Finally I See It!

Reading to Learn

Holly Johnson


Comprehension is an essential component of reading.  In order to be efficient and fluent readers, students must be able to understand what they are reading.  One strategy is representational imagery, or visualization.  This strategy requires students to visualize each event in the story.  This lesson will introduce students to the idea of visualizing images as they read text in hopes of improving their comprehension skills.  Students will practice this strategy by visualizing what is going on in a poem and other texts and draw their visualizations.



One piece of drawing paper per student

One pencil per student



Poem "Bad-Hair Day" one per student

Chapter book, Charlotte's Web one per student



1. "Today we are going to learn about comprehension.  Comprehension means that we understand what we are reading.  Sometimes when we read we have a hard time remembering what is going on in the story.  Something that we can do to help ourselves remember is to create a picture in our minds of the events taking place in the story.  Today we're going to be creating a picture in our minds while we begin reading a new book called Bad Hair Day by Susan Hood.  Before we start with the book we are going to practice making a picture in our own heads. I want everyone to close their eyes and imagine this scene in their heads." The big dog ran through the field of golden sunflowers in hopes of catching the black cat that was up ahead. Ok now open your eyes.  "Did you picture in your heads what this must have looked like? In my head I pictured a big yellow retriever running through the thick field of sunflowers on a beautiful spring day running as he tries to catch up with that faster black cat. Did anyone else picture something different?"


2. "When you see things in your mind it is called visualization.  It is important that as we read we use visualization to think about what is going on in the story. Now I am going to read a poem to you.  I want you to use your visualization skills, as I read the story, to picture what is going on.  Think about how the character must look or be acting like as I read the poem. I will be reading the poem by Lydia Knaus called, "Bad Hair Day". This story is about a young girl who got an awful hair cut at home and now she thinks she'll have to wear a hat forever.  On the way to get her hair fixed, however, the little girl came across people who also were not pleased with their haircuts.  I wonder if the little girl will get her hair fixed and how it's going to be fixed.  We'll have to read the book to find out.  Okay everyone close your eyes and listen as I read."

3. Now that we have had plenty of practice visualizing, we are going to be reading our chapter book Charlotte's Web. This book is about a little girl named Fern who loved a pig named Wilbur.  Wilbur was going to be sent off to the butcher, so Fern and Wilbur's friends, Charlotte and Templeton, tried to save him.  To find out what happens to Wilber we will have to read the book. You are all doing so well at visualizing! Now I am going to let you do it on your own.  I want you all to read chapter one silently.  As you read, don't forget to use your visualization strategies.  Also, it is ok to close your eyes every now and then to create a better mental picture.  When you get to the end of chapter one, draw a picture of what you just read.  You can add as much detail as you would like, but remember to draw what you saw in your mind as you were reading.  Once everyone has finished reading and drawing their picture, we will share our images with each other." (Allow student to share visualizations)



In order to assess the students' understanding of visualization, collect the students' visualization pictures as well as have them write an explanation of what they visualized.  Check to make sure the students know the characters, setting, and situation of the story.  Also have children verbally answer the set of comprehension questions to make sure they fully understand what they are reading


1. How did Fern feel about her father killing the runt pig?

2. What was Charlotte's "miserable inheritance"?

3. Name 2 things Wilbur did to prove he was radiant

4. Describe how Wilber came to name Charlotte's three daughters




Broach, S. Movies in Your Mind

Carlie Larson, Picture Perfect

 White, E. B.. Charlotte's Web Illustrated by Garth Williams. (HarperCollins)


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