Picture Perfect!

Reading to Learn-Comprehension Strategies

By: Sarah Leslie Smith


Rationale: Students learn to read and eventually they have to read to learn. It is important to give students the techniques that they need to master in order to have excellent comprehension when they read. Children will learn to picture in their heads and when children learn to picture what they read, they also comprehend what they read by remembering the pictures that they can make in their heads. They can change their picture based on what they pick up throughout reading until their visualizations are "Picture Perfect"! Students will visualize and draw their thoughts.




Crayons or markers

Paper (two pieces for per child)

Book for each student: “The Friendship” by Taylor, Mildred



1.  Describe and explain visualization to my students. We are going to learn how to make pictures in our minds from the things we read. This is called visualization. It is simply making a picture in your head, like you would make a picture on paper. This can help us remember what we learn. Before we begin, let's review some vocabulary. We see the words pitchfork, bedding, and damp in the text. A pitchfork is a tool that farmers use to move hay. It is shaped like a large long fork. In our book, it says that Papa leaned against his pitchfork. He must have been moving some hay beforehand." Finish reviewing other vocabulary.


 2. Talk about the words loom and crossroads. Let’s look at the word loom. The word loom means to hover or float over in a scary way. Listen to a sentence: The storm clouds loomed over the city. A non-example: The sun does not loom over the field on a pretty day. Which is more like the word loom? A dark forest or a sunny valley?  


 3. Model how to visualize things that I hear and read. If I see or read the word "Beach", I picture the sand and the waves. I picture colorful beach houses and swim suits. If I read the sentence "I spent a week at the beach", I can draw a picture in my mind. Let me show you what I see in my mind. I will draw a picture of what I see in my mind.


4. Book talk: This book about Cassie and her brothers and their family. The family is not allowed go to the Wallace family store. They can’t even talk to the Wallace family! Let’s read to find out what happened to make the Wallace family and Cassie’s family upset with one other.


 5. We will have practice with my assistance. Start by listening to me. Close your eyes and try to make a picture in your head of what I am saying. “The cat pounced off the high step down onto the floppy clumsy puppy." Did you see a picture? Tell me about it. This week we are reading “The Friendship”. Turn to page 16 and 17. This time, close your eyes again while I read this paragraph. Listen closely to the words and the descriptions. Read the first paragraph and have students draw their own visualizations on their own. Let them share with each other and the class. Next, have students read  the following paragraph on their own and draw their visualizations as they read. Ask student to compare and see how their pictures are alike and different. Students can also write words about their picture.


 6. Allow the students to have individual practice time. They will continue reading page 16 and writing what they see. On one side of the paper they will draw visualizations, on the other side, they can describe the picture. The description must be written in their own words and explain the picture that is uniquely their own. Assess by checking students work and observing the images drawn.



 -Griffin, Evelyn. "Pictures Bring Back Memories."


 -Freeman, Taylor."A Picture's Worth 1,000 Words" http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/doorways/freemantrl.htm


-Adams, Marilyn. Beginning to Read. Thinking and Learning about Print. 1990. Center for the Study of Reading.


 Return to Spring Awakenings on The Reading Genie:  http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/awakenings.html