Why would you use wordless picture books in your house or classroom? What benefit could they possibly have? What if I told you that there are many benefits of using wordless picture books? If I’m being honest, they weren’t my favorite when I first started teaching. But, over the years I have come to love them and all the uses that they provide for the classroom and when working with my daughter at home.
Benefits of Wordless Picture Books
There are so many benefits of wordless picture books. Let’s take a look at a few:
- The kids get to make up their own story. Can anyone say, “Hello creativity?” These books are a fantastic way to engage children in making up their own story. Another benefit to this is that the stories don’t always have to be the same.
- No fear of being right or wrong! There are no words to worry about so there is much less pressure for your beginning reader. By eliminating that pressure, you are allowing your child or student to feel like an accomplished reader at the very beginning of their reading journey.
- Teaches them to look at the pictures to figure it out. This is a skill that is encouraged in out Kindergarten kiddos to help them when they are first starting to learn to read. If you preschooler already comes in with that skill, they will be light years ahead.
- Sequencing skills. Does their story make sense with the pictures? Do they follow a simple story structure? Is there a beginning, middle, and end? Wordless pictures books can help develop all of these sequencing skills plus many more.
- Predicting. Once they get to know the story’s flow better, they will start being able to tell what is coming next from memory. This is a critical skill for Kindergarteners in order to hit important reading milestones.
Wordless Picture Books for Preschoolers
One of my favorite wordless picture books for this age is, fly! by Mark Teague. This lovely book is all about a baby bird whose mama thinks he is ready to leave the nest. Although the baby bird doesn’t like that plan. This book is so lighthearted and fun, you children would love telling the story again and again.
My daughter loves the silly pages in this book and the illustrations are very well done. I really love the fact that she picks this book up multiple times a week.
Another book that is perfect for this age group is Flashlight by Lizi Boyd. This book takes kids on an adventure in the nighttime using a flashlight. It is also a good way to help them get over their fear of the dark.
This book is a favorite of my daughter’s for sure as each time she looks at it she finds something different in the flashlight beam.
Wordless Books for Kindergarten
I love Chalk by Bill Thomson! In this story, kids find chalk that has been left on the playground. They then come up with all types of drawings but realize there is a special secret about the chalk. The kids then have to use their imagination and drawing skills to get out of a sticky situation.
My students enjoy this book because they love getting a chance to use their imagination as to how they would solve the problem. I love seeing them use their creativity and come back to this book again and again.
This is another one of my favorites, One Little Bag by Henry Cole. A whole hearted tale of how the little bag came to be from the very beginning. Although the tale doesn’t end there. It is super sweet and has an underlying theme of reusing things over and over again.
My students enjoy the pictures and seeing what will happen next. I love the fact that we can tie in the topic of recycling especially in today’s society.
Okay, who doesn’t love Tomie dePaola! Did you know that he made wordless picture books too? One is Pancakes for Breakfast and is it awesome!
First the illustrations are beautiful in true dePaola style. But, then the story line is fantastic too. A little old lady is trying to make pancakes but her mischievous pets make it difficult.
My students love this story because they find the pets hilarious. Also who doesn’t love pancakes?!?! I always use this in conjunction with my following directions activity on the first day of school or when working on sequencing (we put directions for making pancakes in the right order)
It’s no secret, I LOVE wordless pictures books for home and in the classroom. I feel that the add a different element to the classroom as kids are used to looking or reading books with pictures. They do take a little bit of time to get used to because kids can be reluctant at first. However, they will quickly fall in love with them like my students do every year.
Don’t see you favorites here? Drop them in the comments!!
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