Build, Assess, Build Vocabulary with a Wordless Book

A couple of months ago I attended the IABE (Idaho Association for Bilingual Education) Conference. One of the sessions (presented by one of my favorite professors, Dr. Stan Steiner…check out his site HERE) focused on the multiple uses of wordless books. I love a good wordless book, so I was excited about what they had in store.

One, of the many, activities that they shared was their “Use the Say Something Strategy”.  This involved pairing us up in two lines facing each other (some people refer to this as a fishline). In-between the two lines there was enough room for the teacher/presenter to walk down. The presenter/teacher would walk down the middle of the lines holding up a wordless book, open to page one, facing just one of the partners, Partner A. Partner A, once they saw the page, would began explaining to their partner, Partner B, what was happening. Once the presenter/teacher made it down the line, they would go back to the beginning, turn the page, and THIS TIME, show Partner B the page, giving them the job of explaining what was happening to Partner A. So, together the partners had the whole story.

This activity, of course, has a lot of take-aways, but being a participant in it, one of the aspects I most loved was the authentic use of language, and the partner support with that language. Not only did I have the help of my partner, to provide me with some key vocabulary words, but I also could hear the partner sets on either side of me.

As a teacher, I pictured myself walking down the middle of the lines, holding up the book, and I thought about all the language I would hear from my students…what key words and concepts they had down and which ones we still needed to revisit.

This is the strategy I was thinking about as I came across “Marlo and the Dinosaurs” by Christopher Browne. The 2nd grade class I co-teach with has a focus on dinosaurs as part of their spring PBL (Project Based Learning), so I plan on putting the strategy to use…I’ll let you know how it goes. 🙂

Book Cover for "Marlo and the Dinosaur"

To see more Wordless Book ideas from the Stan Steiner, Eun Hye Son, and Maggie Chase presentation, click HERE.

2 thoughts on “Build, Assess, Build Vocabulary with a Wordless Book

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