Using Wordless Books In Speech: Why I love them & fun ideas!

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Do you use wordless books in speech?!  Check out how I use them and I guarantee you will add them to your “speech toolbox!”

using wordless picture books in speech therapy
Wait…no words?! YES!!  This takes the scary “reading” out of language tasks!!  So much language can be targeted using these books!  Disclaimer..this post contains Amazon Affiliate links!

What Speech Goals Can You Address With Wordless Picture Books?

  • Articulation: take a book that has a concept/image that uses a target sound.  Students can tell you the story in their own words using their sounds.
  • Fluency:  students can work on developing the story using the pictures using their fluency strategies.
  • Answering questions:  “What do you see?” “Where is the ___?” “Who is this?”
  • Higher-level thinking!
How can these books be used to work on higher-level thinking?!  Well, the students have to use their clues/evidence from the pictures to make predictions, inferences, and more!
Here above are two of my favorite wordless books.  I show students the cover and ask “what do you think the story will be about?”  We generate a list on the dry erase board.  Then I show them one page at a time.  Students have the following visuals to help guide them:
Students use their “clues” or “facts” to tell me what they see/know.  Can you tell I use my visuals in a sentence form to encourage complete responses?  Then they have to tell me what they wonder.  We talk about how “wonder” means what you think or don't know.  “Why don't you know for sure?” “Oh! Because it is not shown specifically in the picture!”  Then they have to make inferences or “smart guesses.”  They must use the sentence stems to make guesses and predictions about what will happen.  We do this for EVERY page!!

It is amazing, by stopping each page and making the students really think about what they see and think about their thinking, it really helps them recall the details.  After the story, we tell summaries and recall the events in order!  I even had my students use the strategy “Everybody..wanted…” to retell the stories since there was a problem and steps to accomplish.  You could also use the Story Grammar Marker to do the same thing. Students will also have fun retelling the stories afterwards from the different perspectives of the characters.  We reflect on what we think of the characters/situations at the beginning versus at the end (compare/contrast opportunities!)

You will be amazed how your students will get into these stories!  My older elementary students made noises when they saw the “childish” book but then got SO into it!  Debates started!
Do you use wordless picture books!?  Any favorites I did not mention??  How do you use them?!
Here are some links to some books to check out but there are tons more out there!


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