How do I explain rich pictures?

Written by mara pesacreta
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How do I explain rich pictures?
Drawing for Rich Pictures (chair drawing # 3 image by Stephen Jacoby from

A rich picture is a diagram that presents a given idea with a concept mapping strategy and illustrations. Concept maps consist of words, arrows, and lines. They help to portray the relationship between the ideas. The pictures that you draw provide you with a visual representation as well. In order to explain rich pictures, find a topic to create a rich picture for, make an outline, create a concept map, put the words in the map, and then draw pictures.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Coloured pencils
  • Markers

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  1. 1

    Tell the students what a rich picture looks like, and what it is used for. You can tell the students that a rich picture is a diagram with pictures. The pictures show how the main idea and the smaller ideas connect with one another. Rich pictures are used for brainstorming, devising new ideas, and organising information.

  2. 2

    Determine the subject of your rich picture. One of the most effective ways to explain rich pictures is to give an example of rich pictures. You may choose to create a rich picture about designing a dress.

  3. 3

    Make an outline of your information. On a separate sheet of paper, write down ideas that correspond to designing a dress. You can write about the type of fabric, such as cotton or wool. You may write the target audience, which is women. You can also write down materials, such as a sewing machine, a needle, and thread. Tell the students that these ideas will be used in the rich picture.

  4. 4

    Make the concept map for the rich picture. Write the words "Dress Design" at the centre. Draw three lines and three arrows pointing away from the words "Dress Design." After one arrow, write "Fabric." For the other arrow, write "Audience," and for the other arrow, write "Materials." Show the students that the fabric, audience, and materials are the next smaller ideas after the concept of the dress design.

  5. 5

    Fill in the other ideas of the rich picture. As you write down the other components of the rich picture, you can tell the students how one idea leads to other ideas. For example, after the word "Fabric," draw two lines and two arrows. Write "Cotton" after one arrow, and "Wool" after the other. After the word "Audience," make a line and an arrow, and write "Women." After the word "Materials," draw three lines and three arrows. At the end of one arrow, write "Sewing Machine." After the other, write "Needle," and after the other, write "Thread."

  6. 6

    Draw the pictures that relate to each of the ideas presented within the concept map. For example, for the "Dress Design," you can draw a picture of a dress underneath. Then, colour the pictures.

  7. 7

    Show the students how you can consider your main idea more clearly based on the organisation of the rich picture. For example, identifying the picture of the sewing machine will immediately alert you that this is a piece of equipment you will need in order to make the dress. Looking at the picture is much faster than reading each of the words. Therefore, rich pictures are efficient.

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