[TIP]: Picture exercises with SC+

One strong feature of SmartClass+ is its support for creating different individual exercises from a broad range of media: audio, video, PDF, text, pictures, etc.  When we have a digital language platform and easy to use exercise templates, sometimes the hardest job for teachers is to come up with an idea for the perfect exercise. Today we want to share with you some awesome strategies for using pictures in a language learning class.

The great inspiration for this post is the  Hancock McDonald blog and its “Silent Stories” article, both created by Mark Hancock and Annie McDonald. They have been teachers of English since the early ’80s, in various countries around the world. Their talk, presentation and picture handouts makes me very enthusiastic about this topic. They are presenting five picture types used in language learning and suggesting different activity types for use in the classroom. These concepts can easily be applied to working with your pictures in your own language class.  I became so enthusiastic with this topic that I implemented their examples with the SC+ digital learning platform and I created some digital exercises from suggested ideas.  Enjoy!

Single Frame Picture

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More examples:  describe the picture, make a suggestion about somebody who is not in the picture.

Single frame pictures can be used in mixed ability classes or in teaching different language levels because the language can be simplified.

Multi Frame Pictures

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More similar pictures are increasing the level of difficulty.  Simple “boring text” for beginners can be enhanced to a whole different level when combined with a picture.

Sequential Pictures

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More examples: create a several-part narrative structure, create dialogs, continue a dialog/story.

Picture Pairs

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Difference activities. You can target a certain grammar point.

Map, diagram

Examples: blocking out some information, inserting gaps, giving direction or instructions.

Visit Mark Hancock and Annie McDonald blog and watch their talk explaining the advantages of pictures, as well as demonstrating different activity types for use in the classroom.  Download the complete lesson plan notes for some of the activities in their talk.


Veronika, trainer, passionate teacher, blogger, member of smartclasscommunity team


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