We all know of the power of images. They bring forth human emotions stronger than mere words. It’s part of the reason why so many use cameras and images so effectively in the classroom.
One of my favourite applications that use the power of images so strongly is PicLits. Using it is pretty easy – just click on an image from the gallery, and in one mode just drag and drop nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. onto the image to tell the story behind the image. In the freestyle mode, you have the ability to write your story in a little text editor. The program can be very effective for use in the classroom.
Watching students motivated by the image has convince me that this application is a real “keeper” for primary and some junior classes.
I’ve been looking for a similar way to inspire research and writing in older students. The game changes there and you can make things more authentic by providing real-world problems and situations for deeper comment and proposals for solution. This morning, I ran into an absolutely incredible website for setting the stage to some thoughtful writing.
Amusing Planet wrote a book review with some imagery that is absolutely powerful. The book is entitled “Where Children Sleep“. It’s a collection of images and short stores from students around the world. The common denominator in all of this is that a picture of each of the children’s “bedroom” is shown along with a short biography of each child.
When you read the stories behind each of the children, you can’t help but get a sense as to what life must be like in each of their realities. I can’t help but think that this readings would serve to inspire some insightful research and writing by students old enough to understand things. Even an activity where you choose two of the children and compare their realities would serve as a starter that would undoubtedly inspire the students to read and try to understand all of students in the article.
Beyond that, I would think that copies of this book should find a welcome home in school libraries everywhere.
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