What’s New?

We are grateful to be the recipient of an American Rescue Plan Grant through the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. This funding has been used for the development and installation of our new website.

New Hampshire State Council on the Arts

(If you are wondering about this portrait of Beth, it was created by her granddaughter Haley for the “N page” in her Image-Making alphabet book.)

New Instructional Resources

Updated PW Time of Day Manual

Our Picturing Writing Time of Day Unit teachers manual has been updated to include new informational text pieces about why we have day and night and how the lengths of day and night change with the seasons. These new additions (taught through pictures and words) align with English Language Arts Standards for informative writing as well as the Next Generation Science Standards. With the inclusion of these new informational text pieces, the Time of Day book now includes 3 genres of writing: descriptive, informative, and reflective (opinion piece). The updated manual also includes new masters for teachers of kindergarten and first-grade students.

Picturing Writing Time of Day Unit Teacher Manual

New PW Time of Day Mentor Texts

We now have several new Time of Day mentor texts to help teach the updated Picturing Writing Time of Day Unit. The Sun’s Day and the Seasons by Beth Olshansky provides a model for using strong verbs in order to make each picture “come alive.” It also contains examples of the new informational text pieces in both pictures and words.

The Sun’s Day and the Seasons by Jackson Tongbua provides a student example of the updated time of day unit. While Jackson created his book during first grade, the writing level is more closely aligned with second- or third-grade writing.

The Sun's Day and the Seasons by Jackson Tonghua

The Sun’s Day, created by Haley Pignataro, offers a well-crafted example for kindergarteners and their teachers of the time of day book with its simplified text (which focuses on “doing words” or strong verbs and simplified informational text piece and opinion pieces).

Painting the Sky, created by Callie Barnea, provides a strong example of a first-grade time of day book, appropriately adapted for that grade level. Callie’s vibrant art and well-crafted descriptive sentences do indeed make her paintings come alive!

Painting the Sky

Time of Day Mentor Texts and Posters Translated into Spanish!

When Holyoke School District decided to offer Picturing Writing as a key part of its summer school program, we were excited for those 256 students. When we found out that a portion of the program was to be offered in Spanish as a part of their Spanish Immersion Program, we rolled up our sleeves to work with them on translating some of our time of day mentor texts and posters. Thanks to Holyoke Public Schools’ Jenn Albury, we now have several time of day mentor texts available in Spanish. Check them out at https://picturingwriting.org/picturing-writing/time-of-day-unit/.

Time of Day Spanish mentor text covers

PW Mentor Texts and Posters in Many Languages

We now have time of day mentor texts available in English, Spanish, French, Lakhota, and Inuktitut. This serves as a reminder that because pictures are a universal language, the Picturing Writing process can be adapted to any language, any culture.

A Day on the Prairie
The Suns Day Mentor Text in English, French, and Spanish
Times of Day Northern poster

Instructional Videos Now Available Online!

While many of our instructional videos were originally produced as DVDs, we now have them available for purchase electronically. (DVDs are still available for most of our units.) Check out our selection of instructional videos at https://picturingwriting.org/videos/.

New Image-Making and Picturing Writing Instructional Videos

After three years in production, the Who Am I? Image-Making Research-Based Animal Trifold Instructional Video is finally complete! Filmed in Victoria Hanson’s third-grade classroom at Newmarket Elementary School, this video invites viewers into the classroom to watch the entire process unfold. With over 6 hours of content, this instructional video contains a comprehensive overview as well as every lesson necessary to facilitating this project in the classroom. It is available as part of an instructional video package that also contains a teachers manual, sample trifolds, Image-Making station labels, and additional support materials to insure successful implementation.

Watch Video Clip: IM Research-Based Animal Trifolds

In a continuing effort to provide quality instructional materials to teachers, Beth has created a 30-minute narrated visual overview of the Picturing Writing Research-Based Animal Story Unit. Drawing from a wide range of photographs of students engaged in the PW animal story unit, Beth walks teachers step-by-step through the entire research-based narrative process which combines informational reading and writing with narrative reading and writing. This new visual resource is available as part of a Picturing Writing Research-Based Animal Story Instructional Video Package.

Watch Video Clip: PW Research-Based Animal Stories

Virtual Picturing Writing Workshops Receive Positive Feedback!

In response to COVID-19, we began offering virtual Picturing Writing workshops and weeklong summer institutes in June of 2020. During 2020-2021, we have offered virtual afterschool workshop series in several states as well as a virtual summer institutes in South Carolina and North Dakota. We have received very positive comments on the virtual workshop experience.

What Teachers Say About Our Virtual Workshops

I can’t thank you enough for such an excellent workshop. It was honestly one of the best I have ever participated in, a beautiful combination of art and writing. The high quality mentor texts, vocabulary and writing development, embedded content, and S.E.L. make this a highly useful project-based learning approach suitable for a wide range of learners. The remote format worked very well. The instruction was high quality as were the materials shipped prior to the workshop.   – Sara, EL K-5, Rutland, MA


I thought it worked wonderfully remotely! I loved how you modeled both the art and writing workshop so we could experience the power behind the process ourselves. I am very excited to try integrating your ideas with other subjects for my class next year.   – Breanna, grade 3, Tacoma, WA

This program is exceptionally well-crafted. I was impressed with how organized the materials were, and how well the activities worked to pair art and writing. I am not always a big fan of virtual classes, but this was very convenient and as meaningful as if in person. It was great to get to work directly with Beth!   – Derek, grades 9-12, Kindred, ND

This has been AMAZING!! I am so extremely excited to do this with my students this coming school year! I cannot wait to share what I have learned. My EL students will definitely be engaged in this process and it will be so valuable for them.   – Stacey, EL K-5, Fargo, ND

Honestly, I loved the virtual format. It was nice to see everyone’s piece in the gallery walk and I really liked the breakout rooms!   – Louise, grade 2, Bismarck, ND

I liked the interactive art and writing opportunities. Also, I appreciate the online learning format as it allowed me to attend in a much more economical way in comparison to attending an in-person workshop outside my local area.   – Tiffany, grade 3, Springfield, OR

I felt Beth did a really nice job navigating between the different views and settings in zoom to make this virtual workshop very interactive.   – Natasha, K-8 EL, Eau Claire, WI

LOVED this professional development! My favorite in all 10 years of my career. It taught me strategies to engage my students in writing. I feel more confident in my artistic ability!   – Sarah, grade 4, Dorchester, SC

Beth Has Been Zooming Into Classrooms!

Picturing Writing professional development can include hands-on teacher training as well as follow-up support during classroom implementation. During  the pandemic, Beth zoomed daily into several classrooms—some completely remote and some hybrid—to facilitate art and writing lessons with the students. Feedback from teachers, students, and parents has been very positive, many commenting on the importance of hands-on learning to support students’ emotional well-being.

Funding Opportunities

Funding Available for Picturing Writing and Image-Making Professional Development and Materials through ESSER I, II, lll Funds.

Because Picturing Writing and Image-Making are evidence-based literacy models, schools and districts can use ESSER l, II, or III FUNDS to cover costs of professional development as well as all art and instructional materials needed to address learning loss or unfinished learning. Take advantage of this unique funding opportunity for training teachers in these engaging standards-based, integrated curriculum units of study that also align with many Social-Emotional Learning Competencies. These proven, art-based literacy models offer fabulous summer school and after-school programming as well as rigorous, engaging learning throughout the school year. Our research demonstrates that a wide range of students, especially at-risk learners, make significant gains when regularly participating in these hands-on, highly scaffolded interventions.

Additionally, professional development and materials can be funded through ongoing Title I, II, III, IV-A, and V Funds.

For those whose districts offer graduate credit course reimbursement, our graduate credit options through Southern New Hampshire University create the opportunity for teachers to take Picturing Writing and Image-Making as a graduate credit course. Credit is available for hands-on training as well as classroom implementation and coaching. Email Beth at institute.art.based.literacy@gmail.com to learn more.

Ten-Minute Video Overview

Prepared for the National ESEA Conference, Beth offers a 10-minute narrated overview of the Picturing Writing and Image-Making processes using a montage of classroom photographs interspersed with video clips of students speaking about their experiences.



4/24/2022 – Check out our Picturing Writing Summer Institute – Mornings Only, Virtual, Graduate Credits Available!

11/04/2021 – Seven News Flashes From Picturing Writing!

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