Lesson plan

Picture Clues

Young students often struggle to see the small details in a bigger picture. Help their reading and observation skills with this interactive lesson!
Need extra help for EL students? Try thePredicting PicturesPre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try thePredicting PicturesPre-lesson.

Students will be able to use picture clues to determine words in texts.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
Find the Hidden Objects
  • Call students together.
  • Pass out a copy of Find the Hidden Objects to each student. Review the objects on the top of the page to prevent any confusion and have students work alone or in partners to complete it. (If students finish early, they can colour in the worksheet.)
  • Once students are done, come together as a whole group to make sure that everyone was able to find all of the items. Explain to students that today they will be using pictures to read stories.
(5 minutes)
  • Read Pete the Cat: I Love My White ShoesBy Eric Litwin. As the story is being read, encourage students to use the pictures to anticipate words as well as joining along in the repetitive wording of the text.
  • Congratulate students on being able to anticipate the author’s words.
(10 minutes)
  • Pass out a copy of the same AA reader to each student. Think aloud to demonstrate how to read the first few pages using the pictures as a support.
  • Break students into small groups and have them attempt to finish reading the story. Once students have finished the story, come back together to read it as a whole group and check for accuracy.
  • Pass out another story to students and break them into partners.
  • Before sending students off to read this book, remind them of any independent work rules (i.e., only speaking in a whisper, raising hands for needs, etc.) and check to make sure that no one has any questions about what they will be doing.
(10 minutes)
  • While students are working, any adults in the room should be circulating, answering questions, and assessing student abilities to read and decode words using the pictures in the text.
  • If students finish early, it can be helpful to have more levelled readers available, so they can try another text. They can also colour in the pictures of the first levelled reader.


  • Carefully selected partnerships can help to scaffold this activity.
  • Offer the online Education.com versions of the levelled readers when possible so students can follow along as a text is read and check their accuracy. The online versions can be used to differentiate the task in numerous ways.


  • For students needing a greater challenge, higher level texts can be used.
(5 minutes)
  • Take anecdotal notes about student conversations and thought processes in completing the activities. These can be used to make determinations about what students know.
  • Student accuracy in identifying words based off of the pictures should be noted.
(10 minutes)
  • Call students back together.
  • Read The Napping HouseBy Audrey Wood and have different students anticipate wording based on the pictures.
  • Prompt students to talk through how they determined what word would be in the text.
  • Encourage students that they can use this new skill of using pictures to figure out words to help them read new books!

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