Wordless books are a fantastic addition to any early years classroom. We love using this type of text to promote and support literacy development. Through carefully examining the illustrations children begin to construct and make meaning of the illustrations. This allows the child to become deeply engaged in the story telling process.
How to Read a Wordless Book with a Child:
1. Predict – use language like “next” and “then” this will support children in developing an understanding of the flow of a story.
2. Language – Expose children to rich and complex language to describe, explain and make connections to the text.
3. Alternate – The story can be told in many different ways!
4. Yahooo! – Make noises, be creative, create games and make sure to PLAY!
We have used these texts in a variety of ways in our classrooms:
1. Shared Reading – Invite the children to view the book with you. Encourage the children to tell the story in their mind.
2. Poke Game – After sharing the book with the students review the book again. Tell them their finger is magic and when they poke something on the page they can either speak or make a sound. You can vary the game asking for: thoughts, dialogue, sound effects etc.
“Chalk” by Bill Thompson is a great book to introduce the ‘poke’ game.
3. Partner “Reading” – Partner reading allows all children to participate in the process of reading. Encourage students to read the book silently first. Once they understand the story they can ‘read’ the book to each other by alternating pages, taking on specific character roles, or playing the ‘poke’ game.
4. Illustration Study – Use wordless books to take an in-depth look at illustrations. Discuss the various techniques illustrators use to show motion, emotion, background etc.
“In Pictures and In Words” by Katie Ray Wood is an excellent resource to support you in developing an illustration study with young children.
A few of our “Playfully Inspired” favourites are:
Click here for more wordless books on our Pinterest page.