For years, I have witnessed, over and over again, the value of using pictures to teach reading skills in my classroom. I always use them to introduce reading skills like inference, story elements, cause and effect, compare and contrast, etc. I have blogged about it extensively, and you can read six more blog posts with examples of how I use them in my room HERE or you can click the image below.
This summer, I thought a lot how I could take this even further in my classroom. I had always used pictures as a guided introduction to the skill or whole group practice, or by using task cards in centers or small groups. Both of these were (and are still) great, but I wanted to have an option for independent work, assessment, homework, etc. that would continue to strengthen their skills.
That’s when this little gem was born… I decided to take what I’ve been sharing for years and create a new line of resources: Using Pictures to Teach™.
Observe It: This section includes the picture with plenty of white space around it. The white space is for students to make literal AND inferential observations. Take as many notes as you can, encourage students to stretch their thinking, and watch their inference skills grow with EVERY picture you observe! Examples of observations are included.
Answer It: This section has a task to complete that focuses on the reading skill AND relates to the picture in the “observe it” section.
Apply It: This section has a short story that loosely relates to the same topic shown in the picture (but does NOT represent the picture) and includes a task that relates to the reading skill focus.
Students are now better able to concretely understand these reading skills. The pictures make the skills real life, so they are able to make connections outside of the classroom, outside of the reading skill itself. They look at things a bit differently now, and instead of memorizing how sequencing or cause and effect or compare and contrast relate to reading, they know how it relates to the real world, so it becomes second nature for them when they are asked to do it when reading. They are constantly making these observations through the pictures, so they just KNOW how to do it intuitively. This type of initial practice takes the pressure off of the reading portion so that they can be successful with the skill first before diving into the “nitty gritty.”
You can purchase this pack of reading skills pages at my TpT store by clicking the image below. It includes 7 key reading skills with 5 pages of practice for each skill.
You can purchase this pack of figurative language printables at my TpT store by clicking the image below.