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Using Wordless Texts in Elementary Classrooms

Using Wordless Texts in Elementary Classrooms

Wordless texts are an untapped teaching and learning tool in many elementary classrooms. If you want to help students who struggle with decoding do higher-level comprehension work and encourage more creativity and higher-level conversations from all of your students, try incorporating wordless texts into your classroom library and lesson plans. One of the benefits of using wordless texts is that you can use them for different grade levels. They're also great texts to use for cross-grade projects and collaborative work across ability levels. Here are a few ways you can utilize wordless texts in your elementary classroom:

  • Wordless Texts Help Students Practice Sequencing – Copy all of the pages in the wordless text. Divide those pages into three categories: beginning, middle, and end. Give the divided pages to small groups, and have each group sequence their pages in the correct order.
  • Wordless Texts Give Students Opportunities to Make Inferences and Predictions – Since wordless texts don't have words, students must use illustrations to analyze the story. As you read a wordless text with children, have them make predictions and inferences before you turn to the next page. It's also important that you make sure students have valid reasoning for the predictions and inferences they make.
  • Wordless Texts Provide Opportunities for Students to Learn Dialogue and Mood – Select a few pages from the book that have illustrations of characters. Ask children to describe what the characters are saying in each situation, what words they would use to convey the mood of the text, how they would write the dialogue for each situation, and how the author conveyed the feelings in the text.
  • Wordless Texts Encourage Creativity and Help Students Practice Narrative Writing – A book with no words gives students the opportunity to use their creativity to write a story based on and guided by the book's illustrations.
  • Wordless Texts Help Students Understand and Find the Main Idea – Ask students to identify pages that demonstrate the book's main idea. Be sure to have students explain and cite evidence of how the pages they picked support the main idea.

Remember, many literacy strategies can be used with both print and wordless texts—wordless texts are just another resource you can use to help all of your students learn. Be sure to browse our selection of wordless texts and the variety of children's books we offer.


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