A Picture is Worth 1000 Words (Part 1)

TITLE:  A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words (Part 1)                        AUTHOR:  Chris Prefontaine

GRADE: 5 – 12, depending on the pictures selected

SUBJECT:  Language Arts

MATERIALS/TIME REQUIRED:  “The Mysteries of Harris Burdick”

50-60 minutes

PROVIDE FOR INCLUSION – A You Question, Energizer, or Linking Strategy: Discuss the meaning of “A picture is worth a 1000 words” with a partner.


Content Standard: Students are able to write a properly organized, engaging short story using descriptive language.

Language Arts:

Developing and Organizing Content

* generate ideas about more challenging topics and identify those most appropriate for the purpose

*gather information to support ideas for writing, using a variety of strategies and a wide range of print and electronic resources

Using Knowledge of Form and Style

*use some vivid and/or figurative language and innovative expressions to enhance interest

Collaborative: Work with others to develop and expand vocabulary with the long range goal of developing “critical friend” skills for writing buddies.

Personal: Expand ones ideas and vocabulary.

Work with others.

IDENTIFY THE STRATEGY: Gallery Walk/Graffiti

This strategy is based on the work of Emily Calhoun on the Picture Word Induction Model of teaching reading and writing.

Background: The students have been working on reading and deconstructing short stories and have already created a Short Story Success Criteria Checklist.

Using one of the images from “The Mysteries of Harris Burdick” in the center of an 11×17 paper, model your thinking as you examine the image and write descriptive vocabulary and feeling words around the periphery.

Move on to share the work including student thinking on the image wall.

Now that the students have the idea, allow them to do a “graffiti walk”. With several of the other images from the book in the center of 11×17 papers, students walk with a partner adding their vocabulary to the borders of the papers. Time the students so that they are only at each image for only a short amount of time. As they move from paper to paper, they need to read what their peers have written first and only add new words to the sheet. They circulate to all of the images.

REFLECTION: What did you notice as you walked between the images? Did you discover anything about the thinking of your classmates?

PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR APPRECIATION:  Invite statements; thank your graffiti buddy



Group Development Process

Cognitive Theory

►Multiple Intelligences

►Cooperative Learning


Reflective Practice

Authentic Assessment