Images to Inspire

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images for story writing ks1


images for story writing ks1


images for story writing ks1


images for story writing ks1


images for story writing ks1


images for story writing ks1


images for story writing ks1


images for story writing ks1

The Images Shed


Winter Scene Writing Prompts

Abandoned places, double click the image to make fullscreen, some forest/woodland stimuli, a pathway to where, tiny dragon.


Flying Houses

Credits: laurent chehere/galerie paris-beijing www.laurentchehere.com, writing flashbacks.


What has just happened?

Links to keeping healthy, its pouring down and he is just stood there.  who is he and who is he waiting for.


Friend or foe?


There is a Wizard in My Potting Shed

Time stood still for all but one man., i saw her and then she was gone, i heard her whispering for me to follow. it only took me a few seconds for me to decide....


These moving images can be copy and pasted into powerpoint etc and they still move.

Where does it lead to who is at the other end who are the two people who made it when was it made.

20 Picture-Based Writing Prompts and Ideas for Kids

female student using a picture writing prompt

A picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s certainly the case with visual writing prompts! 

Be it a simple object or a fantastical scene, a picture is all it takes to spark a child’s imagination. 

That’s why I love picture writing prompts for kids who are learning how to write. 

They help alleviate the burden of not knowing where to start while providing creative flexibility for students to pen their own stories.

I especially like to use picture prompts for teaching descriptive writing. They encourage children to focus, study, and evaluate an image with all its colors and scenery, which naturally sparks more descriptive text.  

Creative Writing Exercises

get this picture prompt printable for free!

What is picture prompt writing.

If you’re unfamiliar with picture prompts, they are a type of writing prompt that uses an image to start a story. 

Students then create a story, using the picture as either the setting or simply a jumping off point. 

The benefit of visual writing prompts is that it gives students a place to start. Not only that, it encourages them to use more adjectives and write in more detailed sentences.

Most students need some guidance beyond “write about this.” The again, too many details can be overwhelming. 

Picture prompts give kids just enough information to act as a stress-free starting point, and from there, they can tell their own stories.

They aren’t necessary for every writing activity, but they’re a fun and simple way to spark creativity—and they often prompt students to think (and write!) outside the box.  

How to Use Picture Writing Prompts

Students who struggle to write may naturally gravitate towards picture prompts. 

In fact, picture writing for kids is particularly helpful for reluctant writers who struggle with expressing themselves in words.

The prompts can be paired with any number of writing activities, from freewriting to journal writing to creative writing.

Choosing pictures for kids to write about will largely depend on the skill level and age of your student.

As a general rule of thumb, you want to use the most interesting pictures for writing prompts you can find.

As kids get older, their writing world expands, so their prompts can be more in-depth and structured.

You can even try using two unrelated prompts and have your students develop a story that incorporates both perspectives.

Here are a few more specific ways to use visual writing prompts:

1. Choose pictures that aren’t so clear-cut. Ambiguous images lead to more brainstorming, providing plenty of room for interpretation and creativity.

2. Give students ample time to look at and study the image. 

3. Give them 5-10 minutes to write everything they can think about when they look at the picture. 

4. Use the 5 Ws to start the conversation. This encourages young writers to look closely for clues about a possible storyline.

5. You can also give them a series of pictures for story writing . This is a great option for older elementary up to middle school students. 

As you can see, picture prompts are pretty open-ended. You can tweak and use them whichever way works best for your student. 

Want to try using picture prompts?

We’ve provided 20 creative, engaging visual prompts below.

Have fun! 

For more writing fun, try these fall-themed prompts , winter writing prompts , or one-sentence story starters .

20 Picture Writing Prompts for Kids

The icebreaker.

ice breaker picture prompt

The Gardener and the Magical Plant 

the magic plant picture prompt

Adventures Of The Dive Club

adventures in the ocean picture prompt

The Lion and the Lost Lambs

the lion and the lamb picture prompt

Runaway Cow

curious cow picture prompt

Sunset at the Meadow

images for story writing ks1

A Kitty of a Different Kind

a special kitty picture prompt

The Missing Plane

the missing plane visual writing prompt

Best Friends in a Snowstorm

two birds in a snowstorm picture prompt

The Icky Sticky Ice Cream Cone

the icky sticky ice cream cone picture prompt

A Bug’s Life

bug's life picture prompt

The Secret Spy Frog

the secret spy frog picture prompt

The Surprise of a Lifetime

the surprise of a lifetime picture prompt

The Hidden House in the Woods

hidden house in the woods picture prompt

Beneath the Waves

beneath the waves picture prompt

The Boy and the Giant Roly-Poly Pumpkin

the giant mystery pumpkin picture prompt

The “Cat-tastrophe” Shower

the cat who didn't want to shower picture prompt

World-Famous PupStar

the world famous puppy picture prompt

The Sinking House

the sinking house picture prompt

The Dinosaurs and the Broccoli Forest

dinosaurs in a broccoli forest picture prompt

Download and Print FREE Picture Prompts (PDF)

No matter what grade your kids are in, they will love these fun (and often funny!) elementary picture writing prompts.  

The concepts are suitable for a wide age range and can be used by first graders all the way up to middle school students.

Now when you hear the dreaded, “ I have nothing to write about! ” just pull out these picture prompts, provide pencil and paper, and let your young writers create!

About The Author

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Jordan Mitchell



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A Year of Picture Prompts: Over 160 Images to Inspire Writing

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<a href="https://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/08/17/picture-prompt-mysterious-doors/">Related Picture Prompt</a>

By Michael Gonchar and Katherine Schulten

Update, Feb. 15, 2019: Learn more about how to use our 1000s of writing prompts by watching our free on-demand webinar: “ Give Them Something to Write About: Teach Across the Curriculum With New York Times-Inspired Daily Prompts. ”

This school year we added a new feature to our daily lineup of student activities. Called “ Picture Prompts ,” these short, accessible, image-driven posts feature photographs and illustrations from The Times, and invite a variety of written or spoken responses — from creative storytelling to personal narrative to constructing an argument or analyzing what a work of “op-art” might be saying.

Teachers tell us they use these prompts to inspire student writing — whether in their journals , as a timed opportunity or to practice inferring meaning “without worrying about getting the right or wrong answer.”

They also use them with a variety of learners, from high school to middle or elementary school students to English Language Learners of all ages. As one teacher put it, she uses them “for helping teenagers to start talking to each other. ”

Below, we’ve categorized the 160+ prompts we published during the 2016-17 school year based on the type of writing they primarily encourage students to do. All are still open for comment. Plus, we have a lesson plan on how to teach with Picture Prompts, along with other Times images , in case you’re looking for more inspiration.

If you use this feature with your students, or if you have other ideas for how to use images and writing prompts with students, let us know in the comments section.

What’s the story behind this photo? Use your imagination.

Floating You and Me Mysterious Doors Underwater One Night Dog at the Counter Cats in Clothes Sneaker Collection On the Street Beware of Zombies Big Numbers Pool of Sprinkles Secret Spaces A Narwhal’s Life Inspiration From an Illustration Dancers in Masks Frozen Fish Go-Karting Cards in the Air Opening the Door The Badger and the Cow Icebergs Dogs and Stars

Share experiences from your own life.

Sneakers Flavors of Home Toy Trends Meteor Shower In the Park Sports Fans A Trip to Mars Confronting Stereotypes A Remarkable Find Optimists and Pessimists Simone Biles $100 A Favorite Store Kindness Across Divides Winter Comforts Christmas Lights The Celebrity Next Door A Celebrated Tree Kindergarten in a Stadium Advice for New Students Favorite Olympic Athletes Social Media and Body Image Growing Old Staycations An Act of Kindness Fashion Week’s Street Style Reading and Diversity The Effects of Living to Age 122 Distractions Terrifying Encounters Give a Country a Compliment Smashing Pumpkins Day of the Dead World Series Champions Extreme Sports Breathing and Stress Thanksgiving Traditions Giving Tuesday Magic Shoes Breaking Barriers Favorite Mobile Games Your Holiday Traditions National Pride Public Art Fascinating Animals Offbeat Interests Repair Cafes Lunar New Year Protesting Healthy Habits Super Bowl Spending Valentine’s Day Winning Streak Virtual Reality Old-School Skills Dinner An Early Spring 360 Degrees of Holi Blizzards Then and Now Bucket List Good Conversations Escape Steps in a Day Your Five Senses YouTube Stars Losing Things Shoelaces A Good Night’s Sleep Wristwatches 3-D Printing No Fear Exhibits for a Museum of Failure Dresses at the Met Gala Fidget Spinners On the Billboard Chart Water Escapes Forest Kindergarten Body Image Ariana Grande A Mother’s Help Dream Houses Fasting and Food for Ramadan ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Dancing in the Streets A Comic Take on the News The N.B.A. Finals ‘Wonder Woman’

What do you think this image, chart or cartoon is saying?

In Your Head Money and Happiness Moving and Sitting Policing Large Man Speech Bubble Above and Below Lady Liberty #2 Across the Fence Blue and Red Map, 2012 Red and Blue Map, 2016 Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down Lady Liberty #1 In Case of Emergency Break Glass The American Dream ‘Check-In’ Norman Rockwell’s ‘Four Freedoms’ Hair-Raising Answers to an Open-Ended Question Shredding Blue and Red Mr. Olympia A Seasonal Scene 100 Days Social Media

What’s your opinion on this issue?

Device Addiction? Self-Driving Cars An Invention the World Needs Creepy Clowns Beyoncé at the V.M.A.s Parenting Robot Greeters Arriving at Ellis Island Colin Kaepernick’s Protest Pennies Feminism An 18-Karat Throne Mandatory Voting? Tattoos A Hug Seen Around the World Mermaid School Anger Rooms Dabbing in Congress Hitler and History Gender and ‘Genderless’ Solving Global Problems Fashion-Show Diversity The Role of Public Broadcasting Children and Cell Phones U.F.O.s ‘A Man Needs His Nuggs’ Parenting Skills

Images for STEM Classes: Questioning, Explaining and Solving

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A Fire Hose of Lava Math Problem Fall Foliage Basketball Dreams Insect Mysteries Goats in a Tree

Want more writing prompts?

We also have over 1000 Student Opinion questions we’ve asked over the years, gathered together in two lists: 650 prompts for narrative and personal writing and 401 prompts for argumentative writing . Plus, we have a collection of “ 40 intriguing images to make students think ,” taken from four years of our weekly “What’s Going On in This Picture?” feature.

85+ Picture Writing Prompts For Kids (+ Free Printable)

A picture is worth a thousand words. So how many words can you write for these 85 picture writing prompts for kids and grow-ups alike! Pictures, whether something as simple as an apple or as complex as an action scene can spark the imagination in more ways than one.

Of course, when looking at pictures you can take the literal route, and describe whatever you see in front of you. Or you can explore your imagination, and think about the ‘What Ifs..’ of a picture. What if that person is actually upset? What if this picture is of a broken family? What if the world looked like this years ago? A picture can have so many hidden meanings and can hide so many secrets. The slightest detail could mean everything. Just imagine you’re a detective solving a crime from one picture alone. Examine every detail, write it down and think why? Only then can you fully understand a picture.

For more inspiration take part in our daily picture writing prompt challenge . Each day you will be given a new picture prompt to write about.

Picture Prompt Generator

In this post, we have included a mix of simple pictures, story picture prompts, photographs, fantasy images and even some action-packed images.

You can find the complete list of our picture writing prompts below. We’ve also created a smaller PDF version that includes 30 random picture prompts. Download the printable PDF here .

You might also be interested in the following posts:

150 Picture Prompts To Inspire

Over 85 picture prompts for creative writing, story-telling and descriptive writing assignments:

picture writing prompt 1

How to Use these Prompts

Picture prompts are the perfect writing stimulus especially when you hit writer’s block . Here are a number of ways you can use these picture writing prompts to spark your imagination:

These are just some ways to use images as writing prompts. You can also check our post on 8 fun story-telling games using image prompts for more ideas.  Did you find our picture writing prompts useful? Let us know in the comments below!

picture writing prompts

Marty the wizard is the master of Imagine Forest. When he's not reading a ton of books or writing some of his own tales, he loves to be surrounded by the magical creatures that live in Imagine Forest. While living in his tree house he has devoted his time to helping children around the world with their writing skills and creativity.

Related Posts

Dinosaur Writing Prompts

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Blog | Using Picture Prompts For Writing - KS1 Literacy Tool

Using Picture Prompts For Writing - KS1 Literacy Tool

"Every child is born blessed with a vivid imagination" - Walt Disney.

Children have, naturally within them, everything which makes a learner.  As teachers, we have the joy of unlocking and nurturing this potential. 

Blessed with being effortlessly curious, excitable, motivated, spontaneous, experimental and uncomplicated, children have all the tools required to be enviably creative.

We are tasked with providing the opportunity for each child to use these unique skills, purposefully and from their own individual starting point. Providing a safe environment where innate gifts can grow, develop and mature is key to enabling each child to thrive.

Why should we use picture prompts in KS1 literacy?

Visual stimuli helps children to understand their world.

By consolidating and building on a wide range of ever-developing skills and knowledge, pictures can…

How should we use picture prompts?

Ask children to look at a picture, or a selection of simple pictures, and tell you something about what they see.

By making the task open to interpretation, any fear of providing a ‘wrong’ answer is alleviated. The children will feel that this is a safe space for their creativity and imagination to be unleashed, without consequence.

Encourage the children with questions such as:

This process will soon get children talking, thinking and explaining.


For those children that are reluctant to talk, we can model the process of making observations, experimenting with vocabulary and expressing imaginative ideas. Soon, they will build the confidence to join their friends and try for themselves.

Ask children to choose two or three pictures which they like, or find interesting.

You can then model connecting these pictures together, with a simple but interesting sentence.

For example:

‘Once upon a time a large dinosaur wandered into a dark wood where he found a magic potion.’

Celebrate the children’s creative ideas which they thought of, but you said out loud.

Children can then choose two or three more pictures they like and experiment with connecting them together.

They’ll soon be talking about the pictures and forming ideas, connections and using a range of vocabulary. They can practice connecting and extending ideas at their own pace.

Sensitive questioning can extend thinking and, even from the earliest stages of language development, promote high expectations of vocabulary and creative content.

Children can build on this by connecting more and more pictures.

Soon, they’ll be successfully forming whole stories, poems and recounts which allow them to immerse themselves in their imagination and express the wonderful worlds they hold in their heads.

Picture prompts create early confidence with literacy and help to build the enthusiastic writers of tomorrow.


Positive experiences like these will stay with children forever, building a formative understanding of what being a writer is all about. 

Through empathetic, fun and liberating creative tasks, we teach even the youngest children to own language, without restrictions. After all, the world is their oyster, and they are more than capable of harnessing these skills – we just need to plant the seed.

Listen to the mustn’ts, child Listen to the don’ts Listen to the shouldn’ts, the  Impossibles, the wont’s. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child, Anything can be.

-Shel Silverstein

Mighty writer can make a significant difference to childrens understanding of sentence structure, grammar and punctuation.



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22 Creative Writing Picture Prompts

22 Creative Writing Picture Prompts

Subject: English

Age range: 11-14

Resource type: Worksheet/Activity


Want to see my latest resources when you login to tes? Follow my store! English Language and Literature Resources (GCSE/ IGCSE Specific) Classroom Management and Study Skills Follow me on Instagram and Pinterest: teaching_underthedesk

Last updated

20 January 2019

images for story writing ks1

A set of 22 vivid photographs to be used as inspiration for descriptive, narrative or discursive writing. The pictures are open to interpretation and can be used in multiple ways.

The resource includes a brainstorming template for students to use to organise their initial ideas.

The download includes both a PPT and PDF version of the images and student template.

Creative Commons "NoDerivatives"

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Lovely prompt ideas

Great resource. Provided students with a good choice of prompts for their creative writing.

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  1. Once Upon A Picture

    Find the best teaching resources! Image prompts to use in the classroom or home that can be used to teach reading skills, prompt creative writing and more!

  2. Creative Writing From Images Prompt Cards

    If your KS1 children need some ideas for story writing, why not use these creative writing image prompts? Perfect for helping children come up with ideas.

  3. Narrative Writing Stimulus Pictures KS2 (Teacher-Made)

    Writing stories is one of the all-time great pastimes - and this narrative writing stimulus pictures KS2 resource will get your children writing creatively!

  4. The Images Shed

    Winter Scene Writing Prompts ... Abandoned Places. Double click the image to make fullscreen ... All statues have a back story, the children can write that.

  5. 20 Picture Writing Prompts for Kids

    What Is Picture Prompt Writing? If you're unfamiliar with picture prompts, they are a type of writing prompt that uses an image to start a story

  6. A Year of Picture Prompts: Over 160 Images to Inspire Writing

    What's the story behind this photo? · Share experiences from your own life. · What do you think this image, chart or cartoon is saying? · What's

  7. 85+ Picture Writing Prompts For Kids (+ Free Printable)

    Picture Prompt Generator. In this post, we have included a mix of simple pictures, story picture prompts, photographs, fantasy images and even

  8. Using Picture Prompts For Writing

    Celebrate the children's creative ideas which they thought of, but you said out loud. Children can then choose two or three more pictures they like and

  9. 22 Creative Writing Picture Prompts

    A set of 22 vivid photographs to be used as inspiration for descriptive, narrative or discursive writing. The pictures are open to

  10. Creative Writing

    Can they then write a story that contains the three elements they have chosen? 'Narrative Writing Prompts' – KS1/ KS2. Picture prompts with different