Picture Stories

text written by Jamie Treat

Create picture stories based on your students’ experiences and use them to practice all language skills.  Your students’ stories, of course, will be much more relevant to them than a picture story found in a book, and can better withstand a lot of repetition. You might begin by asking a student about a particular experience, such as her last day in her country, or a picture story might be developed more spontaneously. For example, if your student arrives late and is trying to explain why, say,

WAIT! Let’s do a picture story!

Have your student describe the experience step by step. Ask for clarification along the way and, depending on your student’s level, try to fine tune the language. Draw one step of the experience at a time. As you add pictures to the story, have the student repeat the story from the beginning.

Chuyen left her house at 7:00 this morning.

Chuyen left her house at 7:00 this morning.

As soon as she closed the door,

she realized her keys were still in the house.

Chuyen left her house at 7:00 this morning.

As soon as she closed the door,

she realized her keys were still in the house.

She tried calling her husband on her cell phone,

but nobody answered.

Since your student knows the story, and in fact has given you the story, excellent drawing skills are not crucial. Your pictures function more like symbols or reminders of what she said.

Chuyen left her house at 7:00 this morning.

As soon as she closed the door, she realized her keys were

still inside the house.

She tried calling her husband on her cell phone, but

nobody answered.

She remembered the bedroom window was open upstairs.

She borrowed a ladder from three guys who were painting

the house next door.

One guy held the ladder while Chuyen climbed up.

She pushed the window all the way open and climbed

inside.

The painters all clapped and cheered.

Now that you have the picture story, you can come up with many ways for your student to practice speaking, listening, reading and writing. You might do one or two activities right away, and then choose a couple to do later as a review.

Listening and Speaking

· Describe a frame and have the student point to the appropriate picture.

· Give true and false statements about the story: She borrowed a hammer from some guys who were painting next door.

· Ask comprehension questions: Who did she try to call?

· Point to various frames out of order and have the student describe them.

· Give the beginning of a sentence and have the student finish it: As soon as she closed the door, she realized…..

· Repeat the story with some mistakes. Have the student listen and make corrections.

· Describe one picture. Have the student describe what happens next.

· Have your student come up with different endings to the story. Higher level students could practice conditional tenses: If she hadn’t forgotten her key…, If her husband had answered the phone…

Reading and Writing

· Copy the pictures and captions and cut them up. Have the student match the caption to the picture.

· Many of the speaking and listening activities can be done as written exercises.

· Prepare a cloze (fill-in-the-blank) passage about the story for the student to complete.

· Scramble the words of each sentence and have the student put them in the correct order.

· Focus on language. For example, have the student list all past tense verbs.

Ideas for Student Stories

Lower Level: Morning routine, work routine, evening routine

How to make something (e.g. Ethiopian bread)

How to do something (e.g. plant rice)

Higher Level: A time you got in trouble as a child

The most difficult (scary, funny, embarassing) thing you ever did

Have fun teaching and drawing!

Courtesy of Literacy Now

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s