A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

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SWBAT include illustrations to a piece they have writing about a famous landform to aid in comprehension.

Big Idea

Students add illustrations to their posters about a famous landform.

Do Now

20 minutes

Students have now completed their informational paragraph about a famous landform. They have saved the final copy in their folder online. I’d created a checklist for them to use throughout the project so they knew the next step, which was to add illustrations.

To help them understand the importance of illustrations, I read them a passage about the inside of seeds from the science text. Then, I displayed the book on the document camera with the illustration visible. I told students to talk to their face partner about how the illustration helped them understand the passage. I pulled Popsicle sticks to call on students randomly. One student said it helped him understand what the seed coat was. He joked that he thought it was like a little jacket. That garnered howls of laughter. Another student said it helped her understand what the different parts of the seed looked like. I did the same with a passage about different types of rocks in the science text that was accompanied by vivid illustrations.

I explained that just like the illustrations helped them understand the author’s writing about the inside of a seed and rocks, they should add illustrations to help their audience understand what their landforms are like. In the computer lab, I used the SmartBoard to show them how to insert illustrations into their document.

Independent Practice

30 minutes

After I showed students how to add illustrations, they turned on the laptops to get started. I worked one-on-one with a few students who are proficient with technology. They would in turn help others. As those who were helped became proficient, they would help someone else. As a result of only having shown 3-4 students individually, the entire class was able to insert picture into their document. That freed me up to assist students who were having issues, such as problems with the laptop, working on revisions, etc.  


10 minutes

Students would be assessed on whether they had added three illustrations to their poster at the completion of the project. They would continue working on this throughout the week. The checklist I had given them would also be used to evaluate their work. 


5 minutes

During the lesson, students were excited about the pictures found by their peers. I often had to remind them to return to their own computer to get back to work. I told them we would look at everyone’s pictures at the end of the lesson. This kept them in their seats and they were reassured that they would get to see others’ pictures. This was our closing activity. I printed their reports, complete with photos. They placed them at their seats and we did a gallery walk. Students walked around and looked at the various landforms. I heard exclamations of how pretty they were and some even said they’d visited the Grand Canyon.