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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Wordless Books are a Language Dream Come True!

Who can spend a whole week teaching from a wordless book?  Me! Me!
There are endless opportunities for language in a wordless book.  It's safe because the text is whatever and however a reader interprets the pictures.  In it's simplest way a wordless book can be the starting place for a story.  A reluctant writer doesn't have to come up with an idea, the story is started for them.  The writer just has to inject his/her voice into the pictures.  I'm just sitting here thinking, what a great opportunity for really reluctant writers to 'speak' their thoughts as they go through the book.  Teachers could record their 'thoughts' as the students works out what is happening in their story as they flip through the pages.  Once they've gone through all the pages, they can listen to their thoughts and perhaps come up with their story on their own.  OR they could use their recording as the story.  See?  The possibilities are endless!

Today's wordless book is Journey - By Aaron Becker.  A wordless book needs spectacular illustrations and this one does not disappoint!  Each page could be a story on it's own.  You could assign a page to each kid and have them each write a chapter.  Or they could take inspiration from all the pictures and write their own story.  Again, endless.  No student can complain that they don't know what to write about!  Who wouldn't want to write about the adventures depicted in the illustrations?

What about a conversation about loneliness?  This little girl feels ignored and retreats to her room to occupy her day.  Can students make connections to how she is feeling?  What about connections to other books?  I'm thinking 'Where the Wild Things Are' or 'Harold and the Purple Crayon'.  Ask students to make and explain their connections.

Visual Art extension - Give students a white piece of art paper with one of the red shapes on the page somewhere.  What picture can they come up with?  Can they write a story based on their picture or another classmate's picture.  It could go on and on!

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