An Effective Visual Vocabulary iPad Lesson, done in Minutes

Here is a quick tool that I use with my iPad this week that was very effective for my younger grades.

We know that most kids learn better visually. With my vocabulary many lists within my curriculum, I was able to quickly search for images using Google images. I quickly went through each list, and found anything that I thought could have an image. Using Google search, all I did was type the words: “clipart” plus whatever image I was looking for (e.g. “clipart car”, “clipart pizza”). I went down the list and quickly came out with a gallery of probably 30 vocabulary words within ten minutes.

To separate the grades, I created a shared folder for each grade, selected the photos and put them in the appropriate folder. You don’t even have to share it with anybody. One advantage of shared folders, is that you can share it with other colleagues who teach the same units. I can also even share the folders with parents who have Apple devices.

For the first class, the students sat on the carpet, and I showed them directly from my iPad. I taught them the images, and went through them a couple times. Using just the Photos app, the images scrolled smoothly with just a swipe to the left. The following class, they were very good at remembering what was taught a couple days before.

I now have four folders for four different grades. As a second review, I beamed my iPad screen using the AppleTV opened up the folder, and quickly shot up the photos/images. Once I zoomed in on an image, I quickly minimized it, and asked the class what the image was in French. I would also ask specific questions about certain images: “What colour was the boy’s t-shirt?” “How many people were singing?” This encouraged students to focus and quickly remember details. Almost all answers that I received were correct.

How to begin:

1. Collect as many images you can by searching on Google images, and press and hold each image to save it.

Often, you will need to open the webpage and then save it there:

2. Once you are happy with the images, you can organize them into a Shared Folder. In the Photos app, go to the Shared tab (the middle one with the cloud icon). Tap the + button. Label the album (Unit 3, Pizza unit, etc.)

3. You can now leave the [To:] field blank. Tap Create. Now go onto that album and tap the + button again. You will now go to the Moments tab (Or, if you haven’t upgraded to iOS 8, the Camera Roll), and you can begin to choose all the photos you had saved.

4. There’s one more screen to tap (It would normally be an album description/message to whoever you sending it to).

5. Tap “Post”. That’s it!

Your shared folder will remain there, even if you delete the original photo! Of course, you can manually delete photos from this folder using the Select/trash buttons.

This is a quick way to review vocabulary using the part images. The great thing about using shared folders, is that people invited to the album can also add to it any time. If you have more time, you can use other apps such as Keynote or Haiku Deck to label the images. Use these once in a while to ensure comprehension of vocabulary!

Note that, as far as I know, you can’t rearrange the images/photos once they are in folder. Find your images in the order that you want them to appear.

If there are any AIM teachers that would like access to my folders, just email me, or leave a comment below. I’d be happy to share.

16 Comments Add yours

  1. bucathy says:

    What a great idea! My only concern is copyright. When I add ‘creative commons’ to a picture search, the selection becomes limited and very disappointing. How do you get around copyright issues?

    1. I figure these images are just being used in my classroom. Am I wrong in suggesting this shouldn’t be an issue?

  2. Vicky mercier says:

    Thanks for this great idea! I’m going to try it myself and will share as well.

    1. Jill chan says:

      Wonderful! Would be fabulous in so many settings. Can you add me to your share list?

  3. Isabelle Amaya says:

    Hi, I’ve done everything you mentioned. Now the question is: how do I access that shared folder????

    1. Find the Shared tab at the bottom of the Photos app. Then scroll to find your album.

    2. You might need to scroll back until you see “iCloud photo sharing” as the title. Let me know if it works.

      1. Isabelle Amaya says:

        Hello again and thanks for the reply. I’m on iOS7 and when I scroll back I can’t find any shared folder. I’m so sorry…

      2. In ios 7, the “shared” tab is still in the bottom middle. Instead of iCloud photo sharing, it is called “Shared Streams”.

  4. Lisa Crook says:

    Thanks for this great tip. I would be very grateful if I could please access your folders?
    thanks 🙂

    1. Sure! Tell me which units you teach at

  5. Alex leprof says:

    Could you send me your link…un gros merci… Could use the visuals in kahoot, too… Trying to create pdl aim lists in kahoot…

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