Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wordless Wonders: Great Ways to Use Wordless Picture Books

Did you know that there are many wordless picture books which are sitting on library shelves just waiting to be opened by a curious preschooler, parent, or educator? You may think what can I possibly do with a book filled with pictures, but no words to describe the plot or main characters plight within the tale? The answer is plenty!

 Check out these suggestion for using wordless picture books to spice up your story times or lesson plans:

  • Write your own story using the wonderfully descriptive illustrations that wordless picture books rely on to get their message across. Give the characters and place setting a name such as Humphrey the Hippo or Sleepy Willow Woods, use verbs to describe what is happening in the pictures etc. Have children become illustrators by letting them draw pictures of their retelling of the story. You can write the words to their stories  underneath their illustrations just like in "real" picture books.

  • Create a flannel board or stick puppets from the images found within the story and retell the story.

  • Have children look at the pages to describe details within the illustrations. Prompt children to count how many birds are in the trees?, make comparisons such as is the dog in the picture big or little?, bolster color recognition through questions such as can you find any yellow things in this picture? The possibilities are endless!

  • Have children put on a play using the exciting adventures found within the book's pages. They can make up stories and dialogues surrounding the characters which they can act out in the classroom or in the den. Homemade instruments such as egg shakers (plastic Easter eggs filled with rice and sealed with duct tape) or drums made from empty oatmeal containers are perfect for creating sound effects within the story.

So come on down to the library and check out one of these or many other fabulous wordless picture books!

The Treasure Bath by Dan Andreasen
A wordless picture book in which a young boy explores a creature filled world beneath the bubbles in his bathtub.
Rainstorm by Barbara Lehman
In this wordless picture book a boy finds a mysterious key which leads him on an adventure one rainy day.
The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
In this wordless retelling of an Aesop fable, an adventuresome mouse proves that even small creatures are capable of great deeds when he rescues the King of the Jungle.
The Umbrella by Ingrid Schubert
 A little dog finds an umbrella in the garden on a windy day. The moment the dog picks up the umbrella, it catches the wind and pulls the dog skywards. This is the start to a fantastic journey around the world. The wind carries the umbrella and the dog all over the world.
Chalk by Bill Thomson
A wordless picture book about three children who go to a park on a rainy day, find some chalk, and draw pictures that come to life.
(Source of Summaries: SirsiDynix Symphony WorkFlows)