I’m a big proponent of the Picture Word Inductive Model as a strategy for English Language Learners to develop reading and writing skills (I describe it in detail in this month’s ASCD Educational Leadership in my article, Get Organized Around Assets). It begins with the teacher labeling items in thematic photos with the help of students.

The webtool Thinglink could be a great deal to help ELL’s maximize the advantages of this instructional strategy.

I had tried out Thinglink when it first came out, but, for some reason, didn’t think it was particularly useful at the time. I really can’t remember why — perhaps because there might have been a cost involved at first?

But a post about it in Richard Byrne’s blog today prompted me to take a second look.

Thinglink lets you upload or grab an image or video off the web and annotate items with the image or video super-easily. It basically looks like a photo in the Picture Word Inductive Model, just online.

Richard wrote in his post about Thinglink’s recent announcement for educators and students that you can now annotate fifty images free, and the cost for far more is next-to-nothing.

Here’s an image I annotated in the PWIM style (you can embed images, too) Just put your cursor on the photo (if you’re reading this on an RSS Reader, you’ll have to click through to the actual blog post):

Students can pick photos online or upload ones that are reinforcing the theme we’re studying, and label the items. In fact, you can even choose to have your photos/videos be able to be annotated by others, too!

I’m definitely adding this to The Best Ways To Use Photos In Lessons.