Writing About Photographs With ELLs

Writing About Photographs With ELLs

writing prompts

Photographs offer excellent support for English Language Learners to write about. They can help students generate ideas, and visual vocabulary support is built into a high-quality photograph. You can easily differentiate a writing assignment based on photographs. All students use the same picture, but the amount of writing, level of support offered, and complexity of sentences are different. Writing about pictures is also a simple way to introduce content information to students.

Lable Photographs with Newcomers and Emergent ELLs

  • Provide students with a list of objects found in the picture and have them label it.
  • Write simple sentence frames. Then, have students complete them with the words that they have labeled on the picture. (I see _____. I hear ______. In the summer, I see _____. )
  • Read more tips about the benefits of Labeling Pictures with ELLs.

Label picture of a snowy house.

Writing Sentences with Intermediate ELLs

  1. Make a list of words connected with the photograph, sort by part of speech
    • Label the nouns in one color, verbs in another color, and adjectives in a third color.
  2. Show students a photograph with a short sentence.
  3. Use question words to expand the short sentence.
    • Ex: Look in the classroom. What?  Look at the chairs in the classroom.
    • Ex: Look in the classroom. Where? Look at the classroom in the basement.
    • Ex: Look in the classroom. Why? Look in the classroom for a comfortable spot to sit.

Writing About Photographs with Advanced ELLs

  1. Have students talk about what they see in the photograph. They can then create a list of vocabulary words or label the photograph.
  2. Present students with a writing prompt around the photograph.
  3. Review sentence frames and additional vocabulary to assist with writing.
  4. Allow students to talk about ideas with a partner or in a small group before writing.

Check out these premade picture writing prompts. They come in three levels, with a writing prompt, a vocabulary bank, and sentence frames. The seasons writing prompts come with bonus workbook pages in the writing prompt bundle set.

Try out a FREE set of the picture writing prompts.


Writing about Photographs with ELLs

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