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Grades K-1 Wordless Book Sample Lesson

Introduce the book

  • Show students the cover and title page of the book. Discuss why illustrations, or pictures, are important to a story. If applicable, identify the name of the illustrator, and ask students to explain the job of an illustrator.
  • Explain to students that some authors create wordless books, or books that use only pictures to tell the story. These books allow readers to use the pictures in the book and their imagination to create their own story. Point out that each person's story may be different, but it should match what is happening in the pictures.
  • Show students each page of a wordless picture book. Invite them to describe what they see on each page. Ask students to share any connections they can make to prior knowledge. Have them identify elements of fantasy and/or reality in each picture.

Guide the writing

  • Draw a story map on the board. Discuss with students the setting(s), character(s), problem, events, and solution of the story. Write this information on the story map.
  • Model writing one or two pages of the story using the information on the board. Write the labels or sentence(s) for each page on chart paper, emphasizing elements of good writing such as capitalization and punctuation.
  • Have students share ideas for the remaining pages of the book, based on the information on the story map. Write their labels or sentences for these pages on the chart paper, pointing out high-frequency words and elements of grammar. As you write their dictation, invite students to write familiar words on the chart paper for you.
  • Read the finished story with students. Discuss the connection between the pictures and the words they wrote as a class.

Independent practice

  • Give each student a different wordless picture book. Have them work independently or with a partner to write a label or sentence on sticky notes for each page of the book. Have students place their notes on the appropriate pages in their wordless book. [Note: You may want to have students use the story map  to organize their thinking before writing.]
  • As students finish, discuss their writing with them. Use this opportunity to address correct spelling of high-frequency words, capitalization and punctuation, and subjects and predicates.
  • Have students write the final version of their story on the pages of their book. Invite them to share their story with the class.

Whole Group Extension Activities

  • Grammar: Highlight a specific part of speech throughout the text (nouns, verbs, adjectives).
  • Phonics: Locate all the words that begin or end with a particular consonant, blend, digraph, diphthong, word-family.
  • Vocabulary: Highlight specific high-frequency words.
  • Writing: Place a variety of wordless books in a center for students to create additional stories.