The Comedy Wildlife photos in pictures

This is a beautiful series of images for character descriptions or narratives. I used the colourful lizard as motivation in a Grade 3 lesson at Middlemount School last week. We collected notes about what it looks like and its actions on a T chart first and then wrote descriptions.


Zev Hooper shed

Victoria Hutchinson (Mt Roskill Primary) used this series of pictures for a character description. The students described their own 'little man'. The students loved it and produced some exciting and original descriptions. 2014


The hole in the fence

Many teachers have recommended Pobble 365 to us. A new image and lesson idea is shared every day. You can also go back and search for other images.
This image could be used for a Quick Write (page 100, The Writing Book) around the question, 'What can he see on the other side of the fence?'



This is another Pobble 365 resource that will stimulate some interesting discussion and imaginative writing.


Green woodpecker and weasel - Jason Ward on Twitter

Could you use this image in your writing? It could work for lots of different writing purposes:

  • narrative
  • recount
  • description
  • poetry.


Baby elephant rescued from a muddy ditch

In 2014, Louise used these images with a Year 2 class at Gladstone Primary in Auckland. The students talked about the first four images and practised saying their sentences. They also acted out the story in sequence.


Tiny dragon

Here's an unusual image from The Literacy Shed collection. Use the question prompts alongside the image as motivation for writing. Alternatively, you could give students a sentence starter, like:

As I stretched out on the warm grass, I felt a tickle on my fingertips ...

Students could then use the sentence starter to describe the dragon or make up a narrative about you and the dragon.


16 children, 16 photos

These stunning and interactive images will stimulate a lot of discussion among older students. They could be used to practise reading strategies. For example, predict the setting or infer about the character from their expression, clothing and possessions. In writing, they could be used as motivation for:

  • descriptions (character and setting) 
  • A moment in time (page 100, The Writing Book)
  • narrative writing.


Five lions take down a giraffe

Louise used this BBC nature video to support a group of Year 3 students to generate a recount by writing and ordering sentences. The students enjoyed the clip and wrote some good descriptive sentences. The students published the stories in Shutter books (page 211, The Writing Book).


Pygmy seahorses: masters of vibrantly-colored coral camouflage

We share this video at our workshops. We first found it on 'The Kid Should See This' website. It is a great motivation for a report about pygmy seahorses or explanation about how they grow.


What blue tits are really saying

This is a cute video. Could the students write another script about what they think is happening? Or could they write a script to go with another animal video/photo?


Baby bird gets help from an unlikely friend

Students could watch this video, then:

  • report on the event
  • retell the event
  • innovate on the idea and write about an animal helping a smaller animal.


Peacock spiderman

This is an engaging video. Students could write a report or a description of the peacock spiders.


Newport Beach, California

This is a beautiful clip for a writing lesson. Students could:

  • describe the whale moving through the water
  • imagine they are on the boat and write a recount
  • write a news report about the event.


Penguin migrates each year to be reunited with the man who saved its life

This is a lovely story to share during reading time. The kids could then write a recount of the story or make up a similar story about a character rescuing an animal.


Giant pandas create trouble as staff cleans their house

This is a hilarious video. Students could:

  • write a report about the event
  • describe a short section of the video
  • write from the panda's perspective
  • write from the zookeeper's perspective.


Kiwi ingenuity saves endangered turtles 
This is a great story to share with kids. Thanks to the Green Party for sharing. It could be used for shared or guided reading. If you have tried the To explain lesson (page 170, The Writing Book), this could be a follow-up writing task.
Writing ideas:

  • Write a report/blog
  • Explain why it was difficult for the baby turtles to get to the ocean
  • Explain how the traps have helped the turtles get to the sea
  • Explain why humans need to help the turtles
  • Write a recount from the turtles' perspective
  • Describe the setting/turtle.


Underwater Photographer of the Year 2015 winners – in pictures

Another series of beautiful photos shared by the Guardian.


Animals in small spaces

Could the students write about their pet climbing into strange and small places?

Younger students could also read Eve Sutton's book My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes. Here's a YouTube clip of the story.

Related resources

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