I love using pictures in class, and I’ve been trying out some new activities recently with pictures. Here are two of the ideas I’ve been using:
“Find the Object” Pictures
Someone recently posted this picture online and challenged people to try to find the cat hidden in the picture:
If you can’t find it, you can see the answer here.
I decided to use it as a short warm-up activity during class. It took my students a while to find the cat, but they had fun looking for it. I admit that I usually get easily frustrated by these types of pictures and pretty much immediately give up and look at the answer…but my students were laughing a lot while searching and making their guesses.
I realized that this is one of those activities that might work better online than in a face-to-face class. In a face-to-face class, students could just point to the object in the picture. But since we’re online, I pulled up the picture on Zoom, and the students had to explain to me where they thought the cat was. (If you’re using Zoom, you can go into your settings and turn off the participants’ ability to annotate so they can’t just circle or make a mark on the picture.) It’s a good way to reinforce direction words and prepositions (e.g., on the right, on the left, behind the books, under the TV, etc.). If you have lower-level students, you will probably want to teach/review some of the direction words and prepositions ahead of time.
A few days later, I used this other “find the cat” picture:
You can find the answer here.
And there’s this “find the dog” picture:
I also used this “How many tigers can you find?” picture. (Hint: It’s a lot more than four!)
Find the Differences
“Find the Differences” is a fun activity when using two similar pictures. You can find a lot of these kinds of pictures if you just do a Google search for “find the differences pictures.” But I’ve mostly been using these pictures from the Getty Museum’s challenge. At the start of the pandemic, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles asked people to choose a piece of art and then re-create it in their own homes. Some of the results are pretty entertaining.
Here are just a couple:
Some of the pictures are better and easier to describe than others, so I haven’t been using all of them. But my students seem to like the pictures we’ve used, and they’ve learned some new vocabulary words from talking about what we see in the pictures.
I usually show my students the two versions side-by-side and then we make a list together of the differences we see between the two pictures. Sometimes I give them time to work individually to write a list of the differences on their own before we discuss it as a class. Of course, you could also have them work in pairs or small groups. If you want, you could even make it a contest to see who can write the most differences.
Happy teaching and happy Thanksgiving!