Wordless Books in the Classroom
One of my favorite parts of teaching preschoolers was watching them flip through the pages of a picture book while listening to them read aloud their own story about what was taking place. Some of my more animated students would add dramatic tone of voice, accents, or even hand gestures. They were unable to yet recognize the words however their wonderful imaginations created a story all their own.
This important step in early literacy seems be somewhat lost when students begin focusing so heavily on what each word says. For this reason it’s a wonderful idea to include wordless books into your classroom library. With such a strong emphasis placed on reading it can be an adjustment for older children to pick up a book without words, however, with teacher guidance it can be a great learning experience. Without words prompting when to turn pages or how the story should be told, children are able to really spend time studying the pictures while trying to decipher what message the illustrator is trying to convey. Wordless books can also be a confidence booster for struggling readers or English language learners. Without text you level the playing field allowing for each child to create a story unique to them.
Here are some really great wordless books to get your library started:
A sequel to Where’s Walrus, Where’s Walrus and Penguin is a fun story about Walrus once again escaping from the zoo, but this time he takes a new friend with him…Penguin! Walrus and Penguin experience many adventures throughout the day, but the most exciting is Walrus finding a female walrus that catches his eye!
Daniel Miyares’ newest book, Float has illustrations so beautiful you forget about the missing text. His stunning pictures come alive to tell the story of a little boy taking his paper boat outside for a ride down the backyard stream. When it’s swept down the storm drain he is left to decide what to do next.
More wordless books that would be a great addition to any library:
Where’s Walrus by Stephen Savage. 9780439700498. 2011. Grade PS-2
Where’s Walrus and Penguin by Stephen Savage. 9780545402958. 2015. Grade PS-2
Float by Daniel Miyares. 9781481415248. 2015. Grade PS-2
Chalk by Bill Thomson. 9780761455264. 2010. Grade PS-2
A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka. 9780375858611. 2011. Grade PS-2
Pool by Jihyeon Lee. 9781452142944. 2015. Grade PS-K
The Flower Man by Mark Ludy. 9780991635214. 2014. Grade PS-2