So, I LOVE incorporating books into my lessons because of the tremendous amount of value they have in facilitating language and articulation during therapy. This school year, I began using wordless picture books with my students–why I waited so long…I do not know?! Wordless picture books take things to another level, especially for English Language Learners (ELLs) because there are.no.words! So it may seem a bit strange for someone unfamiliar with the benefit of wordless picture books to be inclined to ask, “Why use books with no words to teach language?”
Great question! I use them because with them, students can create their own stories in their own words–with respect to their cultural background as well as dialect. This gives me a window into the student’s ability (or lack thereof) to tap into background knowledge, vocabulary, inferencing, syntax and so much more! They are also great as part of your dynamic assessment toolkit; but more on that another day.
An article I found in preparation for this post is a really neat oldie but goodie by Flately & Rutland (1986). The title is: Using wordless picture books to teach linguistically/culturally different students. Its focus is on how to teach reading with the use of picture books, with some awesome strategies that I look forward to implementing with my non ELL students as well!
As I mentioned, I began using wordless picture books in therapy quite recently (better late than never, right?) and below are the ones I have used and ones that are on my list to use soon. Do you have any favorites?
Pancakes for Breakfast – Tomie dePaola
Good Night, Gorilla – Peggy Rathmann
Chalk – Bill Thomson
A Boy, A Dog, and a Frog – Mercer Mayer
Bee and Bird – Craig Frazier
Trainstop – Barbara Lehman
reference: Flately, K. & Rutland, A.D., (1986). Using wordless picture books to teach linguistically/culturally different students. The Reading Teacher, 40(3), 276-281.