Story Line

Age Range
3-9 yrs
Setup Time
Under a minute!
Setup Location

Sharing wordless books/ comic strips is a terrific way to build important literacy skills, including listening skills, vocabulary, comprehension — and an increased awareness of how stories are "built," as the storyteller often uses a beginning, middle, end format.

This activity provides an opportunity for literacy-rich conversations. Each "reader" listens and speaks, and creates their own story in their own words. It also reinforces the idea that, in many books, the story and the pictures are connected. Elementary-aged students often enjoy writing down their original story to accompany a wordless book/ comic strip.

With this activity, you'll be surprised at all the talking you will do, and all the fun you'll have!


  1. Present a simple comic strip/ wordless book to your child. Make sure it does not contain too much information in the drawings

  2. Ask your child if he is able to tell you what happened in the comic strip/ book. Recognize that there are no "right" or "wrong" ways to read it. One of the wonderful benefits is to see how your child creates his own story (or stories!) from the same pictures!

  3. Spend time looking at the cover and talking about the comic strip/ book's title. Based on those two things, make a few predictions about the story

  4. Take a "picture walk" through the illustrations. Enjoy the illustrations, which are often rich with detail. Look carefully at the expressions on characters' faces, the setting and the use of color. Talk to each other about what you see. These conversations will enrich the storytelling. Enjoy the pictures and point out a few things, but don't worry too much about telling a story yet. Just enjoy the pictures and get a sense of what the overall theme is about

  5. Go back through the illustrations a second time and get ready for some great storytelling! Consider going first and acting as a model for your child. Have characters use different voices, add sound effects and use interesting words in your version of the book

  6. Encourage your child to "read" you the book with his story. Focus on the words your child uses when he tells the story. Help your child expand his sentences or thoughts by encouraging him to add information from the illustration's details. One way to encourage more details is by asking "W" questions: Who? Where? When? Why?

  7. Finish your story-telling by asking a few simple questions: What pictures helped you tell the story? What was your favorite part of your story? Have you had an experience like the one in your story?

Disclaimer: This presents an overview of child development. It is important to keep in mind that the time frames presented are averages and some children may achieve various developmental milestones earlier or later than the average but still be within the normal range of development. This information is presented to help parents understand, at a high level, what to expect from their child. Any questions/concerns you may have about your child’s development should be shared with your doctor.