The Moment Before… – A Picture Prompt

Writing + Speaking Prompt: What happened the moment before the picture was taken?

What happened before?

Here’s a joyful, open-ended prompt to get your students speaking, writing, or practicing whatever grammar point you’ve been working on. Below are some of my ideas on how you might incorporate it into your lesson plan.

  • Start by asking students to describe what they see in the picture. List new vocabulary on the board. (Some words that you might want to introduce: to cheer, to applaud, to clap, to laugh, auditorium, uniform, joyful)
  • If you’re teaching high school you might ask students to make inferences based on what they can see in the photo. (For example, I infer that the students go to a private school because they are wearing uniforms.)
  • Use the question at the top of the picture to practice past tense or present perfect with “just” (What has just happened?) You might have students respond individually and then compile a class list of responses. This can be done as a quick speaking warm-up, or extended into a longer lesson if you want to practice writing… Maybe have students listen to each other and then write all of their classmates’ ideas into a journal.
  • Another idea is to have your students work with partners or small groups and come up with a list of 5-10 possible things that might have happened just before the picture was snapped.
  • If you want to extend the lesson, you can ask students to choose one of their ideas and write a story about it.

What ideas do you have?

The suggestions above are just a handful of my own ideas, but like I said, this prompt is open-ended. Do you have any other suggestions on how to use this prompt in class? Please join the conversation and share your thoughts in the comment box at the bottom of the page.

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One thought on “The Moment Before… – A Picture Prompt

  1. I absolutely love this idea and have used it on several ocassions myself. Teaching “just” this way has been super effective and really helped my students understand the concept. I’ve also used it to practice the language of speculation with students who were preparing for Cambridge exams (FCE and CAE). It’s great how appropriate visuals allow student creativy and make the target language flow more naturally. Thank you for sharing!
    Gosia

    Like

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