Content Clues: Writing with Pictures

What You Need:

  • 5-10 pictures, cut from magazines
  • Markers
  • Construction paper
  • Glue

What You Do

  1. This activity is easy, but it takes about five minutes of set-up time. Gather a stack of magazines and cut 5-10 pictures out of them. These can be as simple as a dog running in water, or a boy sitting on a set of stairs.
  2. Glue each picture onto the top of its own page of construction paper and spread the pages out across a table. Then invite your child to come and take a look.
  3. Ask your child to choose a picture, then tell you what’s happening in it. For example, if he chooses the picture of the dog running in the water, he might say, “This dog is being chased by its owner. They just came to the beach because they’re having a picnic. The dog is happy because he loves to play and get wet.” Whatever he says, write it down beneath the picture.
  4. Then if he’d like, let him choose another picture and record exactly what he says, word for word, without editing it. If you repeat this activity a few months down the road, you’ll be amazed at how much progress kindergarteners typically make in a short period of time.

This is a quick and easy activity, but it teaches kids how a book’s illustrations and text are related. It also gets them working on how to tell a story and order its beginning, middle, and end… a skill that takes young kids a lot of practice! Sure, it builds reading comprehension, but more than that, it puts your child in the author’s chair, a great place to be on a rainy day, or any day!

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