DE Summer School: SOS- Four-to-One

Welcome the DE Summer School special edition of SOS.  Our S.O.S series provides help, tips, and tricks for integrating DE media into your curriculum. During August, we’ll be featuring our STAR Community’s favorite strategies and how they have made them their own.

original post
Four-to-One PDF
link to all PDFs in the SOS series


Special thanks to DEN STAR and Principal Delsia Easely (@Jonnai2 and @WEStriplin) Gadsen  for sharing how she brought this SOS to her students.


           This is a fun, creative, and easy to implement instructional strategy. I used this strategy with my English Learner (EL) and intervention students. Although I’m not a classroom teacher, I support classroom teachers as their principal/instructional leader by helping to re-mediate small groups at various grade levels. I use the PhotoGrid app to merge images found on Discovery. If technology fails, then feel free to use any four images you’d like from flashcards or magazines. This strategy allows students to make connections using the four pictures. The end product is a complete sentence that incorporates the four images.

Here are the steps I took. We love utilizing technology, so sharing via projector and screen, is fun for my students. Merge four photos onto an interactive smart board or use a photo app to display four pictures at once. Give students a sheet of paper. Have them divide the paper into four squares/boxes. We set a timer for one minute, thirty seconds. During those 90 seconds, students work in quads using their iPads to record what they know about the pictures. Their knowledge may derive from a prior experience, a memory or from something read. We shared our photo responses via our mounted projectors. Some students used the Show Me app and others used the notepad on their iPad. Then students were given one minute, thirty seconds to create a complete sentence using new information gleaned from the presentations.

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  1. Dana Johnston said:

    This is one of my go-to strategies! My favorite way to use it is with my ELD students. I show the pics and sometimes give them vocabulary to use and other times ask them to come up with their own words to use. I can use it in conjunction with our unit or as a stand alone activity. When they have to make it down to one sentence per table group, it is great for them to talk to one another. And the grammar review is exactly what they need!

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