A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

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SWBAT analyze pictures to construct writings and make real world connections with their own perspectives and the perspectives of their peers.

Big Idea

Students will analyze pictures, make real world connections by writing about their own perspectives and embracing the multiple perspectives of their peers.


1 minutes


9 minutes

I begin the lesson by telling my students that someone once said "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and different people view different things and situations from different perspectives.  A perspective is simply your way of understanding or looking at something.  You gain your perspective from various factors.  Some factors that influence and also limit your perspective are included on the attached Powerpoint presentation, which I displayed on my SmartBoard.

We, then, look at a picture which is an optical illusion of an elderly lady and a younger lady and discuss whether students see a picture of a younger lady or an older lady and why they feel they saw a younger lady or an elderly lady when they first viewed the picture. Next, I review our lesson objectives which are Common Core State Standards, our focus skill of drawing inferences, and our strategy of analyzing visual media and evaluating information presented visually and orally.


Picture This!

20 minutes

Next, I separate my scholars into differentiated groups - Achievers (Tier 3), Superstars (Tier 2), and All Stars (Tier 1).  I allow them to select partners to work with for this activity.  I explain to scholars that they will select a picture (see attached Powerpoint presentation used in Introduction) and work with their partner to write about the picture. 

I provide the Achievers Group with sentence starters to use to create complete sentences about their pictures:  When I look at this picture, I notice__________________.  A message that can be shared from this picture is _____________________________. 

For my Superstars Group, I provide them with two sentence starters and ask them to add 3 more sentences about their picture.  When I look at this picture, I notice __________________.  Add 3 more sentences that come to mind when you look at this picture.  A lesson that can be learned from viewing this picture is _______________.

For my All Stars Group, I ask them to write an original short story about their picture.  You may want to include what you notice, what message you see in the picture, and what lesson(s) can be learned from viewing the picture.  (See attached differentiated group handouts.) 

I ask students while they work to identify which of the partners will write the information as the recorder and which of them will serve as the presenters during whole group sharing. 

Before they get started with their partner work, I select one of the leftover pictures to model for them how they can write a message for their pictures.  We write what we notice about the picture, a message that can be shared about the picture, a lesson that can be learned from the picture, and we tell a short story about the picture.  I answer any questions students have and they get started with their work! (Continue to use the attached Powerpoint presentation.)

Whole Group Sharing

20 minutes

During whole group sharing, I show the various pictures on the SmartBoard (see attached Powerpoint presentation) and ask the presenters from each group to share what they wrote.  This activity allows students to hone their speaking and listening presentation skills.  The activity is aligned to Common Core State Standards because it required scholars to cite evidence in order to justify what they wrote about the visual images.


10 minutes

To close the lesson, I review the essential understandings that I wanted scholars to gain from the lesson (see Powerpoint presentation):

  • Prepare for and participate effectively in collaborative discussions, building on others' ideas and expressing your own ideas clearly and persuasively.
  • Evaluate information presented visually and orally.
  • Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.

Finally, as an exit ticket, I ask students to list three things on a sheet of notebook paper that influence a person's perspective, to describe two pictures they remember, and one message from a picture they remember.