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  Picture Inspired Communication



PicLits is a great Web 2.0 tool for teaching creative writing. It provides attention-grabbing images and word banks for writing a caption, a short paragraph or poem. Word lists are categorized by nouns, adjectives, adverbs, verbs, and a universal list.

Users can comment on others’ work and rate work using the star rating feature. All work is public.

You do not have to have an account to use the site; however, to save your work you must register for an account. An email account is required to set up an account.

Adding Text. There are two ways to add text to the images. One is to simply “click and drag” words from the word bank onto the image. The drop-down menu beside each word lets you capitalize the word or use a different form of the word. A different word list comes with each image.

The second way is to click on the “Freestyle” link that allows you to use your own words.

Finished work can be emailed or the provided code can be copied and pasted into a blog or other website.

21st Century Skills

Whether writing phrases, sentences, paragraphs or poems, this Web 2.0 teaching tool helps students think creatively and critically about their writing.

In the Classroom

Explore the site’s “LEARN IT” section for lesson plan ideas beginning with writing simple sentences and advancing to writing poetry.

  • PicLits can be used to introduce poetry and for teaching creative writing units.
  • Teachers can choose an image to use for a collaborative class writing assignment utilizing an interactive whiteboard. Students can discuss word choice, vocabulary, or figures of speech.
  • The PicLit images can be used as prompts for journal or blog writing.
  • The images and accompanying word banks provide visual and vocabulary support for ESL students and reluctant writers.
  • Science classes can use the nature photos to write about curriculum topics.
  • Images can be used to practice math problems or write math sentences.

Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Mathematics - Use PicLits real-world images to help conceptualize a problem and practice math skills.

  • K.CC Count and Cardinality - Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality
  • K.G Geometry - Identify and describe shapes (squares, circles, triangles, rectangles, hexagons, cubes, cones, cylinders, and spheres).
  • 6.G Geometry - Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, surface area, and volume.

English Language Arts - Use PicLits real-world images to inspire and motivate students in developing ELA skills.

Writing Standards-

  • W.K.6 With guidance and support from adults, explore a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.
  • W.8.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce
    and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas efficiently as well as to interact and collaborate with others.

Language Standards-

  • L.K.5 Demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
  • L.8.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language,
    word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

Safety Concerns

Remind students not to identify themselves with their full first and last names or with any other personal information when posting their work online.

To save work you must create an register for an account which requires an email address. Students can use an email service such as to alleviate the student email problem. See the Helpful Tools page for more information about Mailcatch.

The site’s gallery and comment features are unmoderated. Be aware that all work created on the site is public.

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