Hieroglyphs for Teachers: Part 2

I wrote the first part of Hieroglyphs for Teachers two months ago. I initially wrote it as an ideas piece because I originally wanted to hear opinions and suggestions from other teachers.

However, I received a few e-mails and a few comments asking if the images were available for download. I hadn’t provided a download in the previous article because I felt that it was a project still in development and that I didn’t have a complete set of icons.

One other reason for not providing the icons was that I tend to use them as part of presentations, as lesson plan prompts or instructional aids. This format wasn’t particularly useful for a low-tech approach in the classroom and not every teacher would appreciate them in that format.

So, after being asked for the images, I decided I would make them into cards. So, I printed the images on A4 sheets of white card and laminated the sheets. I then cut them up into individual cards.


Currently there are 45 different cards, which can be download here.

The original images can be downloaded here.

I created the majority of the images using custom shape tools in Microsoft® PowerPoint 2016. Some of the images come from a preinstalled font and others I had to search for inspiration to create them.


Using the Cards in the Classroom

Choose the cards you need to help convey your instructions.

In this example, I have chosen four cards. The pen and paper card, the pair work card, the timer card, and the reporting card.

The cards are placed on the table in order. You can also place the cards blank face up, so that you reveal one step at a time.

The instructions I want to give to my students are:

You need pen and paper.

Find a partner.

Interview your partner. How much time do you want?


Find a new partner.

Tell your partner what you learned about the person you interviewed.

By pointing to the individual instructional cards, it helps lower-level students key in on my instructions. With higher level students, I can show the instructional cards to them and elicit the instructions from them. This gives them a further opportunity to practice speaking English.

I hope you will find these icons useful.

Please leave a comment if you have any ideas, suggestions or you simply want to share your experiences of using images for classroom instruction.

Alternatively, you can send me a message by visiting the contact page, leaving me a message on my Facebook page or by following me on Twitter.

Thanks for reading and take care!

Many thanks to Owen Kozlowski and Sandy Millin for their ideas of instructional icons.

Owen gave me the idea of using a camera icon as a prompt for students. That idea led to the development of further icons and symbols.

Sandy suggested “Don’t write” as an instructional icon, which led to the development of additional icons.

You may also like to read:

Hieroglyphs for Teachers - Featured Image
I wrote an article about using ‘hieroglyphs’ as graphic communication in the classroom and how the idea was inspired by cave art, early writing systems and the graphical communication that early civilizations used.

The icons were designed in Microsoft® PowerPoint 2016 and the cards were created with Microsoft® Word 2016.

Many of the icons were original designs, but some icons were developed from online examples or, in the case of the card symbols, by using preinstalled fonts such as Arial  or Arial Black. If I have neglected to give credit or provide an appropriate copyright notice, please get in touch and I will update this article immediately.

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