Monday, January 23, 2012

storytelling with wordless books

Wordless books provide opportunities for students to "read illustrations" and create their own stories. Often, much detail is packed into the illustrations but sometimes they are more basic and much is left up to interpretation or inference. Our main school goal is developing ideas for writing and wordless books provide opportunities to visualize a story. We have been providing opportunities for students to orally tell the story they are viewing. Today, division 4 (grades 4 and 5) read the book The Museum Trip in the library. I stopped showing the students the illustrations after the first few pages and had them turn to a partner and "tell the introduction to the story". We continued looking at the book and stopping and telling the story. The students were captivated, wondered aloud, made predictions and inferences and were surprised by a few plot twists....all from the illustrations.
Four students volunteered to share a part of the story...
The Introduction
Part 1 of the Middle Part of the Story

Part 2 of the Middle Part of the Story

The Ending

Oral storytelling provides opportunities for students to synthesize their ideas, think about the flow of a story and use expression and emotion to enhance the story experience. 
Divisions 1 and 2 (grades 6 and 7) also looked at a wordless picture book today, called DUDE. Actually, it had one word on each pages - Dude. The manner in which you read/say the word depends on the context of the story and the emotions of the character. Throughout the book, there are examples of the character being scared, embarrassed, being distraught, excited, etc. We paid special attention to the typography used for the word "dude" on each page...font style and size, colour, etc which gave us cluses to emotion being expressed in the illustration. This is a writing technique that students can add into their own writing to add interest and expression.

~Ms Novakowski

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