A Picture's Worth

Writing captions for pictures is SUCH a fun and creative exercise to do with kids. Take this empty bench for example.


What would you say in three words?  Seems so lonely.  What if you had four words?  Don't just sit there.  Five words?  Come and sit by me.  Ten words?

So I thought it's be fun to look for a picture and let my readers try to find the words to explain it. If you were writing the caption for this picture I took a few years back and had three words, five words, ten words, a paragraph . . . 
What would say about this shot?

Imagine the empathy you could evoke!  This activity has a lot of potential for a cool bulletin board or as an end-of-year challenge. Joshua's sixth-grade teacher had them draw a picture and then sum up their year in just 3 words. It was fun to see the year in review in three simple words from a tween's perspective. What other ways will you engage your learners in the upcoming week(s) as you prepare to launch them into the next grade? 

Journey of a Substitute Teacher blog is celebrating a one-year anniversary; click the graphic to go there next and enter to win a signed copy of one of Carol McCloud's Bucket Filler books!



  1. Oh Barbara, this is a fun idea. I can't wait to try it on my classes.

    artist in residence

    "witch" way did she go?

    black evil graffiti found on an old house is bewitching

    A struggling artist ventured to an old house in the country. He had heard an old woman had lived there Seeing a broom, open windows and it looking deserted, he took up his paint brush and stroked the words that an witch had once lived there but now was gone. Which way did she go, up or down? I guess she flew the coop.

    1. Oh, Jo - these are GREAT! How about this for the house: She USED to be deathly afraid of tornadoes until this hit.

  2. Ahhhh... So "photographer" is added to your list of many talents?
    You DO amaze me!

    Maybe it's the end of the year blues, but that bench picture actually FEEL sad. I think that's the mark of talent!

    Off to a Common Core training... I hope they have coffee... Which is why I am determined to stop at Starbucks first!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

    1. Oooooo, Kim - enJOY your Starbucks. I'm having my pretend Starbucks (Nescafe Classico with four shots of vanilla from Starbucks and some Hershey's caramel syrup) as I drag back to my room to get ready for school. Have fun at training!

  3. How fun!

    Lonely old house

    I need some TLC

    Someone wants to love me?

    Ding dong the wicked witch is dead, can't you see?

    Journey of a Substitute Teacher

  4. So glad I found your blog. I'm your newest follower. I love using photographs to spark ideas for writing.
    Stories by Storie


I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!

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