Do You See What I See?

Reading to Learn Lesson Design

By: Michel Fields



Rationale: Visualizations is very important when reading. In order to fully comprehend the text you are reading, you must be able to picture it in your mind. This monitors your comprehension, because if you stop seeing what you are reading, you might not be paying attention. I will have them read a little bit and then draw a picture of what they see. They will then be able to compare visualizations and see that everybody sees things differently.


Materials: Pencil, paper, crayons, Because of Winn Dixie by Kate Dicamillo, The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss



1. Explain Comprehension. I will ask the students to remind me what comprehension is. I will say, “Why is comprehension important when we are reading?” We will have a discussion. Then I will tell them, “We are going to work on building our comprehension today with visualization!”

2. Explain Visualization. I will ask the students, “Do you make pictures in your mind as you read? That is called visualization.” “Visualization makes books much more fun to read! It helps you picture what is going on. Not everyone visualizes the same thing, and that is okay!”

3. Model Visualization. I will tell them, “I’m going to show you how I would visualize with The Cat and the Hat. I would read the first page silently to myself.” [Read: The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house all that cold, cold, wet day.] [This will be written on the board.] “Now I’m going to draw on the board what I see in my head. I see a house with some kids in the window looking at the rain outside.”

4. Practice Visualization. “Now I want you to try. Close your eyes and listen as I read to you.”[Read another page of The Cat and the Hat]. Now I want you to draw on your paper what you visualize in your mind.” [Once they are finished drawing, I will have them share with the class.] “See how we all picture different things? That is okay! We all think differently, and there is no right or wrong visualization.”

5. “Now you are going to try it by yourselves reading silently. We are going to read Because of Winn Dixie.” [I will give a book to everyone.] “In this book, a ten-year-old girl named Opal moves to Florida to live with her dad.  One day she runs an errand to the grocery store and she finds a very large, ugly, and homeless dog.  Opal is immediately attached to this dog and she names him Winn Dixie because of the grocery store she is in.  Together, Opal and Winn Dixie make friends with some of the characters in the book.  Let's read to find out what all happens to Opal and Winn Dixie.”

6. “I want you to read the first chapter to yourselves. Visualize as you are reading it. Come up with an image for Opal and Winn Dixie. When you finish reading chapter one, draw what you see while reading the book. Be very detailed and write a few sentences about what you visualized. “


Assessment: I will have each student come to my desk with their drawing when they are finished. I will ask them the questions, where did opal first see Winn Dixie, how did Winn Dixie look when Opal found him, and where did Opal move to? This way I will be able to tell if the students comprehended the first chapter.




1. Kayla Vernon, Picture This


2. Dicamillo, Kate.  Because of Winn Dixie.  Candlewick Press. 2009.


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