Tech activities for “This is a Book With No Pictures”.

If you haven’t seen this wonderful children’s book, which is a brilliantly creative bridge between teaching reading and writing, then take a quick look at this video reading from the author here:

As silly as it is, early childhood educators will see the value of reading this story in the classroom! Here are 5 activities that you can plan for using the microphone built into the iPad. These activities teach children about sound, voice recording and cause/effect of incoming sound. Children will use their own voice, record other voices and create with sound and image.

  1. Bla Bla Bla

This free app uses the microphone to visualise sound as simple, black and white animated faces. It’s great for pre-verbal learners who need encouraging to experiment with vocal sounds. Your learners will have lots of fun reading some of the words and phrases in The Book With No Pictures and make the faces move on screen!

2. Sensory Mica and Sensory Speak Up!

These are two free apps which visualise sound in different ways. Again, they use the microphone and respond to incoming sound without children need to press record. Sensory Mica will make visual sound ‘explosions’ on screen. These visualisations give illustrations to the way the words sound in the book. As children read the nonsense words of the book, they could screenshot (press and hold the sleep/wake button and home button) then paint their sound explosion from the saved image.

Sensory Speak Up is a sound timeline. As the seconds pass in real time, each line visualises the sound recorded that second. You can read the book and capture when children laugh. You’ll also see when it is quiet as the bars are skipped out because there is no incoming sound to the microphone!

3. GarageBand – Audio Recorder

GarageBand is a powerful music making app but don’t let it put you off! Use the scrolling menu of instruments to get to Audio Recorder. Now switch from ‘Studio’ to ‘Fun’ on the central tabs. Here, you can teach children to press record to capture their voice reading the story or making up their own silly sentences. They can select from a variety of funny voice effects to alter how they sound reading and talking. Maybe children want to write nonsense words or silly sentences to read and record in this app.

4. Magnetic Letters

Use this app just like you would the physical resource! Let children explore with letter shapes and sounds to make up their own nonsense words or silly sentences for you to read. The paid version comes with lowercase letters. It’s a quick and easy way to for children to have access to all of the letters they need without having to sort and tidy throughout the day! You can easily take a set of iPads and this app in a short carpet time after reading the story.

If you’re looking for a similar experience, but with lowercase letters but still for free, then download Keynote to your iPad and use this file that I created for young learners! Children can move letters from the alphabet bank on to the blank space using their finger. There are multiple copies of the same letter too!

5. Draw and Tell

Another free app for you to try! This app combines drawing and sound. Children can use their finger to draw with different crayon types on screen and use the build in voice recorder to capture their reading. One of the beautiful features of The Book With No Pictures is how the text is represented visually. Children can turn their words or silly sentence into pictures using the letters that they write, then have lots of fun recording their nonsense story sentences (or asking you to read their words and phrases to record onto their picture!)

This app also comes with letter stickers you can use in the same way as the Magnetic Letters example above.

Young Children Can Create!

If you’re inspired by these 5 activities, check out these free books on Apple Books. You will find more ideas like these in The Rich Potential of Young Children’s Drawing and The Rich Potential of Young Children’s Music Making.

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