Lower Elementary
English Language Arts

But I Can’t Read! Wordless Books

I recently asked my friend’s 5-year-old daughter, Tyler, what she likes to read, knowing that my friend reads to her daughter regularly. But Tyler’s immediate reply was, “But I can’t read!” Wordless books are perfect for children who are beginning to comprehend story line, to relate to characters and their feelings, and who are growing their own vocabularies every day.
A Collection By Ula Manzo
  • 8 Collection Items
  • 8 Collection Items
  • Discussion
But I Can’t Read! Wordless Books
  • google.com
    google.com

    Using Wordless Picture Books to Support Emergent Literacy

    Article
    Ula Manzo says:
    Mary Renck Jalongo is a teacher, an educational consultant, and the author of numerous books on early childhood education. In this article, she offers a developmental sequence for introducing children to wordless books. An important point is that even though there’s no “wrong” way to read wordless books, they do range from simple to more complex, and examples are given of each type.
  • Ula Manzo says:
    You can find lots of bibliographies of wordless books online. At the GoodReads site, you can click on any book cover to read a description and some offer a preview. Kindle editions are less expensive than hard copy books. If your classroom is equipped with digital projection technology, this would be a great way to share wordless book readings with your class.
  • Ula Manzo says:
    Some great techniques for reading wordless books are modeled here. I love that she says that at any time if the child is finished then reading is finished—you don’t have to finish the book. I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t think I ever thought of that.
  • Ula Manzo says:
    A teacher-mom describes her introduction to wordless books when her3-year-old daughter received one as a gift. She was frightened to realize that she would have to “make up” the story herself, but she soon made a wonderful discovery.
  • Wordless Picture Books

    Website
    childrens-books-and-reading.com
    childrens-books-and-reading.com
    Ula Manzo says:
    The possible uses of wordless books with emergent readers is as endless as the imagination. Here are great explanations of some of these uses. I especially like the last one: to inspire writing. This could be as simple as creating a “who-wanted-but-then-so” chart with a group of students.
  • earlychildhoodnews.com
    earlychildhoodnews.com

    If You Build It…

    Article
    Ula Manzo says:
    This short article describes what happened when 2 preschool teachers were convinced to place wordless books in their classrooms. See for yourself what happened.
  • Ula Manzo says:
    Here are some great questions to ask when reading a wordless book with children. The important thing is that there is no wrong way to do it. A handy rubric to keep in mind is “who-wanted-but-then-so”: most stories follow this form. Another tip is to try to read it a little differently every time, for natural vocabulary building. I love this author’s postscript that sometimes her son “reads” the story in the first person!
  • Ula Manzo says:
    This will wet your appetite for these beautiful wordless books, and others.
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