How This Strategy Supports Language Development
Emerging level students benefit from explicit use of visuals to support their comprehension and language acquisition around a specific topic. The PWIM explicitly and systematically teaches essential nouns, verbs, details, grammatical structures, and vocabulary words associated with a topic using a single visual. The strategy can be used in any content area to support emerging level students as they develop academic language and content.
- Choose a highly detailed image that teaches a concept.
- Share the picture with the class on a large screen.
- Write the name of the noun on the image in one color and draw a line from annotation to that particular noun.
- Then write the verb for this noun in another color.
- Complete the sentence with the details of that noun in a different color.
- Repeat this process for the rest of the nouns in the image.
- Ask students to tell their partner about the picture using the annotated image.
- Ask students to write about the picture using the annotated visual.
- Limit the number of sentences per image to only the most essential as this process can take a long time.
- Provide students with their own image so they can also write the sentences as the teacher models.
- Ask students to contribute ideas for vocabulary and sentences during the annotation process.
- Have students orally practice the sentences with a partner throughout the process.
- Use pictures for review regularly.
- As students gain more vocabulary and sentence structures, have them contribute more ideas for each sentence and eventually create their own PWIM.
- Pair this process with a Sentence Pattern Chart.
This process is designed for entering and emerging level students. Additional differentiation ideas include the following:
- Write words and sentences in the students’ heritage language in addition to English.
- Encourage students who are literate in their heritage language to write words and sentences in their heritage languages.
You can also add a Sentence Pattern Chart at the bottom of the picture to make the patterns written in the colored-coded sentences more explicit.
Content or Grade-Level Teacher
- Choose the detailed image that captures key concepts for the grade-level lesson.
- Share key vocabulary with the ELD teacher.
- If the concept is a process, number the annotations so students see the sequence in the process.
English Language Development Teacher
- Use PWIM with small groups of beginning level students before the content lesson to build background knowledge and vocabulary.
- Encourage beginning level students to use their PWIM pictures during the grade-level class as a support.
- Add heritage language words to the PWIM.
- For students at the Developing phase of proficiency, provide the image and have students work together to add the sentences.
- For the students on the Expanding phase of proficiency, have them write the annotations for the image. Then write a one-paragraph summary that includes transitions (provided in a word bank).
|Topic||Sample PWIM images|
|At the Beach|
|Visiting Niagara Falls|
Image credit: Photo by Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for EDUimages
|Math Class: Geometric Shapes|
Shaman, S. (2014). "Using the Picture Word Inductive Model (PWIM) to Teach English Vocabulary." ORTESOL Journal, volume 31. Retrieved from: https://ortesol.wildapricot.org/resources/Documents/Publications/Journals/2014/Using%20the%20Picture%20Word%20Inductive%20Model%20(PWIM)%20to%20Teach%20English%20Vocabulary%20(49).pdf