Reading Teacher Writes

Sharing a love of literacy with fellow readers and writers

Who Needs Words? A Series of Posts About Teaching Reading and Learning to Read

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Part 2: The Wordless Picture Book Titles (Short List)

I promised in Part 1 of “Who Needs Words?” that I would reveal the title list for my “Notice and Note” study of wordless picture books. Well, life is tricky, and gathering wordless picture books for use in middle school is difficult (another story, another time). Thankfully, many primary centers came to the rescue and I received a box of books today! Librarians of South Bend Schools, I thank you kindly for sharing.

I plan to share many new titles with my students next week as we continue to use Notice and Note strategies taught to us by Kylene Beers and Bob Probst. As I said earlier, I found that the three essential questions from Reading Nonfiction: Notice and Note Stances, Signposts, and Strategies work well to study these non-word texts.  To recap, the three essential questions we will use are: 1) “What surprised me?” 2) “What does the author think I know already?” 3) “What challenged, changed, or confirmed my thinking?”

The first order of business: read wordless picture books, talk to our partners, and share our thoughts. I cannot wait for the thinking fun! (I also cannot wait to hear the comments when I introduce the titles to my pre-teen students. I can just hear it now: “Man, some of these books are old!” I will giggle to myself and watch what unfolds.)


The following is a short list; the students will work in pairs. As we receive more books, I will add them to the series’ posts. Let’s get started:

Fossil and Chalk by Bill Thomson, Museum Trip by Barbara Lehman, Zoom and Re-Zoom by Istvan Banyai, Journey by Aaron Becker, Sector 7, Flotsam, and Tuesday by David Wiesner, Frog On His Own by Mercer Mayer, Flood by Alvaro F. Villa, Unspoken by Henry Cole, Time Flies by Eric Rohmann, and Deep in the Forest by Brinton Turkle.

Stay tuned for Part 3: Art as Comprehension. I stole my friend, Trevor Bryan’s work for that. Thank you in advance, Trevor!


Author: Jennifer Sniadecki

I write about literacy education and my love for reading and writing. My passion is sharing titles I use for school libraries, classroom collaborations, and professional development. My goal is to collaborate, research, and share with other life-long literacy learners. Welcome to my blog!

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