Posted 11/6/13
The Woman in Red Dress photograph was taken on 28 May 2013, the very first day of the clashes between Turkish protesters and police. It has come to be a defining image of the events since that time. Two weeks later it still seems to capture so much about the story, the injustice and the cause. There are several versions of the image but this is the one that is used for the picturetelling activity.
  • Language level: Intermediate (B1) +
  • Learner type: Teens; Adults
  • Time: 50 minutes
  • Activity: Picturetelling
  • Topic: Protests
  • Language: Describing parts of an image
  • Materials: A photojournalistic image
Gezi Park pdf [downloaded 4489 times]

Image outlines

The lesson plan makes use of a sketch outline of the image. I used an iPad app called Graphite to create this (click on images to enlarge).

Outline 1

In the following version, I used Picasa to add text.

Picturetelling text

Another idea for using outlines would be to create a gallery of sketches based on photographs from the protests. Ask students to speculate what is happening in each picture before showing them the actual images and moving on to the story and issues.

Outline 2

Outline 5

Outline 6

Outline 4

Outline 3

Note the language point: Subject + ing form of the verb

  • A women being sprayed with pepper spray
  • A policeman spraying a women with pepper spray
  • Two women escaping from the scene

Answers here:

Posted 11/6/13

34 Responses to Gezi Park

  1. Linda says:

    Great lesson idea! Thanks. We do an Easier English wiki for New Internationalist articles, which might also be useful, and have put a great article on in the latest issue with several photos of what’s going on in Turkey, with simplified English description. After reading, learners can click on the original and read that: There are lots more simplified articles on global justice, and ready lessons on ppt and pdf for teachers to use.

  2. Jamie Keddie says:

    Thanks Linda :)

  3. Cris says:

    Inspiring in so many ways: technologically – I’m now taking an online course on webtools; politically and socially – as a Brazilian I’ve found the theme and the tone of major significance; and as a teacher I loved the concept, which can be applied to so many teaching contexts and language areas.

  4. Jamie Keddie says:

    Thank you Cris
    Very glad you like it. I am planning to create a lot more content like this.
    All the best from Barcelona to Brazil!
    Jamie :)

  5. Olia says:

    Thank you, Jamie, for this wonderful lesson plan. I used it with my B1(+) groups and it all went really well!!!! I love discussing topics of social and political importance at my lessons.
    I was surprised how imaginative and creative my students can be. When interpreting the photograph they suggested the woman’s clothes could have a symbolic meaning: red dress and white shoulder bag – the colours of the Turkish flag…
    They enjoyed writing their own sentences, too. I put them in groups and asked to compare their ideas and choose the best examples for each of the frames. Some of the sentences were very unusual and original. The students liked the activity a lot.
    In the pepper spray incident video they noticed a rainbow flag and speculated about other possible reasons behind the incident)))
    At the end of the lesson I showed them your video (picturetelling in the park). My groups were so happy to have no difficulties at all in understanding the language. I think it made them more confident in their skills and abilities. After we watched the video I asked them to select the pieces of language from the lesson that they would like to retain.
    I also sent them the link to the New Internationalist article Linda shared in comment #1. They loved it!
    Thank you again for that lesson. It was thought-provoking, productive and fun at the same time!!

  6. Jamie Keddie says:

    Thank you very much for sharing your experience Olia. It sounds like you and your students did an excellent job. It’s great to hear how other teachers make use of these resources.
    Jamie :)

  7. Emma Gore-Lloyd says:

    Hello Jamie!
    Thanks for this lesson plan. I used it last week with my Upper Int class and it worked really well. We followed it up with an activity where half the class used the descriptive techniques they’d practised to describe another picture (of Standing Man) to their partner, who couldn’t see the picture and had to draw it. Then, after some discussion about the picture and what was going on, they wrote a poem like the one you wrote about the woman in the red dress about Standing Man. They came up with some great stuff!

  8. Jamie Keddie says:

    Thanks Emma – a great idea for connecting one image with another. Thanks for sharing.
    Jamie :)

  9. Catarina says:

    Sounds really interesting! Want to try it with my Ss!



  10. Jamie Keddie says:

    Thank you Catarina
    Good luck with it!
    Jamie :)

  11. kerem Atmaca says:

    ı am from turkey and ı approve this message thx jamie keddie for giving some of your time to gezi parkı (biberine gazına eyvallah)


  12. Jamie Keddie says:

    Thank you Kerem
    I just got back from Turkey. I was lucky enough to experience some of that tear gas for myself in Kadıköy. What horrible stuff. I didn’t realise it could get through doors and windows and into people’s homes.
    Thank you for your message. All the best from Barcelona.
    Jamie :)

  13. rumaisa says:

    Grate idea. i wish you were arabic teacher.then help to arabic teachers like me :)

  14. Jamie Keddie says:

    Thank you Rumaisa
    I know a few words in Arabic but that’s all. Perhaps one day you could teach me to write them!
    Jamie :)

  15. rumaisa says:

    هل يمكن ماء؟ hal yumkin maa
    أنا أستاذ ana ustaaz :)
    i’ve already taught

  16. Jamie Keddie says:


  17. Holly Perrin says:

    This reminds me a bit of a YouTube video: “Miami Police Shot Protestor, then laugh about it” posted by dedots. She was also wearing red….
    Thanks again to you, Jamie Keddie, for your help.

  18. Helen Keenan says:

    HI Jamie
    I’m just catching up on stuff I’ve missed on your site and found this.Thanks again for sharing. It reminded me of The Guardian’s 1986 ‘Points of view’ advert with a skinhead running shot from 3 points of view. I don’t know if you remember it, but I found it on You Tube. I remember it well as it was filmed on an estate I was living in called the Pullens in SE17, London. Since then I too have moved to Barcelona : )

  19. Jamie Keddie says:

    Hello Helen
    Yes I remember it. It’s here:
    Welcome to Barcelona
    J :)

  20. Benian says:

    Hi Jamie,
    Beside from the inspiring method of this activity, I want to thank you for the great sensitivity and awareness you have shown towards the protests in Gezi Park, all the best from Turkey:)

  21. Jamie Keddie says:

    Thank you Benian. I’m glad you like it.
    Jamie :)

  22. Georgina says:

    Greetings from Argentina! A great idea to go with images and try to do something different in class. Is there any other tool (free of charge) that may allow me to draw sketches like the ones you created on your ipad?

    Thanks again:)

  23. Jamie Keddie says:

    Thanks Georgina
    I’m afraid I don’t know of any other apps. But the one I recommended (Graphite) has a free version:
    * Graphite full version:
    * Graphite Lite (free):
    Jamie :)

  24. e_smile says:

    Hi Jamie,
    Great story (in the video) just to put the babies to sleep….. If law says you have to stop, it means you have to stop otherwise THE LAW (I am talking about democratic countries, don’t know yours) WILL stop you…. By the way are you planning to do similar lessons for the chaos in your country or the recent one in Hamburg, in Germany?

  25. Gema Rodríguez says:

    Thank you so much for the idea, Jamie…ill use in my Spanish classes.

  26. Jamie Keddie says:

    Good luck Gema
    Jamie :)

  27. Sophie says:

    Works well with teenagers who are interested in cultural and historical topics. I found this lesson really useful and it was very motivating for one of my student. Thank you!

  28. Jamie Keddie says:

    Thanks for the comment Sophie
    Jamie :)

  29. Sherry says:

    Great lesson! I teach an adult class in Turkey and it was by far the most engaged they have ever been. Thank you for sharing this great lesson with us!

  30. Jamie Keddie says:

    Thank you Sherry and happy new year!
    Jamie :)

  31. esra says:

    WOW GREAT!!!! Thank you very much! :)))

  32. Jamie Keddie says:

    Glad you like it Esra :)

  33. Ayça says:

    I am a Turkish student in Turkey, Istanbul where the ‘Gezi’ happened and I think this topic is particularly chosen from yourself. We all know that there are lots of problems rising all over the world increasingly; so i dont understant why all foreign medias have an intend on TURKEY?

  34. Jamie Keddie says:

    Hello Ayça
    I agree with you on some levels –  the fact that I chose to use this story possibly was an indirect result of particularly prominent media eye on your country. However there are three other factors to take into account:
    1. I had just returned from Turkey when I made the video so it was fresh on my mind
    2. A lot of the activity is about the image rather than the politics
    3. There are many injustices happening all over the world and prominent images emerge from many of them. My hope is that this particular activity serves to demonstrate a technique (I call it ‘picturetelling’) that teachers can apply to images that relate to more current or deserving stories (in their opinion).
    I hope that helps. Thank you for your comment :)