top of page
  • Writer's picture Clara Maria Fiorentini

Wordless Picturebooks - what to do when there aren't any words to read!

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?

  • Inferencing

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:

Inference Questions new
Download PDF • 212KB

  • Narrative Writing

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:

Narrative Writing Planning Templates
Download PDF • 65KB

  • Critical Thinking

Explorations of the illustrations are only going to be further enhances through careful questioning and invitations into critical thought.

Download my critical thinking prompts

Critical Thinking Prompts new
Download PDF • 170KB

  • Observation

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

I see, I think, I wonder
Download PDF • 251KB

  • 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

Cause & Effect
Download PDF • 67KB

  • Making connections

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

Making connections
Download PDF • 224KB

  • Making predictions

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

Prediction prompts
Download PDF • 32KB

Don't forget, if you have a classroom library, wordless picturebooks deserve a spot on those shelves too.



bottom of page