The Power of Pictures!

"A picture is worth 1000 words!"

I have always loved using images in my classroom.  When students are able to attach an image to information, they process it more thoroughly and they remember it longer.  This simple tool in your classroom can make all of the difference!

As we are swallowed whole by testing this year, many teachers may be trying to hit the content hard, pulling out anything they feel to be fluff in their lessons.  This can be a great mistake for those teaching visual learners.  Every year in my classroom, I stuck to my curriculum calendar as the testing weeks approached.  It was inevitable that I would be in the Civil Rights Movement as my students would be experiencing formula stuffing in their math classes and novel immersion in ELA.  I stuck to what I knew worked best for my kids... Pictures!  And it always paid off.  As testing would wrap-up, my students would run back to my classroom telling me they SAW stuff they knew in the testing booklets because the images reminded them of the lessons we learnedJACKPOT!

To use images successfully in your classes:
  • Do not simply show images, but allow students to analyze images as a whole group.
  • As students are first seeing images, do NOT provide any background information.
  • No comment or idea about an image is wrong.  Open the floor for all ideas.
  • Encourage ALL students to participate by stating details THEY see.
  • Use spiral questioning to help students open up an image.
  • Introduce images in the order that they will help to develop your content.
  • Continue to refer to images as you introduce new content and as you continue the lesson.
  • Allow students to create their own images to help them further process content ideas.
And a "secret" tip for History teachers:
The Migrant Mother by Dorthea Lange  and the Supreme Court Steps Brown v Board Newspaper images are almost ALWAYS referred to in standardized testing.  Use them in your classes to help student feel that success we want them all to feel as they test this spring and every year!
Picture Analysis Introduction Product Link
Great Depression Image Analysis Product Link
9/11 Impact of Images Product Link
WWI to WWII Image Introduction Product Link

Happy imaging!


Michele Luck