EL Support Lesson

Reading Picture Clues

In this lesson, students will learn how to get information from pictures in texts. They will describe pictures with a partner and see if their descriptions match the words in the text. This lesson can be used alone or as a support lesson.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for theMaster DecodersLesson plan.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for theMaster DecodersLesson plan.

The lesson plan, Reading Picture Clues is geared towards year two EL learners and introduces young readers to using pictures as clues to help read a text. Using the sentence starter, "In the picture I see ..." children are able to come up with different ideas on how to interpret a picture. Being able to interpret pictures is a great way to build reading comprehension and improves vocabulary as they learn new words! These are essential skills for children to build to become proficient readers.


Students will be able to describe a picture in a text.


Students will be able to describe illustrations with grade level words using sentence frames for support.

(10 minutes)
Vocabulary Cards: Picture CluesGlossary: Picture CluesTeach Background Knowledge TemplateWrite Student-Facing Language Objectives Reference
  • Show students the front cover of a picture book, but don't tell them the title of the book.
  • Ask them to turn and talk to a partner about what they see on the cover. Have pairs come up with ideas of what they think the book might be called.
  • Call on pairs to share their ideas and explain why they chose the title they did.
(5 minutes)
  • Hand out the Vocabulary Cards to students. As you go over each word, have students locate the card for the word you are reviewing.
  • Tell students that a PictureCan be a painting or a drawing. Refer back to the picture you looked at in the introduction.
  • Explain that pictures can give Clues, or information, about a book. Pictures can also help us to read the words in a book.
  • Tell students that in this lesson they will Explain, or describe, the information they get from pictures.
  • Look at one of the pictures in the book you used in the introduction.
  • Think aloud about what you think the words on this page might say. Model how to write words on a note card to describe this picture.
  • Talk aloud about what you notice by using the following sentence frame: "In this picture I see ________."
  • Write the sentence frame on the board and explain how to use it.
  • Once you have written your sentence on the note card, read the words on the page.
  • Compare them to the words you came up with based on the picture.
(10 minutes)
  • Have students work in pairs to discuss the pictures in a book. Have students look at and discuss at least one page in the book. Instruct them to use the following sentence frame to come up with ideas about what the text might say: "In this picture I see ________."
  • Have students work together to write possible sentences on their note cards. Then have them read the text to see how close their sentences were to the sentences in the text.


  • Allow students to use sensory words in English or home language (L1).
  • Allow students to verbally create sentences (skip writing down on note cards).
  • Have students work in a teacher-led small group.


  • Encourage students to use descriptive details when completing their sentences.
  • Have students circle words that were the same in both their sentences and the book.
(2 minutes)
  • Ask students to answer the following questions with the corresponding sentence stems:
    • How can pictures give us information?
      • "Pictures can give us information by ________."
    • How can pictures help you figure out unknown words in a book?
      • "Pictures can help me figure out unknown words by________."
(3 minutes)
  • Have students share one of their sentences and the corresponding sentence from the text with the class.

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