Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Today I had a really neat experience with my students. I used the image below to facilitate a writing prompt and discussion today. I gave the students three minutes to jot down as many words as they could in their Day Books. Then I asked them to write a few sentences using their words and describing the picture.

Some of them spoke of a family member who recently passed away, others about death and sadness, some zombies and ghosts, while others spoke of the beauty of the scene. In the discussion that followed, we spoke of how our types of learning (i.e. visual, logical, artistic) may affect how we view a picture. But it isn't just that... it's also our experiences and our associations with different images that guided our thoughts, notes, and descriptions.

We also used this opportunity to discuss how different people may have different purposes or reasonings behind describing an image. A news reporter may describe the graveyard in a more factual explanation, while a poet would draw emotions and feelings into his or her writing.

After completing this discussion, some students begged to do another picture. They couldn't wait for another opportunity to express themselves, through descriptions, and compare their notes to other students around them.

What picture will they see tomorrow? What emotions will it provoke?

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