Remember why you started

Phonto, Flickr, and Learning New Vocabulary


Last year I identified a distinct need for a broader vocabulary in my 8th grade students. One of the strategies I had some success with in helping them build their vocabularies was Vocabulary Folders, but since that time my school has gone 1-1 with iPads, giving my students the opportunity to be much more creative in expressing their understanding of new vocabulary.

After choosing vocabulary words from the text we were reading, I had my students make guesses about the meanings based on context clues. After discussing their guesses, we used our iPads to look up the actual definitions. Then came the fun part!

Each student downloaded the free iPad app Phonto and was asked to choose 3 of the 7 vocabulary words, take a photo to represent the word, and label the picture with the word.

After the photos were submitted, I uploaded the successfull representations into sets in my Flickr account. The next day we viewed the successful images, and some of the unsucessful ones. My hope is that creating, viewing, and discussing these images has really cemented the meaning of these words for my students.

Click below to view the photo set. Some sets only contain 1 photo.


  1. Laura,
    These were great! Thank you for putting the pictures on the site for us to see, too. My favorite is still the one you chose for the post – that shoe fits the bill for rejuvenate!

    I’ve been wondering how I can get my students to take pictures more often – I am the only one documenting our activities. I’ll be looking into this more seriously next year, and might start with this idea…

    Thank you for sharing!!

  2. Hi Laura, I was so excited about your project because I knew my students would love it too.

    Here’s what we did:

    Our Words

    Our Vocab Directions

    Thanks so much for sharing !

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