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Learning Targets

Students will:

  • View an image related to the content topic

  • Brainstorm related words and phrases 

  • Write a descriptive paragraph about the image



  • Extend this activity by asking students to use images found in their surroundings to write about. It can be from a newspaper, magazine, or even the view outside of their window. 

  • Have students select their own images, either content-related or something they see that interests them. 

  • Many descriptive words are cognates. Have students work with a family member or friend to create a list of cognates they used when describing the image in their paragraph.

How To

Before Activity:

  • Select images to use for activity.

  • Choose the appropriate version of the graphic organizer.

  • Create helpful prompts or sentence frames as needed.


During Activity:

Synchronous setting: 

  • Prepare a time and place to discuss the image as a group.

  • Provide the graphic organizer for students to take notes about details in the image. 

  • Show an image related to content and share any content language or vocabulary for students to use in writing.

  • After a set amount of time, gain students’ attention and share their notes. Students may gain ideas and details from each other.

  • Students can then write a paragraph about the picture using their notes.

  • Close with a discussion of new content language and learning by allowing students to share examples of their writing.

Asynchronous Setting​​​​​​​:

  • Decide how students will share their completed paragraph: email, online classroom, or with a family member. 

  • Share the picture, target vocabulary, and the graphic organizer with students.

  • Provide directions to jot down details in the graphic organizer, and then write a paragraph about the picture.

  • Invite students to share their paragraphs during an online meeting or using an app such as padlet or Flipgrid

Quick Tips

  • You may want to model and engage the students in a guided practice with an example picture.

Evidence of Success

  • Students are able to write about the image using relevant language and vocabulary.

Watch Out!

  • Be sure images are relatable or relevant and students have enough vocabulary to write about the image.

Support Suggestions


  • Provide an organizer that is partially completed with words that students can use to describe the image.

  • Provide a list of descriptive words.


  • Provide a list of signal/transition words for students to extend their writing.


  • Set a goal for how many academic words or sentences you expect the students to use.