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A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words. Katie Lambeth Brann 2 nd Grade Walkertown Elementary School Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. Introduction. My classroom library does not have any wordless picture books. Read picture books unit themes •to build vocabulary

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a picture s worth a thousand words

A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words

Katie Lambeth Brann

2nd Grade

Walkertown Elementary School

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

  • My classroom library does not have any wordless picture books.
  • Read picture books
      • unit themes •to build vocabulary
  • Wordless picture books would be a new experience for my students.
  • Is there instructional value? Can they develop writing skills?
related research
Related Research
  • Story Development Using Wordless Picture Books
    • develop sense of story
    • use higher level thinking
    • develop writing
    • longer sentences
    • more descriptive
    • used conversations
what are wordless picture books
What are wordless picture books?

Books that do not have text

Stories that are sequenced through


Picture alone tells the story

research question
Research Question
  • What effects do wordless picture books have on the writing process for second grade students?
  • Are students able to write a clear story with sequencing by using this transition from oral to written language?
  • Will their writing be more descriptive?
  • Nineteen 2nd grade students ages 7-8 years old
  • Level 1, 2, and 3 Writers
  • Study was conducted from roughly 8:15-9:00 in a regular classroom
  • Writing took place Monday through Friday for five weeks
  • Collected anecdotal notes during lesson
  • Used teacher made rubric to assess writing
data collection
Data Collection
  • Student survey
  • Anecdotal Notes
  • Teacher Created rubric assessing

number of words, thought units,

vocabulary, punctuation/mechanic errors, and descriptive words

data analysis
Data Analysis
  • I organize my anecdotal notes in a chart format.
  • Individually looked at student data from the rubrics to compare the effects wordless picture books had on their writing
Allows more small group work

more confidence


The use of w.p.b. helped spark some students imagination which helped them use more descriptive language.

Work Samples

wordless picture books don t
Wordless Picture books don’t:
  • Allow students to hear good literature to build writing skills
  • Give students complete choice about what to write about
  • Had more one-on-one and small group instruction
  • I understand that for some students you have to show them they can write more than five sentences.
  • Using the picture books can spark imaginations and provide experiences.
  • Using wordless picture books is only one tool to help with follow-up sentences and sequencing.
future direction
Future Direction
  • What are the reasons for using wordless picture books with ESL students?
    • Look at: predicting, determining the main idea,drawing conclusions, cause and effect, dictating sentences, self-confidence

Can tape recording the students orally reading a picture book help them to transfer the conversations between the characters when writing the story on paper?


Adams, D. (200). Retrieved 06 05, 2003, from Writing Techniques Web site: http://www.tesltimes.com/writing.html.

Andrea DeBruin-Parecki. (2005). Helping your child become a reader. 3rd ed. Jessup, MD: US Department of Education.

Matulka, D. I. (2005). Wordless picture books. Retrieved September 23, 2005, from http://picturingbooks.imaginarylands.org/resources/wordless/html.

Reese, C. (1996). Story development using wordless picture books. The Reading Teacher, 50(2), 172-173.

Williams, B. O. (1994). Every picture tells a story: the magic of wordless books.. School Library Journal, 40(8), 38-39.


Wordless Picture Books used with research

Anno, M. (1977). Anno’s journey. 1st ed. Cleveland, NY: Collins.

Baker, J. (1991). Window. 1st ed. New York: Greenwillow Books.

Briggs, R. (1978). The snowman. 1st ed. New York: Random House.

Fleischman, P., & Hawkes, K. (2004). Sidewalk circus. Cambridge, MA:


Luthardt, K. (2003). Peep!. 1st ed. Atlanta, GA: Peachtree.

Maizlish, L. (1996). The ring. 1st ed. New York: Greenwillow Books.

McCully, E. (2001). Four hungry kittens. New York: Dial Books for Young


McCully, E. (1987). School. 1st ed. New York: Harper and Row.

McCully, E. (1988). The Christmas gift. 1st ed. New York: Harper and Row.

Schories, P. (2004). Breakfast for jack. 1st ed. Asheville, NC: Front Street.

Tafuri, N. (1983). Early morning in the barn.1st ed. New York:

Greenwillow Books.

other wordless picture books that were not used in research
Other wordless picture books that were not used in research

Do You Want to Be My Friend? by Eric Carle

Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie dePaula

A Boy, A Dog, and a Frog by Mayer Mercer

Tuesday by David Wiesner

week 2
Week 2
  • Some students listed things on the page while other students orally read follow-up sentences.
  • Students asked each other questions

*Story sentences matched the pictures

*Used punctuation correctly

*Personalized books by naming the characters

  • Built self-confidence and creativity
  • Has slowed down and looks at the detail in the pictures
  • Gets excited when reading a book and notices details in a picture
  • Does not consistently write follow-up sentences, sometimes lists events on a page
  • Can write a sequential story
  • He has difficulty getting started on writing activities.
  • With wordless picture books he did not sit as long looking at his blank paper.
  • More willing to revise on Week 5 than Week 1
  • Confident writing point of view
  • Writes follow-up sentences
  • Good imagination
  • Logically sequenced sentences
student survey during week 3
Student Survey(during week 3)
  • Do you like to write?

“I love to write.”

“Yes bekos I love to write.”

“Sometimes I most of the time I get a camp in my nocols.”

“I like to write sometimes. But if it is a story I will write a lot.”

  • Do you like being an author and writing a story for the wordless picture books?

“I love to right, publish books very much.”

“It is fun to da it aefeday it is os fun.”

“Cindfo I love to do nee to nee.”

“Yes because I like writing story’s without the word’s”

cont student survey
cont. student survey
  • What did you find in the wordless picture books?

“It seems like they show a helpful setting.”

“It is showing happy, sad, crying, and excitement.”

“I fond a plan and a lote of mise.”

“They show action. If somethin hapins they change they smile.”

  • If you created a wordless picture book what would you need to put in it?

“If I created a book I would add setting to it. I would also add some caritores.”


“The setting. The people. The beginning. The end. The middle.”

“A nice ending the best beeing.”