Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Making Writing Prompts with Photos

Have you ever been to a dollar store and found items that you liked, and purchased even if you didn't have a specific purpose for them yet?  That's me.  I love perusing my local Dollar General, especially during season changes, and at the holidays. Even though a lot of what they sell there is cheesy, sometimes there are dollar items that can be incorporated into a lesson or project.

Prior to school starting,  I came across a big display of calendars at Dollar General.  There were large calendars as well as mini calendars. There were a lot of different subjects/themes.  I chose barns, horses, cats, dogs, and butterflies as those are all subjects that I like to work with.

There are a lot of different ways you can use these little calendars.  In the past, I have used the large photo calendars for room decor when covering different themes.  The students enjoyed seeing all of the different animal pictures.  What I like best about using calendars is that they are inexpensive, and the colors are generally very vibrant and clear.  The mini calendars pictured above were on display for $.50 each, but were marked down 50% so they were actually .25 each.  {Averages out to .02 per image} WOW!    

I decided that these images would make perfect writing prompts.  I liked the idea of using the mini calendars for this purpose for a few reasons:

1.)  Calendar images are small, making them easier for children to handle.
2.)  Cost effective, so more than one set could be made with little expense.
3.)  Conserves printer ink.
4.)  A lot of options for subjects/themes
5.)  Can be laminated in desktop laminator!

Making Writing Prompts from Mini Calendars

1. What I did first was remove the 2 staples in the center of the calendar.  This made it possible for me to spread the pages part so I could see all of the different images.  

2. I cut the calendar pages in half so that there are 12 images for me to work with.

3. Write a prompt onto the top of each image (if desired).  You don't have to write anything on the
    images if you wanted the students to come up with their own ideas for each image instead.

4.  Laminate!    (I did not show the lamination process....)

5.  Store laminated images in an envelope or folder!

Making Writing Prompts from Photos

I don't know about you, but I take A L O T of digital photos.  Many of which feature my animals.  Animal pictures make great writing prompts because there are no right or wrong answers. 

Using photos for writing prompts can be inexpensive too.  There are several companies that offer an online service where you can upload your digital images, and they will process your prints and mail them to you. This is an affordable option not only in cost per print, but also the time you save having to hunt down images.  They can be mailed right to you.

Snapfish -  Snapfish offers a variety of photo processing options from prints, posters, framed prints, books, coffee mugs and much more.  Snapfish offers 100 free 4x6 prints, after that they are .9 per print. That's an amazing deal!  I have not tried their service, but I am going to.  I will update this article as soon as I do!

Walmart Photo & Gift -   Walmart offers a lot of different digital processing from prints, posters, coffee mugs, photo cards, to apparel.  Walmart periodically runs specials providing a new customer free prints.
They currently are offering 25 free 4x6 prints when you sign up!   I have purchased prints through Walmart several times including photo cards.  I've only had one occasion where the photos were messed up, and I contacted them and they reprinted them no problem.  

Once you have your photos,  you can choose to write prompts on them or leave them blank so that the student can use his or her imagination.  Photos CAN be laminated for use as writing prompts.  Another idea is to purchase inexpensive photo books.  {You can pick them up at the dollar store for $.50-$1.00}

Using real photos can be as much fun as using images from calendars (or catalogs, etc).  I have included three different prompts here of my own animals.  You're welcome to save them and use them if you'd like.

Maggie might think she's in trouble, but she's not.  Peering through the yard gate, she is actually looking at the barn cats that are laying on the other side of the gate. Ssshhh don't tell.  Wait to see what the students write about Maggie. 

Max the barn cat was actually taking a nap and I disturbed him.  He's a big ol' cat that likes to laze around the barn.  His favorite place to snooze is on the deck, and sometimes on the railing below my office window.


This is Millenium, or Milly for short.  She is a Missouri Foxtrotter horse.  And you can probably tell that she is also going to have a baby (March).  She is currently in the pasture right next to my house.  I took this picture because I thought it would be useful as a writing prompt. 

I hope that you have enjoyed this Blog post.  I would love to hear about your frugal ideas for creating learning resources!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment! I love to hear from you!