Using Wordless Picture Books to Work On Context Clues

Do you have students that can benefit from working on usingcontext clues to build vocabulary?  Checkout how I use context clues with wordless picture books.

Using Wordless Picture Books to Work On Context Clues

What are wordless picture books?

Wordless picture books are exactly that.  Books without words.  Students have to use the pictures todetermine what is going on in the story. THEY get to be the authors.  These types of books are great for speech and language since it elicits a ton of language and are perfect for students that are weak or reluctant readers.  You can use these books to work on so many language goals such as vocabulary, sentence formation, predicting, WH- questions, noun/verb tenses, sequencing, and more!

Why work on context clues?

I love to help my students by giving them strategies so they can be successful when I am not around. I don’t see them enough to teach them every word in the world that theymight come across.  They need to know what to do when they come across a word they don’t understand or recognize.  I like to teach them to use the gist or what the story/paragraph is all about, look for any visuals or illustrations that might them, and see if there are any definition/synonym/example/antonym clues in the sentence/paragraph of that unknown word.

How to use context clues if there aren’t any words?!

That is the best can put the vocabulary you hope to target IN the story!  You make the story so they can try to use the illustrations and the sentence to help tackle what that unknown word means.

Using Wordless Picture Books to Work On Context Clues

I like to use sticky notes since I can easily prep some sentences ahead of time, stick them into the book to use, and I can easily remove it when I am done.  I even store them in the inside cover so I can use them again another time without having toprep it again.

What words do I use to target vocabulary with context clues?

I like to use tier 2 vocabulary words.  Working on tier 2 vocabulary words help our students most since they see these vocabulary words in all subject areas andwill help most with reading comprehension. You can use Google to find grade level tier 2 vocabulary word lists. 

Using Wordless Picture Books to Work On Context Clues


How do I come up with my sentences?

I try to find a tier 2 vocabulary word that can be used to describe a picture, I generate my own sentence with it, and jot it down on a sticky note so I don’t forget!  It is really that easy.

Don’t want to come up with your own sentences or vocabulary words?

I have several wordless picture book companion packs.  In each one, I have context clues activities.  I came up with some words that can be used to describe events in the story, generated a sentence, and made a graphic organizer for students to complete. They can use the clues from the illustrations and their knowledge of what the entire story was about to complete the worksheet!   CLICK HERE to check out my entire collection of companion packs.

Using Wordless Picture Books to Work On Context Clues

I know you are going to love using this strategy with your students.   It is super easy, tons of fun, and your students will build tons of confidence too!