Classic Picture Stories for Language Teaching (free sample materials)

ELT Author Peter Viney has provided us with free sample materials (PDFs) which you can print off for classroom use. This is something he would like feedback on and you can let him know your thoughts by commenting below or via his blog here. Some teachers may recognise the material as did BEBC Managing Director, John Walsh, who used them himself back in 1964! Enjoy.

Flight 13

Flight 13 is a sample from the classic ELT series of picture compositions based on the work of the artist Fougasse. These were multi-purpose and used for practice while teaching any language. The virtue of the Fougasse series was that it could be used at any level (depending on the ingenuity and imagination of the teacher), and that the stories were clear, simple and timeless.

The picture stories were available as large wallcharts and also in a book, with very complex sentences where students added words, but this wasn’t a free choice as the initial letter of the word, and the number of characters, was given. This doesn’t tie-in with current methodology, and also removes the flexibility that attracted teachers to the picture stories in the first place.

Three Vee and BEBC have discussed making these picture stories available again. To this end, we have prepared new Teacher’s Notes and new Student Worksheets for one story, Flight 13. We are offering it to ELT (and other language) teachers as a trial. It’s preferable to present the stories one frame at a time rather than as a whole. Please try it class. These are wonderful time-fillers, and wonderful ‘lessons up the sleeve’ for unforeseen circumstances.

The materials available as A4 PDFs are:

The master picture (with all four frames of the story at A4 size) PDF. Check your printer. On our HP printer we had to scale it at 150% to fill an A4 sheet.

Picture 1 (A4) for use as a flashcard

Picture 2 (A4) for use as a flashcard

Picture 3 (A4) for use as a flashcard

Picture 4 (A4) for use as a flashcard

Teachers’ Notes (5 pages A4)

Student worksheets (4 pages A4)

We would like teachers to try these in class and to give us feedback by commenting on this page.

These are some questions we would like to answer:

1)    Would you like Teachers Notes for Hiigher Levels?

2)    Would you like large (A2) wallcharts?

3)    Would you like the pictures available for Whiteboard?

4)    Would you buy the pictures on their own?

5)    Would you buy a set of Photocopiable Masters with Worksheets?

6)    Would you buy small books for classroom use, containing twenty-four of the picture stories with worksheets?

7)    Do you like the activities given? Would you omit any? Would you add any?

A NOTE ON COPYRIGHT: We have endeavoured to find the original copyright holders on these pictures, but our enquiries at previous publishers, and on illustrator and author websites have drawn a complete blank. If the copyright holder would like to contact us, we can discuss further moves.

Activities and notes: Three Vee / BEBC © 2014

9 thoughts on “Classic Picture Stories for Language Teaching (free sample materials)

  1. I think this material is made fun by the old-fashioned cartoons. I like the different types of tasks offered because they can be used at different levels and for different language learning reasons. I quite like the idea of wall charts because pictures bring words and sentences to mind. I can see that funny poems / songs would naturally develop out of these exercises and help fix the language in student memories. Depending on the story, the sequence could be acted out, extended and developed.
    In question three, is the whiteboard the same as the smartboard? I think that the more we have on the screen to play with, the better!! I teach from middle school to adults and also do business English courses. Thanks, Kit Sutherland.

    • Hi Kit, sorry for the late reply. In answer to your question, the whiteboard is the same as a smartboard in this context. Thanks for your feedback!

  2. I have tried using ‘Flight 13’ materials and found them to be very effective for it maximizes oral participation. It amazed me when the silent students in class started raising their hands which was least expected.

  3. Derrick Daniels- RSA

    Thank you for the material! I shall most certainly use it for my grade 7 English learners!!

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  5. Thanks! The material are really great for students. I also use this kind of materials for my pupils.

  6. THis is just what i was looking for! I needed to make a modified test for my student that has language processing difficulties. And pictures are immensely easier for her… Thank you so much

  7. The best series of picture stories was made back in the 70’s, if I remember, by Oxford press, it was a series of posters each with four pictures in black and white, and then a legal-size piece of paper with the pictures at the top and lines to write below. Some stories I remember are the man who runs into the truck on his bicycle, the man who has a tooth that hurts and goes to the dentist, and a man and woman go sailing to picnic on an island and on the way back the wind dies. I may have a copy of the legal papers in a box, but they were the best in that you had high quality drawings and a definite narrative.

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