How to use photographs for French speaking and writing activities

 How to use photographs for French speaking and writing activities


Speaking and writing activities are an important part of any French teacher’s curriculum. One great way to add some variety to your French speaking activities is to use photographs as prompts in speaking activities and writing activities with your students. Here are some suggestions of how you can incorporate photographs into your speaking and writing activities with your French-speaking students. Read on to find out more!


Where to find photos

Finding high-quality images can be done in a number of ways. You could use Google Images, Pixabay or Canva to find photographs that are free to use. Alternatively, you could ask your students to take pictures of themselves or their surroundings in class.


Have students describe the image in French

A simple activity that can be done with any age group, if to have students brainstorm based on the photograph. Provide them with categories to help them focus their vocabulary on nouns, verbs or adjectives. 


You can also try the Photo Du Jour routine to develop vocabulary daily. In this activity, students are presented with unique photos and asked to record their observations and emotional response to the photo. There are also opportunities to indicate any questions they may have. Students list relevant vocabulary that describes the photo by categorizing words by parts of speech. Finally, students write a descriptive sentence to communicate the subject of the photo.


Have students write a story about the image in French

Using photos with French language learners can be enormously effective in helping them learn vocabulary words and how to use them. As a class, generate a vocabulary list of words to include in a short story or paragraph and have your students use their creativity to image what might be happening in the photograph.


Alternatively, you can use this resource which features 11 illustrated scenes to prompt creative writing in French class. Each page contains 5 relevant French vocabulary words to include when writing and an editing checklist.

illustrated writing prompts with vocabulary lists


Use the image as a starting point for a class discussion in French

Use these pictures and prompts for French speaking or writing practice. Included are 20 pictures each with 4 unique prompts. You can choose to print and cut the pictures and prompts cards out for small group, or individual use or display them on a device for whole-class use. They make a great class warm-up activity! Display a picture at the beginning of class. Have students respond to prompts orally or in writing.


For conversation practice, have students ask and answer questions in pairs – one student asks the question and the other responds. For writing practice, have students use the writing response template or write responses on loose leaf or index cards.

Photos and speaking/writing prompts for French class





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