Website Wednesday: National Geographic’s Photo of the Day

Photograph by Clayton Harper, National Geographic Your Shot

by Kristie Burk

Pictures-of-the-day are cool.  Anyone at East who gets Ben Mountz’s picture-of-the-week on Fridays can attest to that!

I love today’s website because it is one of the few sites that truly could be used with our kindergarteners all the way up to our seniors. It’s called National Geographic Photo of the Day.

There are so many great things that teachers can do with the pictures on this site.  They can ask students to

  • “Brainstorm twenty words related to [the] picture, then put those words into categories and add new ones that fit those categories,” writes Larry Ferlazzo in the New York Times about using the picture induction method with ELL students.
  • Develop a list of questions about the image.
  • Let the picture prompt ideas for journal or story writing.
  • Compose a song that matches the photo.
  • Discuss the artistic qualities of the image.
  • Apply the photography rule of thirds to the picture.
  • Explain the science behind the picture.
  • Explain the picture with as many details as possible to a partner who has not seen the picture. Students can see “how close” they come.
  • Apply their vocabulary words to the picture.
  • Use the photograph to teach parts of speech. For example, how many adjectives can the students use to explain the picture?
  • Write clever captions for the photo.

If you’re interested, here are 21 more ways to use photos in the classroom.


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