Too many times, I’ve had students who have a really hard time coming up with a story idea, or writing a cohesive story with a beginning, middle, and end. Using wordless books for writing is a great scaffold for students who have these struggles!
My teaching assistant and I started meeting in small groups to make little booklets that already had pictures in them and kids wrote the text. This really helped so many kids, who were struggling with writing or spending way too much time on their pictures.
We started with pattern books to make it simple for kids to write repetitive sentences. These are books that have the same words at the beginning of each page: “I see—-“, “I like—-“, “It is —“. Having a few words they could write helped build their confidence and they took more risks with spelling the missing words. (There is a blank version for them to write the entire sentence in addition to the pictured one below).
After pattern books, we worked on simple stories. I chose relatable topics that most kids had experienced. This also made it easier for them to write.
We also wrote How-to books, Life Cycles, and simple Fairy Tales!
Students loved these books because they took the pressure off of coming up with their own idea and helped them organize their writing. Now, of course they didn’t only work on these books. They also came up with their own topics for many writing pieces. But, these books helped them understand story and writing concepts and helped them become more independent.
Making those books took me a LOT of time while in the classroom, so although you can certainly make your own, if you want them done for you, I created these Wordless Books for Writing!
WORDLESS BOOKS FOR WRITING
These little books come in 3 versions, to make it easy for you to differentiate based on what your students need.
1ST VERSION- Completely blank for students to write in their own text on all pages
2ND VERSION- With sentence starters on each page
3RD VERSION- The first couple of pages are completed to start the story, then students complete the remaining few pages
In addition, each book has a picture bank to help with spelling and vocabulary. At the bottom, you will see a reminder for students to leave spaces as they write. I used to use editing checklists with “Spacing” on them for kids to check off after they wrote. But, once they wrote an entire piece, nothing much could be done about missed spaces, so this reminder is more useful at the beginning!
For the end of the book, I included 2 editing pages to choose from. Now, the kids can check off and edit if necessary.
Finally, I included 2 cover options for each book: with and without the title. You can do a mini-lesson on creating a title and use the blank cover if you like, or give kids the titled cover.
HOW TO USE
You can use these several ways, so here is one way I used them with my small groups.
First, I introduced the topic and vocabulary with the picture word bank. This is SO helpful for your English Language Learners, too!
Then, we went through the book and talked about the pictures and what was happening.
Next, we started at the beginning and touched each page as we told the story or sentence we would write.
After that, we went back to the beginning, said our sentence for that page a few times, then wrote it together (I wrote on the board and they wrote in their own copies). I modeled using the word bank and spelling strategies.
Finally, kids finished the books on their own and I monitored and gave suggestions as necessary.
I also used these books for revision mini-lessons and we would revisit them to add details or speech bubbles and labels, change wording, etc.
Something else I love about these books is students get to use their creativity to add to the pictures! You can have a mini-lesson on describing the setting and have kids add a setting and label. I kept the pictures simple for this purpose.
I love to switch up my writing center so kids don’t get bored and this also makes a fun writing center. Have a few books kids can choose from to motivate them even more!
Want to try these? Download a free book below!
Grab the bundle on sale in my Teachers pay Teacher shop today!
Have you ever used wordless books in your classroom for writing? Let me know below!