Do You PWIM?
I first heard of PWIM in a workshop for ELA teachers. It was mentioned in passing, within the context of writing, with much enthusiasm. Being the kind of teacher who won’t leave any stone left unturned, I jotted the acronym down in my notebook and scoured the Internet when I got home. What I found was a rather simple, yet exciting method for teaching vocabulary and writing skills that could easily be used in our ESL classrooms.
The Picture Word Inductive Model (PWIM) developed by Emily Calhoun (1998), can be used at every level. It promotes the expansion of vocabulary, encourages discussion, and creates the foundation for strong language and communication skills. Students follow the 10-step sequence, in teams or in pairs, and then complete their writing independently. All you need to begin is a picture!
The following figure from Emily Calhoun’s book, Teaching Beginning Reading and Writing with the Picture Word Inductive Model*, presents the moves and the overall sequence of the model. Calhoun (1999) mentions that “the full sequence of a PWIM unit may take three days or two months: The length of units and number of lessons within a unit depend on the richness of the picture, the age and language development of the students, and the language objectives of the teacher.”
Figure 1.—Overview of the Picture Word Inductive Model (Calhoun, 1999).
|Steps of the PWIM
Strengths of the PWIM.
The basic steps of the PWIM stress these components of phonics, grammar, mechanics, and usage:
To find out more about the PWIM:
1. The Best Ways To Modify The Picture Word Inductive Model For ELLs
2. Glimpsing the Model in Kindergarten and Second Grade *
3. Visit the Intensive ESL Community and type PWIM into the search bar.
ESL Special Project
*Calhoun, E. (1999). Teaching Beginning Reading and Writing with the Picture Word Inductive Model. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.