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Recently, my two daughters and I have been enjoying several wordless picture books put out by Candlewick Press. They have loved them, and I never realized just how many uses there are for wordless picture books.
Benefits of Wordless Picture Books
- Wordless books build reading comprehension skills even before a child can actually read words.
- Wordless books can provide a springboard for creative writing or creative storytelling (see the video below for an example).
- Wordless books allow for the use of more complex sentences and vocabulary.
- Wordless books provide a less-cluttered means to study symbolism in art (see the video below as an example).
- Wordless books encourage discussion.
- Wordless books are great for teaching students to analyze a story from different perspectives or interpretations.
- Health News has even shared some recent research that wordless books increase vocabulary and literacy in toddlers MORE THAN picture books with words!
[bctt tweet=”Wordless books increase vocabulary and literacy in toddlers MORE THAN books with words!”]
Ideas for Using Wordless Picture Books
- “Read” the story aloud to the child being sure to incorporate lots of descriptive words and/or new vocabulary.
- Have the child tell a story using the book as a guide (see the video below for an example).
- Ask the child to tell the events in the story ordinally. First the character did this….and second, he went here…etc. Or, copy a few of the pages from the story and have the child place them in order.
- Have the child create his/her own story based on one of the characters in the wordless book.
- Ask your child what he/she thinks is happening in the story (see the video below for an example)
- Use the images to identify animals, plants, or habitats.
- Have the child use the wordless book as a guide to create his/her own wordless book.
- Ask your child what part of the story is shown in pictures, and what part is left out? What would they add?
- Talk about how the character’s expressions impact the interpretation of the story (see the video below for an example).
- Help your child answer the following questions about the book: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?
- Ask your child, “what is the mood of the story? How do you know?”
- Compare the book to another book with words.
- Use a wordless book to introduce other cultures (see the video below for an example).
Encourage Book Talks With Your Kids
A month or so ago, I began having book talks or aural narration opportunities with my girls to make sure they were understanding what they were reading (whether books with or without words). To help with the process I asked several of my followers on Facebook and Instagram for ideas–“what questions do you think is important to ask your child when discussing a book?”
The result was the Book Talk guide below. It has helped me guide our discussions so that they are meaningful and fun. In fact, my girls LOVE doing book talks on video now that they want to create one almost every day (thus the reason for the many videos in today’s post)! All that to say, feel free to grab a copy for yourself to spur on book talks with your own kids!
Some Sensational Wordless Books for Your Homeschool
Although we shared these books in the videos above, here is a list of our current favorite wordless books by Candlewick Press. They are beautifully done with wonderful artwork. In fact, a few have even won awards for their creativity. Use the videos as a guide to figure out which books might be best for your child, and start transforming your homeschool with wordless books!
- Journey by Aaron Becker
- Quest by Aaron Becker
- Sidewalk Circus by Paul Fleischman
- Mirror by Jeanie Baker
- Before After by Matthias Arégui
- The White Book by Silvia Borando
- Welcome to Mamoko
- The World of Mamoko in the Time of the Dragons
- The Year of Mamoko in the Year 3000