Category Archives: wordless

Don’t Just Look, Read Those Pictures

Creative Thinking Prompt: Don’t Just Look, Read Those Pictures

heartOur minds can quickly assign meaning to images. A stop sign means stop. A heart means love. The letters of the alphabet are lines and curves assembled in specific patterns to create meaning. Even math uses symbols such as  ∞ , >,  ≠  to denote meaning.

When additional images are added to a single image, what happens? A picture.

Brainstorm what the purpose of a picture is.

When you brainstorm, write down all your ideas as they come to you. Do not analyze them. This is not the time for that because you want to think up the most original, creative idea you can. The more ideas you have, the more unusual your ideas become. Eventually, you run out of ideas. Don’t stop. Push yourself to think of at least five more ideas because at this point unique ideas originate.

How can a picture tell a story? Look at a wordless picture book.

What elements does a picture need in order to tell a story? Here are some to get started.

-Background: color use, frame or no frame, place, time

-Perspective: point of view of the character, is the character at the forefront or the back of the

-Personality: clothing, facial expression (eyes, tilt of head, mouth, ears), what is the character doing, age

What are some other elements that help tell the story of a picture?


“How Flotsam Prompts Imagination”

“How Flotsam Prompts Imagination”


Creativity in picture books is expressed not only through the text, but also through the illustrations. David Wiesner’s wordless picture book, Flotsam, is a perfect example of using imagination and creativity to tell a story. In this visual story, Wiesner cleverly uses a discarded camera known as flotsam (which means debris from a ship that wasn’t deliberately thrown overbroad) to take the reader on an underwater adventure. While at the beach, a boy finds a camera that has washed ashore. After getting the film developed, he is amazed to discover what happens beneath ocean waves as well as another surprise discovery. The adventure continues as the boy returns the camera back to the ocean to wash ashore again. This book promotes creativity, imaginative and wonderment.

TITLE: Flotsam

AUTHOR: David Wiesner

ILLUSTRATOR: David Wiesner

PUBLISHER: Clarion Books, 2006


CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creativity, imagination, wonder


1) Take a stroll. Using a camera, take a series of pictures that detail your walking adventure.

2) Imagine going on an underwater adventure. What might you see underwater creatures doing if they had human characteristics? Using your imagination, create underwater fantasy pictures/scenes. Collaborate with a partner to elaborate on the scenes.


To learn more about author/illustrator David Wiesner, visit:

To explore more wondering, visit:

“This website encourages your kid’s creativity in a meaningful, impactful way. A safe, fun place where kids can expand their perspective and connect with other kids and cultures around the world.”