I taught full-day kindergarten for 14 years and have spent the last 2 years as a kindergarten and first grade strategist working all over my district. I am excited to say that this school year I will be back in my own kindergarten classroom!! While I loved working with kinder and first grade teachers and their students, I missed having a class of my own.
I graduated from Dallas Baptist University in 2008 with a masters in curriculum and instruction. I am currently working on my doctorate in early childhood studies with a minor in curriculum and instruction at the University of North Texas. I hope to one day teach at the university level. I love what I do and want to pass on all that I have learned over the years to fellow teachers and students!
I recently read an article about using wordless picture books to benefit children in your classroom and thought I would share what I read.
What are the benefits of wordless picture books?
1) They develop a child's oral language. Wordless picture books allow children to create stories using experiences, prior knowledge, and their understanding of the events in each illustration.
2) Since there are no words on the page to define, limit, or prescribe a story; each child can create his or her own story. This allows the child to include his or her own culture, values, and understanding within the story.
3) Connections made by the student to the story will allow for comprehension and oral language development as they communicate both the story and the meaning to others.
4) It helps children develop a knowledge of story structure. Children who tell stories using wordless picture books demonstrate an understanding that stories must have a beginning, middle, and an end.
5) It also shows a student's ability to correctly handle a book, read left to right, demonstrate their understanding of what should be included in a good story, and in what order the story should be told.
6) When reading wordless picture books, children are able to describe and develop characters for their story. Younger children may only give a character's name, while children with more literacy experience may choose to include descriptive details of different characters.
7) Wordless picture books create text. Children can bring their own experiences and culture to the story they tell. When children read and listen to wordless picture books, they are exposed to the different cultures represented in their classroom. Also, children understand the need for stories to include humor or to be entertaining. As children include humor in their stories, they learn to accept and appreciate both their feelings and those of others.
Introducing Wordless Picture Books:
1) Introduce them as books with no words.
2) Select a book to model. Begin with a picture walk. Point out details and unfamiliar objects. Ask questions about the pictures. (related to the setting, tone, differences between current pictures and previous pictures, etc.)
3) Demonstrate to children how stories are created using the illustrations on the page. Do a think aloud. Model the process from what is seen in the pictures.
4) Start with the first page and have the children tell the story one page at a time.
5) Write down children's comments about the pictures.
6) Read the story created by the children back to them. Ask the children if they want to make any changes.
7) Provide children with a wide variety of wordless picture books. Have them tell a story to a partner.
Using Wordless Picture Books in the Classroom:
1) Use them for interactive read alouds.
2) Place them in the reading center.
3) Allow students to record their stories using a tape recorder.
4) Place them in the writing center and allow students to write their stories down.
5) Place them in the listening center so that they can listen to each others stories.
A Few Suggested Wordless Picture Books:
The Red Book by B. Lehman
Votteler, Nancy; Carwile, Dixie; Berg, Helen. (2010) Using wordless picture books to benefit children in your classroom. Early Years, 1(1), 17-19.
I found this resource for doing Reader's Theater in kindergarten. Heidi offers a number of tips for doing reader's theater, a list of suggested stories to use, and a video clip of her class doing a part of Mrs. Wishy Washy. Heidisongs Resources.
Here are a few pictures of my class performing The Mitten by Jan Brett. I printed animal headbands from Jan Brett's web site. One student was the narrator and the rest of the children joined in throughout the reading. When the bear sneezed, all of the animals jumped out of the mitten.I will post the words we used when we return to school after spring break.
I love Jan Brett books. I am so excited because I have tickets to see her at the end of this month at the Dallas Museum of Art, but I am even more excited to find out that Chalk Talk is mentioned on her web site under Blogs 'n Books.
I have already purchased a copy of her new book Easter Egg to use in an upcoming lesson.