Wordless picturebooks are a powerful resource in the hand of any teacher, in any class - but what exactly can we use them for? Here are five of my favourite wordless texts and some suggestions for utilising wordless picturebooks at the senior end of the school.
The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkey
One Little Bag: An Amazing Journey by Henry Cole
Unspoken by Henry Cole
Journey by Aaron Becker
Draw by Raúl Colón
What exactly can we do in a senior primary classroom with a picturebook that doesn't actually contain any words beyond the cover?
Invite the children to make inferences about the plot, characters, setting - all guided by the rich and detailed illustrations. Don't forget to look out for any text embedded within the illustrations too - there are clues everywhere.
Download my inferencing prompt list:
One of the most obvious responses to wordless picturebooks it to create your own text or plot, using the illustrations as your guide. A fabulous invitation into the process of narrative writing.
Download my narrative planning templates:
Explorations of the illustrations are only going to be further enhances through careful questioning and invitations into critical thought.
Download my critical thinking prompts
Wordless picturebooks invite us into constant opportunities to practice our observations skills. We invite the children to look and notice in illustrations and images all the time but we often rely on the literal recalls and recounts. Seize observations as an opportunity to associate seeing with thinking and wondering too.
Download my 'See, Think, Wonder' template
Cause and effect
Wordless picturebooks open up endless opportunities to explore cause and effect leading to lots of practice for reasoning, explanations and justification.
Download my Cause & Effect pack
Any text provides opportunities for connection making. Sometimes, however, when the text is removed from the scenario, it can facilitate even deeper opportunities for connection making. When utilising wordless picturebooks, invite the children to make connections to themselves, other texts and the wider world.
Download my 'Making Connections' pack
While we can fall into predictable habits with our predictions, it is still a crucial skill to practise. Like connection making, when the text is removed, our prediction efforts can be heightened. Use wordless picturebooks as an invitation into purposeful and powerful prediction practice.
Download my prediction prompt glance-card
Don't forget, if you have a classroom library, wordless picturebooks deserve a spot on those shelves too.