Lately I’ve been practicing writing in “Bits and Pieces” with my students (see Rita’s Twigs blog post, “Writing in Bits and Pieces”). As we engage in this process, it is helpful to give my clients some content or context in which we practice writing down those thoughts. Of course, books to the rescue! Lately, I’ve enjoyed using wordless picture books as a guide through this process of writing down thoughts in unthreatening amounts. Wordless picture books are a great way to facilitate conversation and writing - the content is before you, but we must add narration!
My students and I make our way through each page of the book, jotting down captions for each image on post-it notes and pasting it directly on the page! For my writers who struggle the most, we parter (I write one, you write one...or you write a couple words of the sentence, and I’ll finish it), for others, I let them write sentence by sentence on each post-it note all by themselves. When we’ve completed the book, they are amazed at how much writing they did (those post-it notes really add up)!
Current wordless picture book favorites of mine include The Bear and the Fly by Paula Winter (available on Amazon), and Blart: A Little Blob of Art by Tracy Molitors (also available on Amazon, or visit (http://www.tracymolitors.com/fun-activities-with-blart.html for more info on Blart and other fun writing activities). Even though many people associate picture books with young children, these two book suggestions use advanced humor which appeals to older students as well. One middle-school student of Rita’s, Ava, was so inspired by the adventures of Blart, that she illustrated her own wordless picture book, which can now be used to spark further writing!
From Ava’s book, Unbreakable, about a lost balloon