10 wordless books to teach story telling

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10 wordless books that will help you teach story telling. Activities and resources to strengthen sequential story telling. Before students can write a story, they must be able to tell a story.

10 Wordless Books to Teach Story Telling

May 30 Deedee 4 min read

I love using wordless books to teach storytelling.  These 10 wordless books that are my favorite.  Before students can be asked to write a story, they must first be able to tell a story.

10 wordless books that will help you teach story telling. Activities and resources to strengthen sequential story telling. Before students can write a story, they must be able to tell a story.

The Why!

Has this happened to you?  You are so excited to start writers workshop early in the year.  You dismiss your students to start to write their stories, only to hear a chorus of “I’m DONE!” 2.2 minutes later.  Or later in the year, you read a student’s story about going to the park and it reads, “I went on the slides. I went on the swings. I played ball. I went home.”  Sigh!  Yes, we work on stamina and telling more in writer’s workshop, but “reading” wordless books is a great way to strengthen storytelling.  Because if they can’t tell a story, they won’t be able to write a story.

I have gathered 10 wordless books that are fantastic for storytelling.

The How!

First, I don’t think there is a “right way” to “read” a wordless picture book, but this is how I do it.

  • Take a picture walk:  Notice the details… Discuss how the illustrations help to tell the reader what is happening in the story.  Because there is an absence of text, the “writer” has to be certain that they make their meaning clear with the illustrations.  Isn’t this exactly what we want our emergent kindergarten writers to do?
  • Name the pages:  Take time to name what is happening on each page.  This is sort of like the planning we do when we plan to write a story.
  • Read it like a story:  Now when you read it the third time, add book language. EXAMPLE:  Once, there was a dog and his name was Carl.

Make a collection

Place a collection of wordless books in a book bin.  Revisit them often.   Allow students to have free access to them (they could even be a station activity).  Here is a list of some of my favorites.

Wordless Book #1 A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka

A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka is an adorable book.  Daisy is a dog who loves to her red ball.  Then one day, she goes to the park and her ball gets destroyed by another dog.  The illustrations are precious!

10 wordless books that will help you teach story telling. Activities and resources to strengthen sequential story telling. Before students can write a story, they must be able to tell a story.

Wordless Book #2 Chalk by Bill Thompson

Chalk by Bill Thompson is a book about three children and the magical things that happen when they find sidewalk chalk.

10 wordless books that will help you teach story telling. Activities and resources to strengthen sequential story telling. Before students can write a story, they must be able to tell a story.

Wordless Book #3 Good Dog Carl by Alexandra Day

Good Dog Carl by Alexandra Day is a classic!   Let’s pretend that the mom did not leave the baby alone with the dog so she could go shopping!   BUT Carl is a pretty awesome babysitter!

10 wordless books that will help you teach story telling. Activities and resources to strengthen sequential story telling. Before students can write a story, they must be able to tell a story.

Wordless Book #4 The Red Book by Barbara Lehman

The Red Book by Barbara Lehman is a fantasy book that starts when I child finds a book.  Each page builds upon the previous page and they zoom in and zoom out.

You can see how each these pages BEG you to look closer!

10 wordless books that will help you teach story telling. Activities and resources to strengthen sequential story telling. Before students can write a story, they must be able to tell a story.

Wordless Book #5 Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd is the adventures of a boy who uses his flashlight to discover things in the dark.

I love how the majority of the illustrations are in black and white, yet where the stream of light shines you see color.  This is a FANTASTIC illustrative study book!

10 wordless books that will help you teach story telling. Activities and resources to strengthen sequential story telling. Before students can write a story, they must be able to tell a story.

Wordless Book #6 Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann

Goodnight Gorilla is a CLASSIC!

Love that sneaky gorilla!

10 wordless books that will help you teach story telling. Activities and resources to strengthen sequential story telling. Before students can write a story, they must be able to tell a story.

Wordless Book #7 Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie DePaola

Pancakes for Breakfast tells the tale of a woman who wants to make pancakes but she needs to gather the ingredients.

Talk about a picture telling the story.   [Sidenote… now I want pancakes.]

10 wordless books that will help you teach story telling. Activities and resources to strengthen sequential story telling. Before students can write a story, they must be able to tell a story.

Wordless Book #8 The Secret Box by Barbara Lehman

The Secret Box  is another book by Barbara Lehman and its about time travel!   My students LOVED this book!

10 wordless books that will help you teach story telling. Activities and resources to strengthen sequential story telling. Before students can write a story, they must be able to tell a story.

Wordless Book #9 The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

The Lion and the Mouse is stunning!  I could talk about the illustrations ALL. DAY! It is easy to see why this is a

 

10 wordless books that will help you teach story telling. Activities and resources to strengthen sequential story telling. Before students can write a story, they must be able to tell a story.

Wordless Book #10 Journey by Aaron Becker

Journey by Aaron Becker is the story of a girl who walks through her closet door and enters into a magical place.

The colors are spectacular and a fantastic opportunity to work on storytelling.

10 wordless books that will help you teach story telling. Activities and resources to strengthen sequential story telling. Before students can write a story, they must be able to tell a story.

You can also find more books over on Miss Trayer’s blog Not Just Child’s Play by clicking HERE.

 

10 wordless books that will help you teach story telling. Activities and resources to strengthen sequential story telling. Before students can write a story, they must be able to tell a story.

So… there are my 10 wordless book suggestions.  I would love to add to my personal list.  What are your favorite books?

20 Comments

  • Nicole May 30 at 4:51 pm

    I love love love “The Boy and the Airplane.”

  • Elsie May 30 at 5:33 pm

    A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog by Mercer Mayer are wonderful wordless books. Plus there are other titles so the adventures continue. I love wordless books for teaching comprehension strategies to all grades.

  • Jennifer Crawford May 30 at 6:20 pm

    I use Chalk, Pancakes for Breakfast and Good Dog Carl at the beginning of the year too. I have another one that the kids love– Where’s Walrus, I think it is by Stephen Savage. Thanks for the list, I will add these to my fall teaching basket.

  • Ewan @ Right Place Property May 31 at 5:15 am

    My kids love Pancakes for Breakfast (the book, though they like the food too). They even wrote their own words to go along with it when they got big enough too!

  • Miss Trayers May 31 at 11:26 am

    I posted a similar post recently. I also love using wordless books and actually get a little thrill when I pick up a book at the library to discover that it has no words! 🙂 My students love them too. I found a beautiful story called Wave this year that I think you would also like.

    • Deedee May 31 at 9:59 pm

      Ohhh… Send me a link to your post and I would be happy to add it to mine!!!! I love the Wave too!!!!

    • Deedee May 31 at 10:05 pm

      Ok… I hope you don’t mind, but I found your link. I added it to my post so people could read your wise words!

      • Miss Trayers June 6 at 6:46 am

        Mind!? I’m honored. Thank you! 🙂

  • Laura May 31 at 6:48 pm

    Flotsam by David Weisnet is a great picture book.

  • Michele Ybarra May 31 at 6:51 pm

    I love Wave by Suzy Lee, Tuesday and Flotsam both by David Wiesner.

  • Lisa June 2 at 11:33 pm

    Clementinas Cactus by Ezra Jack Keats is gorgeous!! And a very sweet story

    • Deedee June 3 at 5:24 am

      I have never heard of this one! I am going shopping RIGHT! NOW!

      • Lisa June 3 at 6:58 am

        Check it out! My kinders love it!

  • Ellen Moak June 4 at 10:05 pm

    The Snowman by Raymond Briggs is another beautiful wordless picture book.

  • Fern Love June 5 at 5:46 am

    Tuesday by David Wiesner
    Stimulates conversation and “turn and talks” about what YOU do on Tuesdays. Also a fall book share. Love your work! Do you ever sleep? Have a great summer!

  • Rebecca June 6 at 1:20 pm

    We really like the 4 Gerda Muller season books! 🙂

    • Deedee June 6 at 1:31 pm

      Oh! I will have to check them out!!!

  • […] given the impression that only words make the writer.  To help build their author~ness, share some wordless books.  You can read my other wordless book picks […]

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    My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching to different age groups and in different classroom environments. My heart belongs to early childhood education and I love working with other teachers who share this same love as me. Read More

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