Students will use their knowledge and experiences to create stories in pictures ("wordless stories"). Give students the option of working individually, in pairs, or in teams.
Direct the students to first write a story on any topic they choose. Next, direct them to rewrite their story, using only drawings, pictures, stick figures, and so forth. They may use words such as the, then, next, my, etc. But all nouns, adjectives, and verbs must be represented by pictures.
After completing their stories, students are to give them to another student or team, who will attempt to "read" the picture story using the picture clues provided. After students have read the pictures, give them the story in words and ask them to compare their version with the actual story in words.
Discuss with the class how it was that some students were able to read or infer what the story was about. Ask them what skills they used in doing so.
Story in words
The dog chased the cat down the street. The cat ran into a house, but a lady with a broom chased the cat out of her house.
Story in pictures
Excerpted from Beyond Rhetoric and Rainbows: A Journey to the Place Where Learning Lives ©1996 University of Illinois Extension.