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Showcasing Kátia Pereira and "The Captions Project"

"The Captions Project had its start while I was surfing on the Net," said Kátia Pereira. "Whenever I look at pictures, I have my own feelings about them, according to my perception of them. Since we use language to express our thoughts, I thought it would be nice if my students could use English to show their feelings or impressions about pictures in a creative manner."

"It does not matter who you love. What matters is to love each other."

A teacher of English in São Paulo, Brazil, Pereira also is in charge of designing and creating academic materials to enrich her classes.

For the first part of this project, Pereira chose pictures that might elicit students' thoughts and feelings, and posted them in her classroom at Colégio Pueri Domus. Her fifth through ninth grade students had the opportunity to examine the photos and think about them for one week. Then the fun began as students wrote original captions -- in English -- to accompany the pictures.

"The second part of the project -- taking a picture and creating a caption in English -- was meant to be a continuation of the first part," Pereira told Education World. "I wanted the students to have the chance to photograph and write about something they considered important, interesting, or funny."

"Love can be expressed in many ways."

The first class that participated in the project was a test for Pereira as well as for her students. Although they sometimes found it difficult to put their ideas into English words, the students placed captions with their names around the photos. Surprisingly, subsequent classes not only wrote more easily, they also asked to write more than one caption.

"What caught my attention and made this project such a rewarding experience for the students and for me was the fact that they wanted to read and to be read to by their peers," Pereira explained. "Evaluation by others was very important for most of them. The first thing the students did when they entered the class was to look for new captions written by other students. This was created to be a writing project, and it turned out to be a reading project as well. It was amazing to see students reading and talking about what other students had written."

Photos courtesy Kátia Pereira.

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If you're a teacher who has completed an interesting or unusual activity with your class -- or if you know of a teacher who has -- please let us know about it. E-mail a brief description of the activity, along with your contact information, to [email protected]

Article by Cara Bafile
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