Wordless Picture Books

As teachers, we know that the benefits of reading books aloud to children are immeasurable. But have you ever read a wordless picture book to your students?  Wordless picture books are books with no, or very few, words. These books require readers to rely on the illustrations and not the text, to drive the story. 

Wordless Picture Books

Since readers must “read” the story through the illustrations, they are having to evaluate visual information, activate their schema(background knowledge), make inferences, predictions, and connections without help from the text. All of this is causing children to dive deeper into the book and as a result, find deeper meaning in the story as well as sharpening their comprehension skills.

Wordless picture books also allow new readers to enjoy a book without the pressure of getting the words correct. When they read the story, they are using their imagination and creativity while also developing their vocabulary. More advanced readers will discover a new depth to books by learning how to closely examine the illustrations for clues to story elements such as character feelings, foreshadowing, cause & effect, etc. 

Wordless Picture Books

How to Teach with Wordless Picture Books:

Picture Walk: Look through the book’s illustrations before going back and “reading” the story. 

Pay attention to details:  When looking through the pictures, be sure to pay close attention to the faces and body language of the characters.  Be sure to notice the use of color, and any other clues you can find in the illustrations.

Make Predictions: Look for clues in the cover illustration and throughout the book to make predictions about what the story will be about and what will happen next.

Oral Storytelling: Children can tell the story to a partner or the whole class using their own words.  This gives them the chance to orally express what they see happening and helps build a strong vocabulary.

Story Writing:  Older children can write the story in their own words.

Add dialogue: Add speech bubble sticky notes to the pages of the book and write what the characters are saying.

Read the book multiple times:  You’ll be surprised what you notice on a 2nd or 3rd reading that you didn’t see the first time!

Benefits of Wordless Picture Books: 

*Improves observation & critical thinking skills 

*Increases reading comprehension skills 

*Promotes creativity & imagination 

*Improves oral language development 

*Helps develop vocabulary 

*Increases awareness of story elements

Wordless Picture Books

If you would like a downloadable list of some great wordless picture books, click here for your free copy!
These are just some of the great ones I've come across. (I know there are many more out there, and I can't wait to discover them all!)
Click here for printable information on wordless picture books and a book list

You can also visit this link to see all of my favorites in one place on Amazon. 
(This is an affiliate links)

What is your favorite Wordless Picture Book?

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Wordless picture books