Picture This

Writing Lesson Plan

Students will put words to A Boy, A Dog, and A Frog , a wordless story by Mercer Mayer.

A Boy, A Dog, and A Frog by Mercer Mayer; paper; pencil


  1. Ask your students if they can explain the following saying: "A picture is worth a thousand words." Discuss explanations with the class
  2. Share the book with your class.
  3. Pose the following questions:
    • Did you understand this story even though there were no words?
    • Did it make it better or worse?
    • Would words have helped, or were the pictures sufficient?
    • What if there were only words, and not pictures—would the story have the same effect/ feeling?
  4. Tell the class that they are going to put words to the pictures. Discuss how their words need to stand alone as a story just as the pictures stand alone as a story. The idea is to paint this story with words rather than pictures.
  5. Have students brainstorm things to include, such as setting, plot, descriptive words, names, expressions, dialogue, background noise, the five senses, emotions, etc.
  6. Have them write their stories and share them with each other. This part of the activity should be extended to use the Writing Process so students have a chance to reflect on their writing and revise.

Critically evaluate your stories: Were you able to paint a picture with your words? How so? If not, why? What was difficult/easy? Do you think it is easier/harder to tell a story with pictures or words? What kinds of things did you add to your story to help make a picture in the mind of the reader? Have another class read these stories and draw what they see. This will help students to see if their stories were able to paint the picture.

Read students' reflections on this activity. What did they seem to learn about telling a story? Were the stories logical and descriptive? Were students able to give suggestions for writing a good, descriptive story?

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