Why Real Photos Can Be Your Key to Student Growth

Saturday, March 2, 2019
Real photos matter - because they work. 

I love clip art, too! It's easy to find pictures of children depicting a variety of behaviors and emotions, and typically they're really clear and easy to identify (if you invest in quality clip art!). But what about our concrete thinkers - kids who need explicit instruction and plans for generalizing our lessons into REAL life?

Photos can be so beneficial for our kids. It's a primary source of sorts, which we all know is best practice with our lessons. So, what do we do with these photos?!

I love using pictures as open ended tasks. Handing children a stack of photos of people depicting a variety of emotions and ask kids, "Sort these!" This open ended task can create SO many opportunities - how does the child sort them? This is building the strength & flexibility of their frontal lobe as they problem solve and create categories based on the open ended photos. 

Pictures are also great to use as flash cards to see how students label the emotions. You can get a solid grasp on how much emotional vocabulary they have in their repitore - is everyone smiling "happy"? Is everyone looking uncomfortable "sad" or "mad"? Now you know how to help students expand their emotional vocabulary and eventually describe their own feelings in more detailed ways.

These can also be so fun for inferencing. Students can write about why they think the person in the photo is feeling a specific way. This is also a fun activity for perspective taking - the whole class can write about one picture and share what they believe the back story is - they'll all be different and a good way to talk about why!

This set of 80 full color pictures is available in my TPT store - go ahead and snag it to start implementing these activities right away :)

I have an entire bundle of 8 social-emotional focused resources that only feature real photographs - go check it out and see if these resources would benefit your students!


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