One of the joys of writing children’s books is the feedback I get from teachers, librarians, and parents who have found interesting and creative ways of using my stories with their children. Wordless picture books offer lots of room for interpretation, not just in their retelling, but in the worlds and ideas they inspire.
The simplest and most direct activity is to read the book as a group. Downloading the Journey Trilogy Activity Kit is a good place to start. You can also download my guide to reading a wordless picture book to help give you ideas for how to encourage your students to engage with the story.
Many teachers also choose to use the books as a starting point for writing prompts and exercises. Students can write their own manuscripts to the story, inventing names of characters and places and practicing how to structure a narrative. Simple art projects, involving a cut-out door and background landscape can provide another avenue for creative expression. If you had a magic door, where might it take you?
There’s also a fun paper lantern project that I put together for the good folks at All the Wonders that your students might enjoy.
But you don’t need to stop there. Dance schools have used the books as inspiration for original performances, complete with elaborate sets and costumes. There was even a music teacher who had his students perform an original orchestral score as their fifth grade project.
With some of these more elaborate productions, it’s best to check with my agent, Linda Pratt, in order to obtain permission from the publisher to use the material in a public venue (like a dance or theatre performance).
However you choose to expand upon the books in your classroom remember that the very fact that you’re even reading this is a good sign that your students will pick up on your enthusiasm for storytelling and creativity. Thank you all for helping me do my job by sharing it with your kids!