Creating Writing Prompts with Images

Thursday, August 12
Laura Buffington Room 208
Audience: All Subject Area Teachers K-12

LEQ: How can instructional technology such as online tools and software be used to create writing prompts for students?

Why Use Picture Prompts?

  • Pictures ignite storytelling (think about the stories that come out when looking through a photo album)
  • Each picture has its own story (but will vary from person to person)
  • Provide a window into real and imagined situations and characters
  • Can serve as a method of introducing different genres and types of writing
  • Expand vocabulary (may wish to brainstorm vocabulary specific to various genres)
  • Can be used in a partner or small group format (i.e. carousel writing)
  • Does not rely on a student's ability to read a written prompt
  • Can incorporate student choice by giving multiple pictures from which to choose

How to Use a Picture Prompt (steps to teach students)

(adapted from Creativity Prompts – How To Use Picture Prompts For Creative Writing Exercises)
  • Observe the image – what do you see, what do you notice
  • Imagine yourself being part of the image. What if you where present in the scene?
  • Take on the role of someone in the image. What would you sense? How would you feel? What is happening?
  • Ask questions such as " I wonder where this person just came from ? " , "Who lives behind that window ? ", " What reason might be the cause for that scene ?"
  • How does this image make me feel" or "What would I do in this situation ?" .
  • If you are using a prompt, then look at the picture prompt and read the questions associated with it. Observe the image again, this time with the prompt in mind.
  • Write!

Implementation with Students

How to Capture Online Images

There are many options for saving images that are edited online.
  • Look for a "download" or "save" button to save to your flash drive/G: drive/desktop.
  • Right click on image and select "copy." Then paste into a PowerPoint slide. You can create multiple images this way by copying one picture per slide. When you have all of the slides completed, go to "File" then "Save As". Select "JPEG" from the "Save as type" drop down box. Also change the location for where you would like the pictures to be saved as well as the name of the file. Click Save.
Decide if you want each slide saved or only the current slide and click on your choice.
If you select "Every Slide" then each slide in the presentation will be saved individually as pictures.
Take note of the folder in which the files are saved.

  • You can take a screenshot of the whole screen by pressing the "Print Screen" button on the keyboard. Then paste into a photo editor such as Irfanview or Microsoft Photo Editor. You can then crop the desired portion and save as a JPG.
  • You can use MWSnap to screencapture only the portion of the screen that you want to save. If it is already on your computer you will find it in the Tools folder. You may need to download it from the Software Install link within the Novell Start Box. After you open MWSnap, select "Any rect area" and then click the "Snap any area" button. You can then click and drag your selection to save. When you release the mouse button, it will snap the picture and put into the MWSnap program where you can save as a JPG.

Once you have your pictures saved, you can print, project or insert into another program such as a word processor if you would like to add any text to accompany the picture for the writing prompt (i.e. more specific directions for the assignment or an organizer for pre-writing).

Where to Find Photos

Online Photo Editing Tools

  • Big Huge Labs- Large variety of photo tools such as motivator posters, puzzles, magazine cover, etc. Upload your own, use your pictures from Flickr or Facebook or pull from Flickr CC (must sign in using your Flickr account- the site even gives you the citation for the picture!) Pictures can be ordered as well (including puzzles).
  • PhotoFunia- This site will automatically crop a face out of a picture and place into a variety of pop culture scenes (note: this is not a site for students to use)
  • Dumpr- Similar site to Big Huge Labs but you can also pull pictures from Picasa.
  • Flauntr- Must create account. Create pictures in the style of famous artists, add stickers, basic cropping and resizing.
  • Sumo Paint- Click on "Open Sumo Paint" at the top right of the screen. Much like a paint program but can edit pictures.
  • FotoFlexer- Add various effects, fonts, shapes/stickers, doodles, distortions and retouches to pictures. Can retrieve photos from various sites.
  • befunky- Fun site with many effects based on numerous art types as well as basic crop/rotate tools. Allows you to save to computer without screencapture.
  • Splash Up- This site is for the more advanced photo editor (I had some trouble with it!)
  • Tuxpi- 42 fun effects and frames, can also add text to the picture.
  • Splashr- Pulls pictures from Flickr and creates an instant slideshow.
  • Picnik- Lots of effects, text, sticker and frame options. Can save directly to your computer.
  • CogDogRoo 50 Tools- Couldn't find the right tool for you? Check here for more options!
  • Need even more? Try GoToWeb2.0

Computer Software

  • Shape Collage- Download and create collages in various shapes and styles
  • Irfanview- Use to crop, rotate, reduce red eye, change colors, and make a quick slide show
    • Reducing File Size- If you are embedding the picture into a word processor or uploading multiple images to a web site you may find it necessary to reduce the file size of the image. Irfanview allows you to resize a batch of pictures instead of one at a time.
      • Go to "File", "Batch Conversion/Rename"
      • Select the files to be resized/renamed. Also choose if you are going to simply rename (it defaults to image001, etc.) or convert to a different file format or size.
      • Select the location for the output directory.
      • Click "Start Batch" and then go to the output directory and check the picture files.
    • Irfanview Shortcut Keys

Share and Summarize

What other tools do you currently use? Post to the wiki discussion tab to collaborate with the group and answer the summarizing questions.


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