Pictures that tell a thousand stories

May 13, 2016

Every day, we often come across many different pictures and most likely, have our own individual interpretations as to what the pictures mean or what they are trying to convey. However, did you know that when it comes to pre-schoolers, pictures can help open up a whole new adventure to learning?

On 22 April, the National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS) organised an AFCC Activity Workshop as a lead-up to the Asian Festival of Children’s Content (AFCC) 2016, which will take place from 25-29 May this year. Held at the National Library, parent bloggers and their children were invited to explore various methods of teaching their pre-schoolers through reading. Sharing on the benefits of wordless picture books, NTUC First Campus’ Head of Professional Practices and Development Department (PPD), Dr Geraldine Zuzarte was invited to conduct an interactive learning session with parent bloggers and their children.

Why wordless picture books? Dr Zuzarte sharing with parent bloggers what wordless picture books have to offer.

Other than sharing useful tips with parents on how they should facilitate their child’s learning while reading wordless picture books, Dr Zuzarte also shared insights on how wordless picture books allow for parents to interact with their children and for children to develop creative flow of ideas.  Unlike books with words, Dr Zuzarte highlighted how picture books allow children to tell the story in their own way and in the process, make the reading session an interactive one that gives pre-schoolers room to express their ideas and thoughts. On top of that, Dr Zuzarte also encouraged educators and parents to facilitate the reading of wordless picture books with children by questioning children on their ideas pertaining to the story and guiding them to point out the main characters in the book. This, according to Dr Zuzarte, helps to promote parent and child bonding and helps parents understand where their children’s interests lie.

All eyes on the book: Parent bloggers were also given an opportunity to try their hands on a wordless picture books with their children.

Dr Zuzarte also highlighted that apart from just letting children tell the story, parents should also allow them to draw or pen down their thoughts and ideas. It would help them tell their stories in way that they understand or even come up with their very own simple illustrations. When it comes to book selections, Dr Zuzarte cautioned parents that the books chosen should reflect their child’s daily life or interests so that they can relate to the book and share their own version of the story.

In NFC’s pre-schools, educators often allow a child free expression through drawings about the story and then collate their ideas and reflections. This process has proven that a picture tells a thousand words and children can have their very own unique and creative interpretations.

Spoilt for choices: there are many wordless picture books which can be found in public libraries across Singapore. Borrow them to get started with your children!

Written By:

Razeen Banu
NTUC First Campus Co-operative Limited