We've heard over and over how important reading is to kids. There are so many benefits to reading, but one that may be overlooked is inviting children to understand how a story works. In a story, there is a beginning, middle, and end. I think this is why chapter books/novels in a series make me angry. There is no ending. Or rather, the ending is weak - it leaves the reader hanging so they will want to read the next book. When helping children understand the concept of a story, these books do not bog the reader down with text, rather they give a clear story using only images.
So, here are a few of my favorite wordless picture books that can be used with young children to help develop the concept of a story. While these can be used as a class discussion/lesson to develop the concept, I also think they could be used for reluctant writers. For a small child, coming up with their own fiction story to write can be daunting (especially if they are expected to come up with a beginning, middle, and end). However, these books provide the frame of the story, but the children would be able to write the text, use good word choice, and define the characters.
Pancakes For Breakfast by Tomie DePaola
A Ball For Daisy by Chris Raschka
Frog On His Own by Mercer Mayer
South by Patrick McDonnell
Trainstop by Barbara Lehman
Wave by Suzy Lee