Technologically and linguistically adventurous EFL teacher, trainer, writer and manager

Day-to-day photos

Thanks to Fiona Mauchline’s At the deep end and Paul Braddock’s Mobile Storytime, I’ve just had a roomful of engaged and motivated learners for a whole two hours.

I teach this Elementary group for four hours every day (9-11 and 1-3). We’re doing a lot of pronunciation work in the first session, so I’m trying to do speaking in the second class to put the pronunciation into practice. Yesterday I set them the task of taking five pictures on the way home or on the way to school this morning (checking they all had cameras of some variety first!).

I did the same thing, printed the photos and stuck them around the room to start the lesson. Here they are:

First, I elicited ‘wh-‘ questions on the board. We looked at one photo and they asked me some questions about it. Then they walked around the room in small groups discussing what they could say. To finish this stage, I elicited their thoughts and told them why I chose to take each picture, as well as giving them any vocabulary they needed. We also added extra things to talk about on the board (e.g. feelings, opinions).

In small groups, students showed their photos to each other and asked and answered questions. Each student then chose their ‘best’ or ‘favourite’ photo from their set.

I placed a piece of scrap paper with ‘Questions for [X]’ on each desk and students put their photo on display. Students circulated and wrote questions based on the photos and their earlier discussions e.g. ‘When did you take this photo?’ As the students are elementary, there were obviously some problems with question formation, so the next step was for students to check the grammar and make sure the questions were ‘perfect’.

Next they wrote a short paragraph answering all the questions in continuous prose, before correcting each other’s work, with me underlining some things if students were insistent that they had finished 😉

This lesson has highlighted a couple of areas of grammar which require further work, so next week I plan to focus on question formation and there is/are, as well as doing some revision of irregular verb forms.

Thanks very much Fiona and Paul!

Comments on: "Day-to-day photos" (8)

  1. Sandy,
    What a nice lesson. I’m sure the kids loved discussing the photos they took. Such great language practice. I’m glad you wrote about it!



  2. I love your use of the cameras here! I just read the book “Visual Impact Visual Teaching” and the author, Timothy gangwer really explores how far you can go with such ideas! A camera seems to be a powerful tool to bring into the classroom!

    I’m eager to try a similar idea ( I find your site sooo practical!). All my students have cell phones with cameras but printing is a problem. Do you think your plan would work as well with students just showing each other the photos on their phones?


    • Hi Naomi,
      The only printed photos were mine. The rest of the students showed their photos using their phones and cameras, so it should definitely work. They also enjoyed showing each other their other photos. Let me know how it goes!


  3. […] Take photos on way home, then do lesson based on it, like so: (@sandymillin) […]


  4. […] Day-to-day photos A lovely activity particularly for the start of a new term. Thanks to Sandy Millin who, in turn, says…Thanks to Fiona Mauchline's At the deep end and Paul Braddock's Mobile Storytime, I've just had a roomful of engaged and motivated learners for a whole two hours.I teach this Elementary group … Source: […]


  5. I love it Sandy! Great idea for personalized interactions among students.


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