Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Few of My Favorites... Wordless Books!

Hi, Teaching Friends!

I'm linking up today with Teaching Trio for their monthly Favorite Things Linky Party.

Do you use wordless books in your classroom? I think they're a super tool for both reading and writing. Here are three of my favorites!

For pre-readers and early readers, wordless books show children that the pictures carry some or all of the message of a book.

Look through books together and talk about each page, a lot like doing a picture walk with early readers. Talk about vocabulary, making predictions, the setting, the characters... you're building the habits your students will need as they become early readers. In their first books with words, the text and pictures will contribute equally to the meaning, so wordless books will help your students learn to attend to details in the illustrations.

Pair children for buddy reading wordless books. This affirms our message to them that "reading the pictures" is truly a kind of reading! You might want to set a format to equalize participation, like "buddies read every other page", or "Buddy One asks a question about the page. Buddy Two answers the question as part of his reading of the page".

Find discarded copies of wordless books and cut them apart! They're great for sequencing the story. For books with a main character or two, cut out pictures, attach to a popsicle stick or cut finger holes, and you have puppets for retelling. Library book sales, garage sales, and thrift shops are all great sources for super-cheap books!

Wordless books are great for labeling! Put some early words on sticky notes and let your students have at it! After a student labels a page, snap a picture and use it for a class book of words, or put them into a mini-album for a reference in your writing center. Here's an example from Istvan Banyai's Zoom.  I love, love, love this book!!

                                                (Just in case you want to "zoom" in for a closer look!)

Check my post at Teaching Blog Roundup for some ideas for using wordless books with more advanced readers!

Click on the button to head over to Teaching Trio today to see what others' faves are, class projects, fashions, school tools, and more!

Teaching Trio

Happy Teaching!


  1. I love wordless books! I have not ever read Zoom, so I will have to check it out. One of my favorite nearly wordless books is Tuesday by David Wiesner. It's always one of my students' favorites!

    Adventures of a Schoolmarm

    1. I like "nearly wordless", too, Beth. For instance, when we read "Two Bad Ants", we do so much focusing on predicting and drawing conclusions via the illustrations that I almost think of it as wordless. No offense to Chris Van Allsburg ... it's a marvelous book!
      Thanks for your comment!


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