Tag Archives: images

Making the most of course book images

Making the most of the resources we have: Images in course books 

Let’s start by looking at the materials we all have to hand – course books. They are filled with photos, cartoons, graphs and charts. But do we actually use them?

If there is no specific task in the course book connected to the image, do you create your own?
7 votes · 0 answers


A study looking at the purpose of images in Business English books, revealed that 73% of the images in the texts were decorative and not linked to any task.  (Romney, 2012)

All these great images being practically ignored! What a waste of a valuable resource!

Continue reading Making the most of course book images

Read the signs! Add your own text to signs.

Unbelievably simple, yet incredibly entertaining: this sign generator from redkid.net is my favourite. There are other sites, but I found them a bit trickier to use – not as classroom-friendly.  Here, you have a choice of 55 signs or images. You just type in your text, press generate and your new image appears! Some images allow for only a word or two, while others can fit a bit more. You can then save the image to your computer. Give it a try – it really is that simple!


My students have used it to create mock book covers to illustrate the ideas or themes covered in their creative writing pieces, titles to upload with their audio boo podcasts, and personalised images to introduce projects. We are all so used to seeing these types of signs in our day to day lives. It’s fun putting your own personal stamp on them.

awesome apps

It’s not just fun, however. Students have to come up with a good title for their stories or podcasts and try to pick a picture that is somehow connected to the title or that they feel fits their work. Deciding what title or message to use takes a bit of thought and if the words don’t fit, students have to start looking for synonyms.


I’m sure there are lots of other ways of using it in class. Let me know how you get on!

Share thoughts in poster form with Muzy

I have been looking at ways of using images in class, in particular, easy-to-use tools to give students the chance to create a visual representation of what they are learning. One idea is to create a poster with a summary of the main arguments or ideas introduced in a text or article. This idea could also be used for a pop song or students could  choose their favourite quotes from a book or short story they are reading in class.

There are many benefits to such an activity – as well as developing creative thinking and encouraging learner autonomy, the task is visual and hands-on, so accommodates different learning styles and task preferences. The resulting posters can be used as visual aids for communication and presentation activities, and if you’ve asked the students to include specific vocabulary in their sentences, the posters can be helpful when revising for tests.


no right to be up
‘Dad, just cause you are retired now, doesn’t mean you can rub it in by texting me daily to say that you got up at 10.30 am while I’ve been up since 6!’

Muzy was one tool I thought looked interesting, and while it was really easy to use, and to post to Facebook or twitter, it did take me a while to figure out how to save or print the image. I’m adding pictures and instructions here for anyone who fancies trying it out.

Click to enlarge images and scroll through for details.

Have fun!