Sandy Millin: The big reveal

Read Sandy's latest blog post on the use of ELTPics images.

Read Sandy's latest blog post on the use of ELTPics images.

This photo would be great for practicing the language of speculation.

It lends itself well to being revealed gradually, with students speculating based on what they can see in each version of the image, and providing reasons for their ideas.

You can give them more or less support depending on their level and their confidence.

For example, you could supply sentence frames like:

  • I think it’s…, but I’m not sure.
  • It must/might/could be…because…
  • It can’t/might not be…as/since…


You could also give them the question words Where? When? Why? etc. or more fleshed out questions:

  • Where do you think it is?
  • What do you think the weather is like?
  • What clues helped you to decide this?
  • What do you think you’ll see in the next part of the picture?


In my experience, students enjoy the mystery element of this activity when you’ve got a well-chosen image. It’s also a great way to encourage exam students to practise using more advanced description language, rather than simple statements about what they can see.

There are hundreds of images which are particularly suitable for this activity in the ‘Every Picture Tells a Story’ set on ELTpics. Why not leave a comment below saying which one you chose to use?

‘Every picture tells a story’ link:

Photo taken by Mike George | courtesy of ELTPics (

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