Liz Orton / Queens Park Community School / Visual Literacy activities

Activity: One Image One Word

one image one word

This is an activity developed by Liz Orton for Queens Park Community School.

One Image One Word

I prepared a slideshow of images to show on the white board.  Many of these were quite rich in potential narrative or on a large scale: photographers like Jeff Wall, Gregory Crewdson, Alex Webb, Andreas Gursky and Philip Lorca diCorcia. Each time I showed them an image I asked to respond with a word, using different questions. Some examples of the questions are are below. I explained that there are no wrong or right answers, and that often it’s good to write the first thing down that comes into your head. I didnt ask them to put their names on their sheets. This is an activity that can be done relatively quickly. It helps build pupil confidence in responding to images they haven’t seen before. Afterwards I collected their answer sheets and put the words for each individual picture in Wordle. This showed graphically when pupils had used the same words (text is larger) for an image and when they had all used different words. I then displayed the words and pictures together to think about:

– how some pictures generated very similar responses from pupils, and others a wider variety of responses.

– to show how we view pictures differently when we see them with words.

i. the first word that comes into your head when you see the image.

ii. any word to describe this image.

iii. a small detail you can see in the picture

iv. a word to describe how the girl might be feeling

v. an important element in the picture

vi. what would you say is the subject of this picture?

vii. what shapes are important in this picture

vii.  word which describes the atmosphere or mood of this the picture

viii.  noise/sound that you might hear if the picture could make a noise the picture makes you feel

x. anything you remember from the first picture i showed you.


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