Using Photos to Inspire Writing

Reflect & Write: Using Poems and Photos to Inspire Writing

With Hank Kellner

Now more than ever, we must take advantage of students' increasing fascination with graphic images as opposed to written words. This series, based on Reflect and Write capitalizes on marrying dynamic images to original poems that were written by students at the junior and senior high school levels, teachers, and other writers nationwide. Each installation in this series contains key words and popular quotations to inspire critical thinking along with poems, photographs, and quotations to help stimulate spirited class discussion and provide prompts that will evoke meaningful writing by students.

Edvard Munch's, 'The Scream' paintingWhy Do People Respond So Enthusiastically to Graphic Images?

Photographs and other images are powerful aids to eliciting creative responses and inspiring writing. Features: Fish as Inspiration; Inspiration from the Masters: Edvard Munch's The Scream.

Dog on doorGraphic Images Surround Us

Thanks to the electronic revolution, graphic images surround us. No matter where you turn, a constant bombardment of posters, billboards, photographs, televised images, and more seems to assault your retinas. Features: Sometimes I Skate, Skateboarding; An Unknown Dog, The Dog with No Name.

Painting by MonetWriters Find Inspiration in Paintings by Claude Monet

Writers in all walks of life can find inspiration in paintings by the masters, but for teachers those masterpieces are especially valuable. Features: Look to the Masters, Impressions, A Bonanza for Teachers; Reflections on a Winter Painting.

Egg ShellsBlack and White Images Stimulate Discussion, Writing Creativity

Resourceful teachers know how to use simple black and white images as stimuli for discussion and the creation of written compositions. Features: Cracked Eggs, White on White; The Color of Sadness, The Absence of Color.

Baby shoesThe Power of the Visual Evokes Meaningful Writing

Two examples of poem-photo combinations representative of the power of poems and photos to inspire writing. Features: The Ties that Bind, Intimacy; Cold Hands — Warm Heart, A Snapshot Look.

Van GoghIsolation and Education: Two Themes that Inspire Writing

Paired with appropriate poems and images, quotations can help to inspire writings based on the themes of either isolation or education. Features: The Sounds of Lonely Lives, Solitary Meaning; Who Was That Masked Man?, Lone Ranger.

Summer StormsNature's Dynamic Forms in Poetry and Prose

Nature in all its forms provides unlimited opportunities for class discussion leading to the creation of poetry or prose. Features: Deafening Noise and Blinding Light, Summer Storms; Flower Power, Continuity.

Summer StormsWhere You're From

Poems and quotations about grandparents, neighborhoods, and origins can help to challenge students to explore their own genealogy in writing. Features: A Work in Progress, Where I'm From; Getting Back to Nature.

The Singing Bridge in Westport, ConnecticutCrossing Bridges

Writing in the first person, the poet personifies the bridge to establish connections between herself and the people around her. Features: The Bridge by Kym Sheehan and Bridge to Anywhere by Elizabeth V. Best.

The Singing Bridge in Westport, ConnecticutRap as Poetry

Rap is a form of poetry in which the words are spoken to the accompaniment of a set rhythm or beat. Features: Little Girl, Little Girl and Taunting Voices by Hillary Lockhart. Subjects: Bullying, Literacy.

Cookie MonsterHumor Inspires Writing

Inspire students to create written compositions by discussing works related to happiness, love, beauty, and humor. Features: A Salesman from Greer by Betty Bowman, Not Me! by Brian Guido, and The Pumpkin Sonnet by Cole Kim.

CherriesMetaphors Inspire Writing

Metaphors can symbolize reflective life, people, and place experiences that students will be eager to discuss and write about. Features: To life, well-lived and Grandmother by Mara Dukats.