Have you discovered the joys of wordless picture books? Books such as Chalk by Bill Thomson and The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney are just two examples from this wonderful world that is just right for encouraging oral language, understanding of story structure, and the development of critical/creative thinking. And a big benefit in our eyes is the way these books can draw in our ELLs. Studies show that families, who speak a language other than English, are engaged and have valuable interaction in their home language when given wordless picture books.
For emerging readers, show them the cover and ask if they can predict what the book will be about based on the illustration. Then open the book. Remember this act alone is modeling for children the way to hold books and turn pages. Encourage the child to turn the pages, taking in the illustrations. Let the child’s imagination soar!
Then go back through the book a second time. An adult can begin by telling a story in his or her best expressive voice to match the illustration on the page. This model will likely encourage the child (children) to use an expressive voice, too and will show that the sky is the limit for storytelling!
When finished, have the child share his or her favorite parts of the story you told together and/or point out a favorite picture.
Be sure to take out the book again, a few days later. Set the stage by starting your story with different words or from a different viewpoint. This gives children “permission” to tell the story a different way.
Be sure to invite families to be a part of the wordless picture book experience, in any language. This would make a helpful Family Night Demonstration.
NAEYC – 2.D.02; 2.D.04; & 2.E.04.
Head Start – VII. A. & VIII.B.
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