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Want to use pictures to improve critical thinking and reading comprehension?

Picture of the Day

North Carolina, United States
A simple and effective way for students to practice important reading skills, such as observing, describing and making inferences, through analysing pictures rather than text.
Introduction

What is Picture of the Day?

Jennifer Jones, Creator, Picture of the Day
“I use Picture of the Day with my reading groups and students love it! They become such close observers and make inferences based on details and evidence in the pictures.”

Jennifer Jones, Creator, Picture of the Day

Reading comprehension requires a range of abilities, such as observing, describing and inferring. These skills can be difficult to develop in students, particularly those who are still learning to read. When practising reading, the effort is often predominantly placed on decoding words and identifying the superficial meaning of the sentences, rather than on developing a deeper understanding of the text. As a result, students can struggle to answer questions about the text that require higher-level thinking skills.

Picture of the Day is a simple idea that can improve reading comprehension by transferring the critical analysis from reading a text to exploring a picture. Without having to focus on decoding words, energy can be directed at developing inference and critical thinking skills.

Students look closely at a picture and answer two questions: what can I see and what do I think? The first question focuses on facts and observations, while in the second students make inferences. By using a picture rather than a piece of writing, all students have an equal opportunity to share their ideas without being restricted by their reading level. Through questioning and discussion, students are encouraged to develop their ideas and are supported to become critical thinkers. 

For children whose home language differs from the language of the classroom, Picture of the Day can be an especially powerful tool, as it can support learning of new vocabulary. 

Picture of the Day can fit easily into a daily classroom routine. Once learners are familiar with the format, the exercise can be completed independently. Students are then able to apply the critical thinking skills they have developed through close observation of pictures to their reading. Teachers have observed that reading comprehension skills have improved after introducing Picture of the Day into their lessons.

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Innovation Overview
1 - 12
Age Group
-
Children/Users
47
Countries
2011
Established
-
Organisation
2 693
Views
Tips for implementation
Any teacher can do this anywhere in the world, using any photograph of choice or the Picture of the Day resource kit.
Connect with innovator
Jennifer Jones
HundrED Review
Innovativeness

Picture of the Day is a simple way to practice high-level critical thinking every day. Children enjoy analysing the pictures and don’t even realise it’s critical thinking in disguise!

Impact

The Picture of the Day resource kit has received over 4,500 positive reviews from teachers all over the world.

Scalability

Picture of the Day transcends age, grade level and country. It removes the layers and makes children feel equal. The tool can be used everywhere by everyone!

Media

See this innovation in action

Comment
Jen Jones, reading though pictures
Bogdan Badiu
Hello Literacy (hellojenjones)
Hello Literacy | Jen Jones
Hello Literacy
Guiding Reading Tips by Hello Literacy
Word Meanings in Context: A Whiteboard Strategy

Milestones

Achievements & Awards

Map

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Steps

Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

01
Pick a picture
Use a personal photograph, a photograph found online or one supplied in the Picture of the Day resource kit.
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02
Learners look at the picture and answer two questions
The students should be given time to really look at the picture, before answering the following questions: what do I see and what do I think?
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03
Encourage critical thinking
When learners talk about the Picture of the Day, they should be encouraged speak in the framework of critical thinking.
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04
Repeat every day!
The exercise can be led by any educator and incorporated into the curriculum in any way they choose.
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