Developing Vocabulary through Acting and Photography

My new “APPsession” is an app called WordFoto. Simply take a photo and choose 2-3 words that would be embedded in the entire photo. The photos look artistic and can be either shared or saved to your camera roll. The app is simple to use and opened to tons of possibilities!

Teaching vocabulary has always been a weakness of mine. This year, instead of isolating vocabulary words, we are developing our vocabulary by learning word parts (i.e. prefixes, suffixes, roots) and collecting groups of words. I’m hoping I can cover more words this way. Last week, we spent one lesson collecting words for these prefixes: “in-” and “im-“. The next day, my kids worked in partners to select one unknown word from the list and turn it into a WordFoto. Our school works closely with the Kennedy Center for the Arts to integrate the arts in classrooms. One art form we use often is acting, specifically in the form of tableaus. Tableaus are basically frozen pictures formed by your body to communicate an idea, a concept, or a story. They can create tableaus in groups or independently.

My students used their expertise in Tableaus to create powerful photos that would communicate to the reader what their word meant. We were also able to talk about lighting, angle, and background as we noticed that the photographs were not showing what we wanted them to show. Of course, you can adapt this to your kids’ needs.

Planning, revising, and analyzing their WordFotos is KEY. When they revise, they have to stretch their understanding of the word and possibly try other ways to use the word. Revising and analyzing their work during the process pushed my students to make changes such as their stance, their expression, the angle of the photo, and the words that describe the vocabulary word. The students WANTED to revise their photos and were so proud of their products. I’m pretty sure some of my students had to revise their WordFotos close to ten times. Before WordFotos, I could barely get my students to revise their writing pieces even once!

Student Work: look carefully to find the vocabulary word embedded in the photos

I regret that I didn’t take any pictures of their working process but here are a few final pieces. Aren’t they fabulous??!! I want the “illegible” one framed on a wall in my classroom. 🙂






Let us know how your students use WordFoto and look forward to future posts about WordFoto!