WordFoto: a picture is worth a thousand words!

meaningful words for meaningful moments
WordFoto is an app that allows you to take a picture and select words to become part of your photo.  I paid $1.99 for this app and quickly practiced how it worked by selecting two images from my camera roll.  A closer look at the photograph of Jacob would reveal that the words cute, sleepy, tired, and rested cover the image.  After doing this WordFoto, I started thinking how this could be used in the classroom.
Reading Workshop
As a teacher, I could have students snap a photo of an image and choose adjectives to describe their picture.  I could also have them take an action shot and select verbs to describe the photo.  During reading, students could draw a picture of a character they’re reading about and use traits to describe the person or animal.  
You can see Riley’s WordFoto below this paragraph.  She drew a picture of her favorite character, Merida, from the recent Pixar film, Brave.  She thought of words to describe Merida and used them to create this image.  As a teacher, I could allow her to use this as a scaffold to her writing and even conference with her to think of additional characteristics.  Together we might think to add traits such as being determined to describe Merida.  It also allows me to check her thinking.  Perhaps I’d ask her to explain how this character was forgiving since she chose to include this word in her image.  I also think these images would make a great cover for a project, addition to a portfolio, or work of art to display.
 2nd grade ex. using WordFoto to describe a character
Writing Workshop
I thought it might be a good idea to incorporate this into writing workshop.  During our personal narrative unit, students could take pictures of their face, hands, and feet to describe in detail what each part is doing or expressing.  For example, a student could snap a photograph of his or her hand and choose words such as reach, stretch, grasp, tingle, and squeeze to describe potential actions the hand may be doing (ie: As my hands tightly grasped the handlebars, my knuckles began to tingle and turn white).  This could help to cement a visual for young writers to include detailed actions that help paint a picture for their reader. 
During math, students could take photographs of geometric shapes and describe the attributes with carefully selected words.  There are several uses for this app – what are some creative ways you’ve thought to use this with your students?


Mother. Teacher. Keynote. Author

Erin Klein is an award winning educator, national keynote speaker, author, and mother.

  1. Thanks for this post Erin! I read the first paragraph and immediately thought (like you) of ways this app could be used to teach language arts. I love all of the ideas you mentioned and I will definitely share this post with teachers in my district. As a science teacher, I could this app in many ways. I could have my students create a picture of cell organelle and use the words to describe its functions OR they could create a picture of an enzyme and think of words describing the reactions it catalyzes. So cool!

  2. I have had this app for a while and love it for personal use. I never thought to use it in the classroom so I am loving this post! I will give it a try in the ways which you have mentioned. I love trying new things with technology so this makes me excited!
    Modern Kindergarten

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