The picture prompts below have been designed to encourage sketching as a pre-writing
strategy. Please remember that Picture That! was designed to only suggest a method for
prewriting and did not cover other writing skills. I suggest that both teachers and parents do the following
when using these picture prompts:
In small groups, consider picking a picture prompt and do it yourself.
When you model how to do something, children are helped
to learn the skill. First, you choose one of the picture prompts and talk out loud about what it reminds you of. Then
do a quick sketch and stress that you are not worried about how good the drawing is, but you want to use your sketch
to help you plan your story. However, if teachers in grades 1 and 2 have used Picture That!, then they may have modeled this idea for the
children already. In this case, bring together the struggling students in a small group and model this for the children who need the help. For parents,
your child will always want to see what you are thinking, so I suggest that you always pick a picture prompt and show your child what you would do with it.
You may also want to pick a picture prompt and do one while your child works on a different picture prompt. Afterwards, you can talk about what your story
will be like and have your child talk about what his or her story will be like.
Let the child pick his or her own picture prompt.
Talk about the pictures with the child and encourage
the child to pick a favorite picture.
Talk to the child about why the picture is a good choice.
Ask the child to explain why this picture is special.
Help the child link the picture to a story read before or to something that happened in real life. Helping the child depend on
background knowledge to write a good picture prompt will make the writing stronger.
I hope you enjoy these prompts. Remember, this is not supposed to be a stressful exercise - make it fun!