Monday, October 29, 2012

Wordless and Wonderful...What Happened?

Join in and share a story with Two Writing Teachers Ruth and Stacey.

I was excited to bring all my new wordless books into school today. Heavy on my shoulder but worth every strained muscle!  (A few trips to the library were necessary this weekend).
Writers workshop began and I pulled out The chicken Thief by Béatrice Rodriguez. This is what happened.

"I am really excited to share this book with you today. It's called The Chicken Thief. Béatrice Rodriguez is the author and the illustrator. You are going to be amazed at what she has done in this book."
I show the first page, "What do you notice?"
Students begin calling out observations. "The fox took the chicken...the bear is mad...they're chasing each other...foxes eat chickens...there aren't any words."
"Isn't it amazing that Béatrice Rodriguez told you this whole part of her story with no words?" 

I'm not kidding you when I say this, I think there was a look of awe in their eyes. We have been talking at length about "showing" your whole story with detailed drawings. It is a big feat!

"She put all those details and even got you thinking about what might happen with just her first picture."

We continued and the class came up with all kinds of observations, details, predictions...this went on for several minutes. I was actually beginning to get concerned about the time, but everyone was so engaged I had to keep going with my plan.

So, I pulled out all my wordless books of the day, most of them are listed and pictured here. I paired up the students and gave them a wordless book to wonder over and notice together. Then we joined back at the "sharing circle" and each pair told what their book was all about. The stories they told were full of details and amazing verbal stories. We all listened intently and they went out to write their own stories. It was a fun day. I'm looking forward to tomorrow when we can think more closely about how "we" can be like Béatrice Rodriguez and the other wordless book authors, seeing a story through just the picture with details a plenty! 

Here is the list of books I used in my lesson today:
The Chicken Thief by Béatrice Rodriguez
Rooster's Revenge by Béatrice Rodriguez
Fox and Hen Together Béatrice Rodriguez
Rain by Peter Spier
Time Flies Eric Rohmann
Moonlight by Jan Ormerod
The Umbrella by Ingrid and Dieter Schubert
Bear Despair by Gaëtan Dorémus
Ice by Arthur Geisert
The Giant Seed by Arthur Geisert


Laura said...

One of my favorites is Tuesday, by David Weisner (well, almost completely wordless). He has lots of great wordless books.
Thank you so much for sharing this lesson. How inspiring. LOVE that you took so much time to let them wonder and explore.

elsie said...

This is a perfect way to get your kids thinking about the power of pictures! I love this approach and will be sharing it with my kindergarten teachers. Do you know about Mercer Mayer's series of A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog? You have given me some new wordless titles to search out, thanks!

Carrie Gelson said...

I really enjoyed this post. I am a big fan of Béatrice Rodriguez and her Chicken books. I blogged about my class and their interactions last year. They even made up a song!
Thank you for sharing!

Susan Antonelli said...

Glad to have found your blog (via Twitter.) Two of my favorite resources for this kind of teaching are "The Power of Pictures" by Beth Olshansky and"In Pictures and In Words" by Katie Wood Ray. (Both have been featured on my blog.) I haven't seen "The Umbrella" before- going to check it out.