Children, gather at the rug. I have a story to share with them on the whiteboard. You will need to "listen" carefully so that they will not miss the meaning.
The story I am sharing with my class is the wordless story, "Picnic" by Kevin Henkes from my Chrysanthemum DVD. Any wordless picture book would work in this case. The children are confused when they do not hear any words and tell me to turn the DVD up.
"Mrs. Moran, we can't hear it!" When I increase the volume, there is no dialog, just music. If you can't hear anything, just watch.
Now that we have watched the DVD, did you hear a story? Oh, you did not hear a story, but you saw a story. Who would like to volunteer to tell me what the story was all about? I am impressed by your being able to retell me many of the details.
To promote the children's thinking about stories and reading, I ask the children to give me a thumbs-up or Thumbs down if the DVD that they watched was a story even though it had no words.
Boys and girls, even though the video you just watched had not words, was it still a story? I ask random children to explain why they responded in the way that they did. Why do you think that? How did you know what happened in the story if no one was saying any words? The unanimous response is "the pictures". It is here that I state the students' objective and have the children repeat after me: I can read a story by looking at the pictures.
I have another one of my favorite picture books. It is called Time Flies by Eric Rohmann. Again, we can "read" the story even without words being read. Were you able to tell what the story was about just by looking at the pictures? What do yo think the bird was thinking? Did the dinosaur really come to life or was it just the bird's imagination? This is one way to read to yourself. What you just did was read a story by looking at the pictures!
Now it is your turn to quietly read a book to yourself. So even if you can't read the words, tell me what you can do: I can read a story to myself by looking at the pictures. Great! the children on the green squares can go to the bookshelf to find a book to read to themselves...
Here is where I observe to see if the children look at their books in a different manner than just turning pages. The children get a book and After a few minutes, I have the children close their books, and Share a story with a friend. I listen to the conversations to see the depth of their understanding. This lesson is repeated at another juncture to reinforce the idea that the children can read by looking at the pictures.