K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

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Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • make predictions - tell what happened before and what will happen next.
  • answer “W” questions about a picture.
  • write a newspaper style description of their picture answering the “W” questions.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

2 hours


  • tape
  • scissors
  • poster board
  • laminator (optional)
  • large teacher made question mark with interchangeable dots with what, when, where, and why written on them as a visual (see attachment)
  • interesting pictures from magazines and/or newspapers
  • construction paper
  • sentence strips (optional)
  • markers
  • 11×14 paper with space to glue picture for each student

Technology resources

  • computer (optional)
  • writing process program (optional)


  • Glue pictures on construction paper and laminate for future use.
  • Make large question mark and dots with question words (See attachment for sample).
  • Cut out large question mark and dots with question words.
  • Glue question mark on poster board. Laminate question mark and dot words.
  • Attach tape to back of dot words. Place words around question mark.
  • Students will need some previous experience with sequencing and predicting what will happen next.
  • The teacher will read a short newspaper article. (You can create your own brief article about the class or about a picture to model how a newspaper article answers the “W” questions.)


  1. Show students a picture and ask questions such as, “What do you think is happening in the picture?” “What would be in a picture that came before this picture?” “What would happen next?” Discuss several pictures. Elicit responses from class.
  2. The next day, give each student a new picture.
  3. Have the students glue the picture at top in the middle of a sheet of paper (11×14) turned sideways. You can have them fold it in three sections for each sentence and/or picture.
  4. Then have student draw and/or write a picture and a sentence for before, and a sentence for glued in picture and a picture and/or sentence for what would happen next.
  5. Have students share their work.
  6. On another day, show the question mark and dot “W” questions. Move the appropriate dot word under question mark as you ask each question. For example, “Who is the picture about?” Have the students answer questions about several new pictures. Model writing an article about the picture.
  7. Give each student a new picture or use pictures from previous lesson.
  8. Have students create their own articles about their pictures by answering the “W” questions. You can have the students type it on a writing program and edit.
  9. Create a class newspaper by attaching pictures to typed stories and put together a class book.


  • Student can orally predict what happened before what is pictured, what is happening in the picture, and what will happen next.
  • Student can orally answer “W” questions about picture.
  • Student successfully writes and/or draws before, now, and next responses to picture.
  • Student successfully writes sentences that answer questions about picture to include in class book.

Supplemental information


If you want to do this at higher level, you can write a sentence on a sentence strip and elicit responses for what would happen before and what would happen after and write them on sentence strips. Then you can give each child or group a sentence and have them create before and next sentences.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • English Language Arts (2010)
      • Writing

        • Grade 1
          • 1.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 1

  • Goal 2: The learner will develop and apply strategies and skills to comprehend text that is read, heard, and viewed.
    • Objective 2.07: Respond and elaborate in answering what, when, where, and how questions.
  • Goal 3: The learner will make connections through the use of oral language, written language, and media and technology.
    • Objective 3.01: Elaborate on how information and events connect to life experiences.
  • Goal 4: The learner will apply strategies and skills to create oral, written, and visual texts.
    • Objective 4.06: Compose a variety of products (e.g., stories, journal entries, letters, response logs, simple poems, oral retellings).