Pictorial Input Charts…You Should Use Them!

Happy Tuesday friends!! We are half way through conferences and I am wiped out. PLUS I just broke the reservoir on my Keurig…tomorrow is going to be a rough one! Womp! Womp!

I wanted to share with you a strategy that we use in our school and district to help introduce content vocabulary to our students. This is a GLAD strategy and we LOVE us some GLAD! We are VERY fortunate to have some GLAD trainers in our district that are AH-MAZING and they have given us some great resources for our lessons.

Let’s look at pictorial input charts!

Step one is to pre-draw the poster.

You are supposed to write everything in pencil. That way, as you are teaching the students, you can just go over your writing with marker, then you can be more focused on the lesson. Well…that takes too much time. I have the bat ready and the headings. The rest I just write as I go. We do this every year so I am pretty good about fitting it all in.

The goal is to introduce the vocabulary involved in whatever you are teaching. We fill out one section at a time and then have a turn and talk. For example, we filled out the parts of the bat and the description. Then, the kiddos tell their neighbor something they just learned. We have a share out where the students are repeating the facts I just shared with them while USING the vocabulary!!

We continue this through the whole poster. At the end of day one, it looks like this…

On day 2 we revisit the poster. I write key words on strips of paper and give them to the kiddos. As we go through the poster on day 2, when I say a word that a kiddo has they come and add it to the poster. We aren’t as in-depth as day one. Our goal is reviewing all the key vocabulary. Generally, this is more of a student led discussion. As we go through each section, the students share out what they remember, while USING THE VOCABULARY,  and I add to it.

Here’s what it looks like when it’s done.

This is a great strategy to introduce vocabulary! The kiddos really LOVE it and we leave the poster up for them to continue to use. We built it together so it really holds meaning to them. They often use it to get information throughout our whole unit.

We are lucky that we were given these pictorials already made but you could easily make one for whatever you are teaching. We have one for spiders, butterflies, moths, fairy tales, fables and tall tales. The uses are really endless and it is really valuable to the kiddos!

If you are looking for a way to get your kiddos using that vocabulary and feeling really comfortable while doing so, USE THIS STRATEGY!!! You really will be amazed about how many of your kiddos regularly access the information on the poster and how regularly they start using that vocabulary!!

I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week!


  1. Michal
    October 29, 2018 / 10:16 pm

    This is exactly what I needed, thank you so much!! It goes perfectly with our story, "Bat Loves the Night."

  2. Laura Quaynor
    September 13, 2019 / 11:03 am

    Thank you! I teach new teachers of ELLs/bilingual students, and this example is helpful for them–

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