Activity: A Picture’s Worth A Thousand Words

This activity supports Common Core in English Language Arts — CCR Anchor Standards for Reading — CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.5 and CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.6.

Grade level: Appropriate for grades 4-12 with teacher modifications.

Duration: One or two class periods.


1)   Select a photograph or several from the Recollection Wisconsin collections. To locate photographs that will inspire creative contributions from your students, try our thematic boards on Pinterest:

2)   Ask students to list the information they can infer from the photograph(s), including facts as well as emotions.

3)   Next, with their inferences in mind, have students write about a single photograph using two different genres: for example, a poem and a newspaper article, or a short fiction story and a letter to the editor.

4)   Then have students compare and contrast the various structures of these diverse texts. Ask: How does our understanding of the photo change when it’s written about in different ways? How does it stay the same?

Life on a Wisconsin Farm on Pinterest

Wisconsin School Days on Pinterest

Wisconsin in Action on Pinterest

Wisconsin Performances on Pinterest