When the children's album without text leads to the written word

Here is a stimulating project in which digital technology becomes a lever and which offers students the possibility of wandering in the heart of their imagination thanks to children's books without text. At the end of the article, you will find a list of proposed albums to experience it yourself!

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Here is a stimulating project in which digital technology becomes a lever and which offers students the possibility of wandering in the heart of their imagination thanks to children's books without text. At the end of the article, you will find a list of proposed albums to experience it yourself!

In the framework of the last meeting Research at a Glancethe École en réseau (ÉER) invited participants to discover the Children's literature: a treasure to exploit. It was presented by Sophie Nadeau-Tremblay, ERA resource teacher, and Pascale Thériault and Stéphane Allaire, both professors at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC).

Why the children's album without text?

The textless book offers teachers the opportunity to work on visual literacy with students. Since there is no text, the illustration is at the heart of the learning process, offering students the opportunity to wander through their imagination. The absence of text provides an artistic dimension to the session. By looking at the colors, the shapes, the faces of the characters... the students instinctively start to imagine the conversations between the characters.

In addition, the textless album makes the student more active because he is constantly looking for visual clues to understand the story. By opening the conversation, the teacher works with the students on the oral skills to be developed. Students take turns talking about what the pictures mean to them and what they think they can guess about the story. The discussion immediately becomes stimulating in class and everyone gradually works on structuring their thoughts, while expressing themselves more and more clearly.

The children's album without text as a tool for co-elaboration in writing

In the project, the presenters explained that the textless children's book was used as a tool for student co-construction. This means that students worked together to make sense of a story that was only illustrated. The project thus became a springboard to writing as students thought together about the meaning they would give to the story and then write individually.

Contribution to teaching practice

The teachers who participated in the project proposed the software Knowledge Forum as a collaborative platform for student/teacher exchange and work. Indeed, the latter offers a secure access while preserving the discussions and exchanges. Thus, the use of textless albums combined with the Knowledge Forum platform opens up a field of exploration of new proposals. In the classroom, the "we" takes on its full meaning, explained the presenters. This means that after the discussion, students realize that they have understood the story as a group, not on their own. The software allowed the teachers to push the work to the analysis of the texts. This step is often under-exploited due to lack of time.

In this Google Drive documentYou will find a selection of textless books to use with your students.

To review the discussion: 

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About the Author

Fatimazzahra Benchekri
Fatimazzahra is a master's student in educational technology at Laval University. Passionate about reading and writing, she has decided to devote her time to writing in a field in which she feels she is growing, education. With a background in journalism and political science, Fatimazzahra sees education as an ever-changing field where anyone is welcome to share their ideas and motivations.

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