By Matthew Cordell
My third graders are fascinated by wordless picture books. From Draw the Line by Kathryn Otoshi to I Walk With Vanessa by Kerascoët, wordless picture books captivate readers’ interests and require deep thinking.
When I saw Explorers by Matthew Cordell on a bookshelf in another teacher’s classroom, I knew I wanted to read it with a group of students. The wordless story follows a young boy who visits a museum with his family. A turn of events allows him to explore more than he originally imagined. His chance encounters lead to his family exploring the museum alongside new friends.
What Kids Said…
Making Connections to the Text
“Now they’re in a Natural History Museum. I’ve been to one before!
He looks so scared! I’d be so scared too…”
On the Book’s Format
“That wasn’t the book actually starting?! It looked like the starting of the book!”
“I realized at the beginning, this was actually the beginning, but then they just do the title!”
On the Lesson
“The lesson was friendship. You can find friends wherever! This is how you make friends. You go up to some kid, you say hi, and you figure out they’re not a stranger.”
On Wordless Picture Books
“I really like it. Even though it didn’t have any words, I kinda liked it more because you could make up your own words for it. It was really cool.”
“Authors always have a way that they want to do it. I like how you get to have your own thoughts about it and make up your own story.”
“That’s the nice part about wordless books. You can just do what you want.”