I use this activity mainly to provide writing practice. It also practises question forms and encourages creativity. It is a student-centred activity which encourages collaboration and teamwork. This idea was influenced greatly by Jacosta Von Achten of the British Council, Bangkok.

Preparation

Prepare a set of pictures that are likely to stimulate the interest and imagination of your students.

Procedure

  • Show the picture to the students and have them work in groups to prepare some questions about the photo. Below is an attachment with an example photo. Here are some example questions the students may ask. 

Who is the man?                       How old is the man?                Where does he live?

Who is he talking to?                 What is he talking about?        What is he saying?

How does he feel?                     Why is he looking worried?     What will happen to him?

  • When the students are working together monitor and help with the question forming. Provide advice and correction if necessary. If students are struggling to think of questions, provide prompts. 
  • When you feel the students have produced enough questions ask students to ask you the questions orally. 
  • When you receive a question ask another group to answer. 
  • When they answer (using their imaginations) write their answers on the board. 
  • When you have exhausted all the questions, have the students work in pairs and tell a story to each other based on the answers given. If they want to change any details tell them that this is fine. 
  • Change pairs and have the students tell their stories again.
  • Now change pairs again. This time ask them to write the story they have told together. 
  • Monitor and offer advice and help if necessary. 
  • Stick the finished stories on the walls and encourage students to read each others and comment. 

Extension 

Give each pair of students a different picture. They must write a story based on the picture. If you have recording equipment available students could record their completed stories. This could then be played to all students while they look at a copy of all the original pictures. Students could then match the pictures to the recorded stories. Alternatively they could read the stories and match them to the pictures. 

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Author: 
Derek Spafford
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Comments

It's really very useful and entertainig because they're learning and have fun in the same time.I liked it very much for the fact that it's a student centered activity.I think that when students learn from each other they learn better.also they learn to estimate their their friends.I'm going to use more pictures in the class and I'm taking the photos from some magazines.

A very interesting activity, which stimulate the creativity of the pupils. I like it. Thnx.

This is wonderful creative activity which helps us to find out our students' imagination skills. It is team work that involves all the students to the lesson. We can call it "English language through art". Not only students even teachers also like to do such kind of activities. I have  done a bit different one with teachers.  It is called "People". It helps review past tense, present tense, describing someone. You can do it with groups if 3 to 4 students. use photos of different people one photo per group.
Step1: Each group receives a photo and is asked to write a CV for the person in the picture. The students should mainli imagine the person's present inteests, and lifestyle.When they have finished with the first picture, photos are exchanged between groups. Each group works with 3 pictures.
Step2: the results of the group work are read out and discussed.Which lives were seen in asimilar way by the 3 groups? Which photos were interpreted differently?
if you use photos of people that you know, you could tell them how far off the mark they are.  
You can also use the pictures of different doors and use it as a practice activity for "IF clause". If I open this door there will be a paradise.

That's Great! I like it. It can help your students to think in a creative way and make up their own story. I use it and will use it!

This is a wonderful activity n students will learn a lot from this activity. Not only will their creative thinking will develop but also their style of expressing n hesitation to write, speak publicly. Heartily thanks 4 this marvellous art of expression.
 
 
 

The perfect way to exploit all the pictures in the beautiful art books I rescued from the pile on paper rubbish collection day!

I have just used this activity in my class. It's been great. My students loved it and they didn't stop talking in English during the actiity. They also helped each other and corrected each other's mistakes. in the final stage when I put the different stories on the wall they had a good laugh and also saw some mistakes. As a follo up we corrected these mistakes and commented about the stories. I felt really well doing this activity and I will definitely add it to my favourite activities list.Thanks a lot for sharing it.

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