Using the Picture Word Inductive Model with English Language Learners



Emily Calhoun (1998) developed the Picture Word Inductive Model based on strategies for language acquisition. It uses pictures containing familiar objects, actions and scenes to draw out words from children’s listening and speaking vocabularies. This model helps students add words to their reading vocabulary, as well as their writing vocabulary, and also discover phonetic and structural patterns present in those words. This strategy is very effective with students who are learning English or that are struggling readers and writers.


The instructional sequence is presented in a predictable way each time you use this strategy. I have modified it a bit to work with my students:

First, we observe the picture using the I see, I think, I wonder strategy. This can be done orally or with a graphic organizer:

I usually put the picture on chart paper. Then we label the nouns in the picture, and write adjectives and verbs about the picture. Then finally students use those words to write sentences about the picture.
I also have students follow along on their own paper with the picture at the top:

I have a fantastic resource that puts it altogether for you! There are whole page photos, student copies and graphic organizers!

















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