Writing with picture prompts: 145 Picture Prompts to Inspire Student Writing

Posted on

Guide to Interpreting Picture Prompts

Ms Heni’s Guide to Interpreting Picture Prompts


Got a Picture? Not a Problem!

A guide to interpreting picture prompts and how to think outside of that box!

• Carefully read all the instructions first. This is very important as the task may state what kind of essay to write.
• Usually a creative response (but not always). A picture prompt does not always have to be a creative response so you could write an exposition or persuasive essay.
• There is no right or wrong way to respond but it is important to apply the prompt.

There are three ways in which you can respond to a picture prompt. They are:
Realistic: representing things in a way that is accurate and true to life
Futuristic: having or involving very modern technology or design
Abstract: existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence

By looking at the picture presented, think about what would take place in this location. Decide whether it would be best suited to a realistic, futuristic, or abstract response. What would be the most exciting thing that could happen in the picture?

Write about what happened just before the picture was taken.

Write about anything unexpected in the picture.

Think about what would happen if the picture was unfrozen. What would happen next?

Imagine what is happening outside the ‘frame’ and write about that!

The story could be told from the point of view of something in the picture such as a tree, phone, or statue. (Think of ‘Beauty and the Beast’! Many inanimate objects in this story have been personified.)

Decide who is taking the picture. Why are they taking the picture? What are they thinking about? Write a monologue of their thoughts.
Tip: Try to avoid writing about aliens, war, super-natural and monster themes in upper primary and secondary levels. This is especially important when writing exams. Try writing a mystery story instead!

Tip: Limit dialogue to 2-3 lines. You are not writing a play script and you do not want your essay to
be too dialogue heavy.

Tip: Structure your essay carefully and aim for a problem or climax in your essay earlier than later.

Other useful writing tips to keep in mind:
• Do not be scared to take a risk when writing. For example, thinking outside the box is
encouraged as assessors read the same things many times. Think about how your essay is
going to stand out from everyone else’s when you all have the same topic to respond to.

• You can apply the entire picture from the prompt or just part of it. Clever writers may add to
the existing picture and go beyond the prompt provided. (This does not mean you draw
additional pictures or doodle on the page but rather, apply your imagination and creativity
expanding on the prompt. Never draw pictures on your homework or exam paper.)

• Use the five senses where appropriate and aim to imply rather than tell the reader what is
happening at each point of the story. (These are: sight, taste, touch, hearing, and smell.)

• Emotions and feelings play a big part in storytelling and should be carefully considered. Aim
to connect the reader with your character/s and set up a care factor. For example, a character
we care about makes for a great read. Think about Harry Potter or other great characters you
may have read about. How do they make you feel? Would you have made the same choices
s/he did?

• Watch your tenses and try to be consistent. Your story may have a flashback or flashforward
scene or two. (Review Y4 Writing notes on flashback stories.) Stories may begin at the end
and via a flashback, may let the reader know how your character ended up where s/he did.

• A moral or a lesson taught or learned by a character is something you may wish to also
consider. Good story telling may have a message for the reader applied directly or indirectly
through the actions of your characters.

• It is not advised to write a poem as a response and diary entries should be carefully
considered. Aim to write a complete essay addressing the prompt to the best of your ability.

• Apply interesting expressions, phrases, and idioms. Clever language choices and vocabulary
will brighten your sentences and create vivid imagery in the reader’s mind.

• Metaphors and similes – check out this YouTube clip https://youtu.be/uoSBVNUO2LU
Happy writing!

10 Creative Writing Prompts – Pictures & Graphic Organizers – My Everyday Classroom

Have you been wanting to jazz up your writing activities?  I have just the thing: picture writing prompts.  Each prompt below targets a specific writing genre and is accompanied by a graphic organizer, which will help students in their writing process.  Using prompts is a great way to give students vivid imagery without giving them all the details.  You’ll be surprised to see the ideas that your students will come up with.

1. Attack of the Gummies!

This picture will definitely appeal to any kid and get their creative juices flowing!  Which kid wouldn’t be excited by the possibility of a faucet that provides endless candy. This would make a perfect writing prompt for a narrative story.  The graphic organizer allows students to sequence their stories.

(Taken from The Meta Pictures)(Taken from What The Teacher Wants)

2. Creative problem solving

This writing prompt will have students imagining a unique situation in which a mouse must get his cheese!  This will make for great procedural writing in the form of an instructional narrative paragraph. Your students can say things like “First, the mouse goes on a hunt to find some strong and sturdy string.  Second….”, etc.  This is bound to make paragraph writing a little more fun.

(Taken from Zendictive)(Taken from Ed Galaxy)

3. An Unlikely Merging

This picture is so wacky, your students will have their imaginations running wild!  It’s so unlikely to see this combination of features, so I think this would make for a great persuasive/opinion paragraph.  Your students can write a paragraph for or against an elephant with butterfly wings.  Their arguments will be hilarious!

(Taken from Write Shop)(Taken from Crazy For First Grade)

4. A Portal Discovered

A secret portal to another realm is a common story element.  With this photo writing prompt have your students imagine that they are going down those stairs.  Where does it lead them?  What do they encounter?  There are so many possibilities here.

(Taken from Jar of Elixer)(Taken from Crystals Classrooms)

5. An unlikely superhero

Ordinary squirrel by day, super squirrel by night!  This will make for some wonderful comic strip writing! Otherwise, you can have your students create a narrative.  I included this specific graphic organizer, because it had a comic book feel to it.

(Taken from Cottage in the Oaks)(Taken from Teachers Pay Teachers)

6. Students complete the picture writing prompt

I like this picture writing prompt because students first need to complete the prompt before they begin writing.  What is this boy catching? After they’ve completed the drawing the students can take some time developing the boy or the sea character they’ve created.

(Taken from Crekid.com)(Taken from Fun In First)

7. A New Land

This photo writing prompt has fairy tale written all over it.  What I love though, is that it doesn’t resemble any well known fairy tale.  This will leave the creativity to your students, and will be a great addition to a fairy tale writing unit.

(Taken from Super Sweet Second Grade)(Taken from Fun in First)

8. A character with a mind of its own

Character development is a key component to any good story.  Have your students work on character development with this unique little snowman.  They could either write the snowman as the character, or its builder.

(Taken from Mommy Shorts)(Taken from Teachers Pay Teachers)

9. Little people, with big jobs

Well, first of all, this picture is just so adorable it had to be included!  This picture would be great as a writing prompt for a newspaper article. Ask your students to provide the 5 Ws and then create a news article about what is happening with this little girl.

(Taken from Pinterest)(Taken from Teachers Pay Teachers)

10. A nature story

This little ladybug is being whisked away on an adventure. Have your students tell you the story of its journey in a narrative piece.

(Taken from Pinterest)(Taken from Teachers Pay Teachers)

Prompt your students with these pictures and spark their imagination!

Rollover in email: Interactive images in emails

Interactive content is any element of an email that requires the recipient to take an active action: click, hover, touch the smartphone screen, etc.

Every year the demand for such elements increases, but mailers are in no hurry to support the fantasies of senders and many of the interactive features still work only on the web. In turn, marketers do not give up, trying to use as many “wow blocks” as possible and explain to subscribers in letters: “If you want to see this letter interactive, click on the web version.” Is the game worth the candle if the recipient does not even bother to click on this link?

Ideas for using rollover in mailing lists

If you want to surprise your subscribers, we recommend using wow-chips that are sure to be displayed to subscribers. These include rollover (change image on hover), which is supported in almost many mailers.

Keep ideas of what interactive pictures can be used for.

Rollover in product cards:

On the websites of online clothing stores, it has long been possible to view goods closer due to the large number of photos, video reviews or animations. In a letter, two pictures will be enough to show how the product will look in real life or from a different viewing angle.

1.Select one product in the list

Often, changing pictures does not imply any action — this is a catchy element that can attract a subscriber, hold his attention a little. This option is perfect to select only one from the general list of products.

In this example, there are two blocks with discounts, but the hover is added to the category with new arrivals. The client can notice this only if he hover over this block in the email newsletter.

2. Show the product on the model

It happens that the goods in the pictures and during the fitting are radically different and the customer’s purchase becomes the embodiment of the popular demotivator “Expectations / reality”. Photos that show the product in action will help a little with the choice.

Zlato.ua mailing lists have this nuance. You can estimate the real size of jewelry: a ring on a finger or a pendant on a neck. This is especially true for rings, when every millimeter in diameter affects how neatly the product will look on the finger of the future owner.

3. Show the goods from different angles

A feature of offline stores is that the buyer can turn the goods in his hands, to consider from all sides. Use rollover to give the reader a virtual opportunity to experience the desired product from different angles.

For example, for online stores it will be relevant to show how a thing fits.

4. Let’s take a closer look

Continuing the topic of online clothing stores, there is another important point for making a purchase decision — the material of the product. Give a closer view so that the subscriber can easily see the fabric, ornament, stitching, brand name or other important detail.

The proskater.ru mailing list presents down jackets with three different types of pockets, which are so important in the cold winter season.

5. Show the assortment

It is not necessary to tell that a certain product has different sizes or different colors. Interest the subscriber to go to the site by showing the assortment.

Rollover in text blocks

Draw attention not only to colorful images, but also to the text of your newsletter. True, in order for rollover to work, you will have to place the text on the pictures. But this is essentially the only condition that is important to comply with.

6. Show prices to the most curious

Product price is one of the must-have elements of the product card of any online store. But rules are made to be broken. Therefore, in a letter, you can not immediately scare the subscriber with a price tag, but save the information for those who are interested in the product.

The approach is similar to an offline store, when you walk around the pavilion, approach the product you like and only then see the price tag.

7. Give details

Freshinbox.com provided an interesting example of DirecTV Cinema mailing lists. The recipient can hover over the movie title and the picture will change to movie information:

  • user ratings,

  • duration,

  • devices that can play the movie.

Or another option is to hide a long text description under the picture, which is usually found in the product card.

8. Diversify blog articles

If your mailing lists are filled with blog articles, reviews, digests, play with title pictures and then headlines or calls to action.

9. Show functionality

As the saying goes: «It is better to see once than hear a hundred times.» And even more so — the subscriber will not waste time reading a long text about the features and features of the product. Yes, and the text can take up quite a lot of precious space. In order not to describe the functionality for a long time, sometimes it is enough to show it in several pictures.

Try to describe Thor’s collapsible hammer in a few words to the fans. Agree, the interactive picture in the ThinkGeek email solved this problem better. Therefore, sometimes it is better to replace text descriptions with one “talking” picture.

Would you like to experience Rollover?

Use of rollover on banners

Banner is one of the brightest elements without which it is difficult to imagine any promotional mailing. Try and diversify them a bit.

10. Combine banners

Announce your big promotions with a few changing pictures. Let the client get a little more information about what awaits him on the site when hovering over the banner.

Please note that the images are made in the same tone and style, so this substitution of images in the letter looks quite organic.

11. Keep the intrigue

Are you running a campaign for subscribers? Don’t show all your cards at once. Try to hide some element, for example, it can be a banner with conditions for receiving a discount.

12. Run the animation

Rollover means changing two pictures, but for a change, you can “revive” the picture with the help of animation.

Also using substitution will help solve problems when GIF:

  • Triggers by itself and client sees frames inconsistently.

  • Not looped and already completely played when the client scrolled to it.

  • Located next to other animated elements.

Now only the client will decide when the GIF animation will work.

Rollover and call to action buttons

To achieve the desired action from the client, you need to add CTA buttons: click on a link, purchase a product, watch a video). On the other hand, the buttons are already so boring that some companies reduce their number in the letter or completely refuse to use them, leaving only text CTAs. What to do?

13. Hide calls to action

Alternatively, you can hide buttons on product cards using rollover.

Thus, the client will see the button only if he hover over the product of interest and your letter will not be oversaturated with unnecessary elements.

14. Empower CTA Buttons

Everyone knows the best practice to put your call to action in the most prominent place in your email. So the user does not have to look for clues about what you want from him. But what if your call could be even more attractive not only due to the wording of the text, but also due to unusual design?

Agree, the button invites you to click on it and go to the game Super Mario.

15. Let’s have some buttons

Let them be the same in shape and appearance, but when you hover over the button, the real magic happens.

Remember that Rollover buttons are also pictures. CTA will not need to be typeset, but it is important to take care of what Alt text or button will be displayed when images are disabled.

Make collages

Unusual arrangement of elements, non-format product cards, asymmetric blocks make letter design memorable. Over the past few years, collages have become a common feature in email newsletters. But well-combined pictures can be made even more attractive.

16. Diversify your collages

If you’re making a collage with one whole picture, you can play around with its darkening/lightening on hover.

17. Make every element interactive

If you have a separate link hidden under each picture in the collage and this block is laid out in the editor, then a different approach would be appropriate here. You can add interactivity to each element separately. For example, as in the letter to Virtus.

When you hover over the image, the picture becomes colored and by clicking you can go to the page of a specific product.

18. Use multiple rollovers

As in the previous example, feel free to use multiple interactive elements side by side. Of course, you will have to work on such blocks, but the result looks great:

In this example, of course, I had to work with the code to make so many pictures, but that’s what makes it more interesting. Unlike ordinary gifs, which would be full of colors in this form, the client views the dimensional grid in a mode convenient for him and there are no annoying and too colorful elements.

Use a rollover for any email element

Turn on the fantasy to make your email newsletters more alive. After all, everything that is done in a letter with images can be supplemented with a rollover.

19. Encourage watching videos

Do you remember the practice of making GIFs in the past to draw attention to the video block in emails? Now you can start the animation or play around with the angle.

At Disney Studios, when you hover, the picture becomes “a little closer”, which is quite simple to implement without leaving the email. Just crop the picture and fit it to the desired size using the built-in picture editor.

20. Collect feedback

If you are not using a single email for feedback, but only one small block in the email, try making it more expressive.

Smile or wink at customers for wanting to compliment you and show how sad you are at negative feedback.

21. Tell us what is behind the QR code

You can often see a QR code in emails next to the buttons of a mobile application. Detailed information about the benefits after installation is added only in dedicated mailing lists dedicated exclusively to the application.

Try to give a little more information to encourage users to scan the code and install the app.

22. Play with the client

Rollover can add a small element of gamification:

  • conduct a quiz directly in the letter

  • add a questionnaire with hidden answers

  • make a riddle, etc.

The question will immediately be the correct answer — the client just needs to move the mouse to see it.

23. Make Social Media Buttons More Attractive

Even though this is the smallest mailing block that doesn’t have much space, it can be made more interesting. Of course, rollover on such small icons is discovered by accident, and this is the whole secret.

If the client reads the letter to the end and his cursor accidentally highlights the button, this will definitely be the same “wow effect” that you want to see in letters. Just leaving such a block will not work — you will want to at least view all the icons or click.

How to add Rollover to email in eSputnik?

You can find many examples of how to add Rollover through code. When we tested such “blanks”, there were many pitfalls — one example is sharpened only for gmail, the other, on the contrary, is not reproduced in this mailer.

For our users, we have added the ability to place a rollover effect directly in the editor without working with code.

That is, when working with any image, you will be offered the opportunity to enable this function, observing simple conditions:

  • Rollover applies to images only. Text blocks, buttons, etc. also need to make pictures. Otherwise, you will have to add additional styles via CSS.

  • Use only two images for replacement : the main one and the one that will show when hovering over with the mouse.

  • Keep proportions. The aspect ratio of the secondary image must be the same as that of the main image. Otherwise, when you hover over the mouse, the layout of the letter may be violated.

  • Please provide a link. The link to the site is put down one common for both pictures.

  • Enter the alternative text once in the corresponding field and it will automatically be substituted for both pictures.

It is important to remember that the function works in a limited number of mail services: Yahoo! Mail, Ukr.net, AOL, Gmail, iCloud Mail, Outlook 2003, MacOS Apple Mail. If the mailer does not support such interactivity, there will be just a static block that will not change on hover.

How about a cell phone?

The limitation of rollover is that it will not work on mobile devices, it will be more accurate, but not exactly as you intended:

Alternatively, you can use different blocks for mobile and desktops which will change when clicked:

And under the block place a button with a call to action — buy on the site. If the user opens the letter on a PC, he will have a picture that changes when hovering with the mouse.

In our editor, you can disable an unlimited number of blocks that you do not want to show on certain types of devices, very useful, isn’t it? You can find this function in the settings of blocks

The default value is «None», that is, the blocks are not hidden. Clicking on the icon with the monitor will hide the block for desktops, and the icon with the phone, respectively, for mobile.

Perhaps you have your own ideas or secrets for using such interactivity in emails — share them in the comments.

See you soon on our blog!)

Case: gamified email from eSputnik

We all know that games are not just for kids. According to a study by DFC Intelligence, by mid-2020, the number of gamers in the world has grown to 3.1 billion. Millions of people of all ages play on their phones or PCs every day. That’s why attractive, well-designed games are always effective in engaging users of all ages in any type of business and any marketing activity.

Preparation of an Easter gamified letter

Easter is one of the favorite spring holidays with special traditions and rituals. We really like the idea of ​​having guests after the feast go in search of gifts hidden around the house. That is why we decided to prepare a gamified newsletter, in which our users will also look for gifts.

Promotion mechanics

There are 3 Easter eggs hidden inside the letter, in which we placed:

✔️ Discount on product recommendations on the website and in letters.

✔️ Discount for advanced segmentation.

✔️ 1 hour consultation with eSputnik experts.

Game conditions:

  • It is necessary to click on all images with eggs (emoticons, drawings, pictures).

  • Find hidden gift codes under three pictures.

  • Report one or more codes to [email protected] to activate them.

Now let’s look at each semantic block of the letter separately.

Last post

Components of the email campaign

Description of the conditions and mechanics

Since we did the first mailing to the test group, we received feedback that the block with the numbered list should be made more visible. Otherwise, users immediately clicked on the banner and landed on a stub with the text “Try again” before they read the terms.

Holiday picture block

For this structure we used a rollover as a decorative element because:

  • This feature works in a limited number of mail services: Yahoo Mail, Ukr. net, AOL, Gmail, iCloud Mail, Outlook 2003, MacOS Apple Mail.

  • If there is a link below the block, then the rollover will work too fast on mobile and the user will go directly to the landing page without seeing the effect.

  • This function was great for the only, but not at all necessary, hint where exactly the bonus is hidden.

Description of gifts

Since there were three bonuses and some users may not be familiar with them, we have added a block with an explanation of each gift.

This structure also gave us the ability to add three more images to search. Hidden bonuses were under the following pictures:

What happened on click?

In total, we created 4 boarding pages that users got to:

  • product recommendations in emails and on the website;

  • advanced segmentation;

  • consultation with an expert;

  • a page without a promotional code with a hint that you need to go on new searches.

For winning pages with functionality have been added:

  • gif animation on the main banner,

  • one of 3 promo codes,

  • conditions for using the promo code,

  • button for quick communication.

Since the letter was sent in three languages, it was necessary to prepare not only an alternative version of the template, but also all the stubs.


  • 3 language versions of the message: in Russian, Ukrainian and English.

  • 12 landing pages, 4 for each language.

Send multilingual mailings


  • 2 times more clicks from email.

  • 2 requests for connection of tariffs for the first hour.

  • 4 demo requests from customers who have not previously used the advanced functionality.

  • Save time on creating different versions of the letter at least 2 times.

  • Out of 22 links, each member clicked at least 14.

The click-through map looked something like this:

There was a minimum of users who did not want to participate in the promotion, but wanted to read the blog.

Ideas on how to improve/change such mechanics

  • Implement similar gamification with AMP blocks so that you do not need to switch to landing blocks, and the action is performed directly in the email.

  • Launch a promotion for a longer period and prepare a series of reminder letters for those who did not complete the game on the first try.

  • You can simplify the conditions of the quest, for example, by reducing the number of pictures and prizes.

Gamification Development Tips

  1. Advance planning

Preparing a gamified mailing list takes much more time than an ordinary promo. There is nothing more frustrating for subscribers than a game that doesn’t work or conditions that are incomprehensible. The sooner you start creating letters, the more time you will have to check the mechanics and prepare not only one letter, but a whole series.

  1. Template development

Subscribers can only be brought into the game when the design of the elements is attractive and makes them want to play. For example, if you are inspired by some offline mechanics, this does not mean that it will be just as easy and understandable in writing. Therefore, it is important to think through each element and put the right accents in the first place with the help of design.

  1. Testing and testing again

Check that everything works before sending. If you are preparing an AMP game, then be sure to provide an HTML version of the same mechanics.

Test in advance how email works on different devices.

By alexxlab

Similar Posts