3. Picture Walks


via babyccinoblog.com

if you were to pop in on an early elementary parent-teacher conference – particularly one involving a child on the autism spectrum – you might overhear the following conversation…

parent:  “Johnny is an amazing reader!  He has been reading since he was three!”

teacher: “I would agree that Johnny is an excellent decoder.  He is able to use letter sounds to read words – even novel words.  However, Johnny does not yet read with comprehension.”

the teacher is challenging us to think about what it means to “be able to read” in a more comprehensive way.  reading is of course more than flashcards and workbooks.  reading is about stories.  one incredible teacher – a true inspiration – introduced me to the concept of the picture walk.  and the very first book we wandered through was Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins.

without (much) text as a guide, the children had the opportunity to make predictions and draw their own conclusions.  though they did not decode a single word, they truly read the story.  one could not ask for a better activity to support a child’s acquisition of comprehension skills.

biehus invites you to explore the list of wordless or nearly wordless books complied for the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at University of Wisconsin-Madison and to take a picture walk with a child this week.



6 thoughts on “3. Picture Walks

  1. Ugh….this is such a challenge for me. I think some of NK’s favorite books are those without words. In fact, we read one today-such a challenge for me- but something I am working on in hopes that she will develop this skill some day. The ability to take a “picture walk” is such an invaluable lesson for kids to learn. Thanks for the reminder!!!

  2. I have never heard of doing this, but it sounds like a good practice for creative thinking! I’m afraid I wouldn’t do a very good job fostering it though, because often I get focused on READING the book instead of making it a time for learning and exploration, you know? Good thoughts; I will have to give it a try b/c I bet E would love it.

  3. She LOVES Goodnight Gorilla…it has words, but limited to “Good night” and “Good night (insert animal name)”:). Also, she likes The New Baby (not sure of the author-she would search high and low for this book at school). Although, hard to tell if she liked the book because there aren’t words or because it’s the most applicable book to her life right now. Other than that, I’ve steered away from buying books without words-not good, I know. WIll have to search out more since she likes them so. Also, I haven’t given her the chance to make up the story and I think that would be a good exercise for her! Hadn’t really occurred to me to do that until I read this post last night. Thanks!

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