After we had sent an email to faculty telling them about how the LTC was going to be celebrating Picture Book Month, Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Potts, wrote back to say that she’d love to work on an ELA project together around picture books. We decided that we would study stories without words (aka wordless picture books) and create a writing project around illustrations. Naturally, we thought of Storybird as the perfect tool to have students look at professional illustrations and write their own stories. We were also very excited when Mrs. Parnell and Mrs. Babajtis wanted to do the project, too!

During LTC classtime, we read The Giant Seed, The Lion & the Mouse, A Ball for Daisy, and The Boy and the Airplane.  While we read, we used the Visual Thinking Strategy of asking, “What is going on in this picture?” and “What do you see that makes you say that?” The students even offered their ideas of what sentences and dialogue could be on the page if it had words.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then it was time to write our own stories. We found three sets of illustrations in Storybird that we thought would be appealing to Kindergarteners and chose five illustrations from each set. We printed them out and made a poster for each set.

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To introduce the students (and the teachers) to Storybird, we read a Storybird story from the gallery called Little Panda’s Rescue. Then students did a gallery walk (museum hands and all!) to look at the three different sets of illustrations. After the class voted for their favorite one, we started brainstorming using the same VTS questions, “What is going on in this picture?” and “What do you see that makes you say that?”

We worked in small groups, each group brainstormed for one illustration in the set. We modeled how to brainstorm with one of the illustrations and then the students were able to work in their own groups (there was an adult at each group doing the writing and recording 🙂

Finally, as a class, we took everyone’s brainstorming ideas and turned them into sentences. Because the ELA learning goal for this project was to teach the writing skill of Beginning, Middle, and End, we focused on sequence and using transitional words, such as, “Then” and “Next.”

The Kindergarten teachers enjoyed this process and asked if we could print out more brainstorming sheets so the students could work on writing their own stories. Absolutely! For little ones, it’s a great idea to do an entire project as a Guided Practice which can then be done again as an Independent Practice.

Here are the stories the Kindergarteners created. We do hope you enjoy them! And keep an eye out for those transition words . . .

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