Teaching Dialogue with Picture Prompts

I recently saw a {post by Jivey} in which she shared an activity where her students wrote a caption for high-interest pictures. Since we were working on writing dialogue, I thought that I could tweak it a bit!

First, I showed them the pictures that would be the topic of the dialogue.

Then we brainstormed a list of words that we could use instead of "said" for each picture. For one with bears, they suggested roared, slurped, yelped, and gulped. For the puppies, barked, whimpered, growled. They didn't have to stick to these words, but I told them that I shouldn't see "said" more than once.

Then I passed out paper to make a four-flap foldable. They were to write what one person/animal said on the flap, then another person's/animal's response under the flap.

I posted the pictures around the room and called students (to avoid a huge rush) to go by the one they wanted to do. I gave them about ten minutes to work on the dialogue.

After the ten minutes, we came back and shared our dialogues.

"This is what happens when you mimic us," tweeted the bird on top.
"I'm sorry. I take it back!" squawked the dangling bird.
"Hmm... let me think about it," chirped the bird on top.
"No time to think, just help!" commanded the falling bird.
"Should we help him?" asked the bird on top.
"Please, just hold out a talon," murmured the falling bird.
"Learn how to fly," stammered the bird on top.
"Great idea!" panted the dangling bird.

On a side note, we have a LOT of work to do on spelling and punctuation, but they had really great ideas :) You can find links to these pictures and several others that I used for this activity on my Pinterest board below. 

Click to visit my board!


  1. What a great lesson! I can't wait to try this with my students. Thanks for the idea!

  2. I love your picture selection and your idea! We have talked more than once about using different words for "said", and this will be a fun practice! Thank you!

  3. This is great! I loved reading some of your favorites...I KNOW my students would enjoy this activity, too. Thanks for passing it along!
    Crafting Connections

  4. I love this! I will definitely incorporate some of these pictures when we talk about dialogue. Thank you for sharing these.

    Have a great week!

    Fit to be Fourth
    Follow me on Bloglovin

  5. LOVE this. Thanks for sharing the pinterest board. I'm definitely swiping some of your pics!

    Adventures in Multigrade

  6. I do something similar to this when I teach dialogue, but I LOVE how you made it interactive with the foldable. I will definitely have to do this!

  7. Great idea! I've just used picture prompts to write stories or captions. I'm adding this idea and will probably use it this week with my fivers. We've been working with dialog in our mentor sentences and this would make a nice addition. I've got some great picture prompts collected on Pinterest also. You might find a few there that you haven't seen yet.


  8. I love this idea for dialogue. I have't updated it in awhile, but I also have a pinterest board with pictures as writing inspiration.

    ~April Walker
    The Idea Backpack

  9. Great idea! Following that board! I use pictures for writing too-for quickwrites. Thanks for sharing a great idea! (Can you open Pinterest at school?)
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  10. Super great idea for working on dialogue! I love that it's a small conversational blurb rather than a whole story. That takes part of the intimidation factor away from the kids. A great way to learn!

  11. PERFECT for teaching dialogue. And I love, love, love how they didn't write "said" after every quotation!! Awesome word choices!!
    :) Erin
    I'm Lovin Lit

  12. This is really great idea for teaching dialogue writing

  13. What a great idea! I plan to do this next week with a little bit of tweaking for my population, but otherwise....awesome!


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