Guest Blogger: Hank Kellner

Photos and Keywords Can Stimulate Your Students’ Imaginations 

When you and your students create keywords related to photographs, the possibilities for writing interesting poetry and/or prose are greatly enhanced.

For example, if you show the photo of an arrow painted on a macadam surface to students at almost any level and ask them to cite words that come to mind, they are sure to respond eagerly. Here are just a few keywords related to the photo shown above: (a) forward, (b) direction, (c) traffic, (d) pointing, (e) street, (f) flat, (g) angular, (h), arrow, (i), sign, (j), smudged), and (k) road.

Using the keywords they've cited, most students should be able to develop interesting written works. But for those who need even more prompting, a possible opening line is sure to work, as in “When Cody saw the sign in his headlights, he knew . . .” or “Because Angelica wasn’t sure what direction to take . . .”

You are free to download this photo for use in your classroom to use as a poem or story starter. And if it succeeds in helping you or your students write a poem, I would love to hear from you. You can contact me at hankpix@gmail.com.

For more photos and ideas for writing prompts you can use in your classroom, check out my book, Write What You See: 99 Photos to Inspire Writing from Prufrock Press

 

This blog entry was contributed by Hank Kellner, the author of Write What You See: 99 Photos to Inspire Writing. It originally appeared on his blog, English Education. Hank is a veteran of the Korean War and a retired educator who has served as an English Department supervisor and adjunct associate professor of English at the community college level.