Learning To Use Picture Cues When Reading

19 March 2016 / Leave a Comment
One of the first strategies that students learn to use when they encounter an unknown word is to look at the supporting picture. Here are 3 tips for teaching students to tune in to visual cues.

Using picture cues to decode unknown words

Do you have students who don't know what to do when they come to an unknown word? In my class, my students need explicit instruction on using picture cues. Today I am sharing 3 ideas that have been successful in my classroom. 

Matching sentences to Pictures

To help students realize that the pictures and sentences connect, we do different centers where students match sentences or phrases to the corresponding picture.

match the sentences with the correct picture

You could also have students match pictures to the correct word in a poem or rhyme. In this picture, we are matching pictures to words in our poem.

match pictures to the words in poetry or rhymes

Use Interactive Books To Bring Attention To Pictures

Have you tried interactive books in your classroom yet? Interactive books are like GOLD in my classroom!! If you aren't familiar with interactive books, these are books that have picture pieces that match the page in the book. The whole purpose is to focus in on the pictures. Here is an example page from one of the books I use in my classroom:

To make the connection even more obvious, you can have the student point to the word(s) that match the picture. As I said, my students love these books and are so much more open to working on reading with them. Bonus...you can cover a lot of different concepts with these books. We use them for science, social studies, behavior management, math, etc. 

Write About Pictures

Making the text match the pictures is another great way to focus on the picture. One of the ways we do this in my classroom is through class scrapbooks. I take tons of pictures of my students engaged in different activities in the classroom. We then print them out and have the students write a sentence about the picture. 

The picture above is an example of the students writing about a science experiment that we did. I put each page in a binder (after inserting in a page protector) so that students can read it during free read or free time. Someone ALWAYS takes it to read! Bonus...it is really helpful for my struggling readers because they can draw on their memories of the experience as they read. Win!!

These 3 ideas can be used with a variety of resources. Here are links to the materials I used: interactive books, picture matching, classroom scrapbook.  

I hope these ideas have been helpful. Do you have a favorite way to work on using picture clues? Please write it in the comments so we can all learn!


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