideas!


  1. Love using photos in my classroom! Thanks for the tip, Jayne
    Smart Kids
    ABCs of Reading

  2. Real photographs are an amazing tool for the classroom. So many possibilities. Thanks for sharing your ideas.
    Kathy Griffin’s Teaching Strategies

  3. LOVE this idea! You are so right Tanja- real photos can lead to so many writing prompts. I love that one with infer. So smart!
    Sarah's First Grade Snippets

  4. Such great prompts! These pictures are fantastic. Thanks for sharing!

    Sally from Elementary Matters

  5. Love these ideas! I'll definitely be using some of them in my classroom this year!

    Confessions of a Modern Day [ex] Substitute Teacher


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