Introduction to ‘Picture Prompts’

Introduction to ‘Picture Prompts’

Besides written articles, The Times also offers a rich collection of visuals — photos, illustrations, graphics, GIFs and short videos — that are accessible to learners of all levels. Since 2016, we’ve been featuring these images in our daily Picture Prompts.

These accessible, image-driven prompts include both photographs and illustrations, and invite a variety of kinds of writing. Each links to a related Times article, but all students need to start writing is the image itself and the short, simple language we use to introduce it.

Teachers tell us they use these prompts in all kinds of ways. Some use them to encourage students to develop a daily writing habit. Others use them as an exercise to practice inferences, spark discussion or support reading. One elementary school music teacher told us how her class used the visuals as inspiration for writing short stories accompanied by music.