Pictorial Input



Tip: Pictorial Input

How do I do it?
On white or yellow butcher paper sketch lightly in pencil the concepts (using symbols and simple drawings) you are teaching (be sure to include key vocabulary).  Pencil in notes to yourself about the information and questions you want to ask students right next to those sketched images.  Post the butcher paper on the wall (it will look blank to the students) and begin to explain and draw (with color markers).  Make sure you ask a question/have students do a pair-share every 5-10 minutes to hold their attention and enhance comprehension.  It will seem magical to students that you are drawing such a clear and colorful story.  This is a great tool for teaching content in social studies and history (i.e. Jamestown timeline above), science (e.g. water cycle; layers of the earth etc.), language arts/English (i.e. conflict in English literature; parts of a story etc.); or ESL classes (e.g. greetings; parts of a store; asking directions, etc.) 

Variations & Extensions
Give each student a blank piece of paper and colored pencils or crayons and they can sketch /draw along with you (you'll be amazed at their retention of concepts and language even months later); photocopy a map or scene from a text, take a photo of it or scan and project it on a wall where you've taped the butcher paper and then trace the parts you'll want to present to the class (students who finish work early love helping with this..you can also do the same thing with an old overhead projector with a transparency of a map, chart or scene.)  Don't feel the need to finish presenting the entire pictorial input at once - break it up into chunks over the period, day, or unit.

Common Core ELA Speaking and Listening Standard 2
Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

Common Core ELA Reading Standard 7
Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

Tricia Gallagher-Geurtsen
Tricia Gallagher-Geurtsen


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