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PicLits - PicLits.com

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The title says it all: "Inspired Picture Writing!" Use this free drag and drop literacy tool to create great sentences inspired by beautiful pictures. Alternatively, add inspirational...more
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The title says it all: "Inspired Picture Writing!" Use this free drag and drop literacy tool to create great sentences inspired by beautiful pictures. Alternatively, add inspirational or humorous captions to pictures. "Lesson Plans" provides learning opportunities and examples for creating captions, compound sentences, or paragraphs. Video tutorials can be found under the FAQs tab. "Explore the Gallery" to see already-created PicLits as well as comments and ratings. After selecting a picture (or using the one they provide) and dragging a word onto the screen, choose different forms of the word by using the drop-down menu next to the word. Move your words anywhere on the screen for creative writing. You can also click "freestyle" instead to type in your own words instead of choosing from their list. Word lists change, depending on the image selected. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

Registering for a PicLits account requires the use of an email address. PicLits can be used without an account but you are unable to save or blog about their creation without an account. A class account can be created instead of individual student accounts. However, it does not show which work is attributable to which student. You may want to require that students initial their contributions in order to get credit. All work on the site can be seen without a login. All projects are public. NOTE: Our editors regret that PicLits occasionally allows advertising on their home page to include images that are not classroom-friendly. Teachers should preview to determine whether or not your students can ignore the ads.
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tag(s): creative writing (119), digital storytelling (144), images (257), sentences (22)

In the Classroom

Share a PicLit on your interactive whiteboard or with a projector at the start of a grammar or writing lesson to discuss word choice, figures of speech, or vocabulary. Use the visual picture prompt for journal or blog writing, allowing each student to compose a unique poem or haiku. Even science classes can write about concepts illustrated in the many nature photos. Emotional support teachers will love the chance to discuss feelings and how to describe facial expressions in the pictures. Make a collection of PicLits using a tool like 3 x 3 Links, reviewed here, for a curriculum topic. Modify classroom technology use by challenging students to create an online literary magazine using a tool such as BookRix, reviewed here. PicLits can be used for a variety of assignments in any classroom that is integrating technology as an enhancement. ENL students can create PicLits to learn new vocabulary. Have students create PicLits for special occasions and special people (mom, dad, grandparents, school nurse, or others). Use the embed code to place your creations on many other sites, including your class wiki or blogs. Share your PicLit by using a URL or code for an embedded widget.

You may want to create a word doc, Favorites folder, or other "collection" of the URLs to all your students' projects in one place for easy work at grading time. Some teachers use a class wiki or blog with links to all projects from there. A simpler alternative would be to use a bookmarking tool such as Raindrop.io, reviewed here. You may allow students to self-register, but be sure to keep a written record of their passwords for when they "forget." It may be worth your time to do advanced registration for your younger students or simply use a whole-class account.

To use PicLits you must be able to navigate tabs on sites, manage logins, and use URLs and embed codes to share results on websites and blogs. Play to learn the tools before or after joining. The FAQs tab also provides a short-and-sweet text explanation of the tools. Find these under the Video Tutorials.

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