Seeing the Story Crystal Clear

Reading to Learn

Rebecca Weathers



When students read they need to be able to comprehend, or understand, what they are reading. Visualization is a very important part in this. Visualization means that students picture in their minds what is happening in the literature they are reading. This is important because it helps students remember what they have read. This lesson will help students visualize in their minds what is going on in the story which, in turn, will help with their comprehension.



Power point with poems "The Land of Happy" "Stone Telling" and "The Worst" all by Shel Silverstein from Where the Sidewalk Ends

Enough copies of Tuck Everlasting for each student

Paper for students to draw pictures on


Art Supplies for each Student



1. Today we are going to be reading some more of Tuck Everlasting. Before we start that we are going to talk about visualization. Visualization is when you picture what you are reading in your brain. You are painting a picture of what is going on in the story in your mind. I want you to each think about going on an adventure to the moon. Think about what it would look like and what you would need to bring.


2. Ok share with your partner what you thought about. Ok (call on a couple of students to share what they thought of). That is interesting several of you thought of different things. You each had a different picture that you thought of in your brain. You each just visualized what you thought an adventure to the moon would be like. When you read a story the author tells you what to picture in your brain. They write describing words to tell you what they want you to visualize. Visualization is very important because it will help you comprehend the story when you can see what is going on in the story.


3. Now we are going to practice. I am going to read you a poem it is called "The Land

Of Happy" by Shel Silverstein:


Have you been to The Land of Happy,

Where everyone's happy all day,

Where they joke and they sing

Of the happiest things,

And everything's jolly and gay?

There's no one unhappy in Happy,

There's laughter and smiles galore.

I have been to The Land of Happy-----

What a bore!


So when I read that poem I picture a bright and colorful land where everyone is smiling, laughing, and playing. No one is frowning or crying.


4. Now I am going to read another poem by Shel Silverstein and I want you to be visualizing it in your head. The poem is called Stone Telling


How do we tell if a window is open?

Just throw a stone at it.


Ok so in this part of the poem I see an open space and someone throwing a stone at it.


Does it make a noise?

It doesn't?


What do you picture so far in this poem? (call on a few students)


Well, I was open.

Now let's try another…


It wasn't!


What was the last picture you had in your brain? (Students should say a broken window.)

5. Now I am going to read you one more poem. I want you to visualize it in your brain. This poem is also by Shel Silverstein and it is called The Worst


When singing songs of scariness,

Of bloodiness and hairyness,

I feel obligated at this moment to remind you

Of the most ferocious beast of all:

Three thousand pounds and nine feet tall---

The Glurpy Slurpy Skakagrall---

Who's standing right behind you.


Now talk with your partners about what you visualized. After students have had some time to share call on a couple of students to share with the class.


6. Now I am going to read you a short description and I want you to visualize it in your head. Cats are color blind so they only see in black in white. Fluffy the cat's favorite color is purple. Ok so what did you picture in your hear? (call on a couple of students) Good if a cat did not know what color was what then her favorite color could not be purple.


7. Who can remind me why visualizing is important? ( call on students to answer. Students should say to help you picture the story in your brain, to help you know what the story is about, etc.) Now that we have practiced visualization with the poems I want you to use this skill, that will help you comprehend the story, while we read Tuck Everlasting.

Before we start reading let's go over some vocabulary. Our first word is galling. Galling means annoying and irritating. Our second word is pruned. Pruned means cut to look nice like pruned plants. Our third word is battered. Battered means torn up and worn out.


8. We are going to start where we left off on chapter five. Who can remember what we have read so far? That is good so far, We have met the Fosters and Winnie, the daughter, talked to a stranger in the front yard. While Winnie and her grandmother were talking to the stranger they heard music. Winnie's grandmother said it was elves' music. Let's see what happens the next day to Winnie. As you are reading I want you to visualize what the author is describing to you. We are going to partner read. I want one partner to read one paragraph and the next partner to read the next paragraph and so on. At the end of the chapter I want you to discuss with your partners what you visualized in the chapter.


9. To finish today's talk about visualization, I want you to draw a picture to show me what you saw in your brain while reading chapter 5. You should include the characters that you read about in this chapter and what the setting was like. If you need to you can draw more than one picture on one piece of paper. Include details that the author included in the story. At the bottom of you drawing write two or three sentences about what you visualized in this chapter. I will not be grading you on your artistic abilities just that you show me correctly what the author was trying to get you to visualize as you were reading the story.



Allow students 20 minutes to draw their picture. Then grade their drawings by following this checklist:

Did the student draw a picture?

Does the picture relate to Chapter 5?

Does the picture correctly depict what was read in Chapter 5?

Does the picture portray comprehension of Chapter 5?

Did the student include two to three sentences about their drawing?


Ask them a visualization question that does not make sense. Have them tell you why it does not make sense. For example, "It was a cold snowy day. When Henry got dressed the morning he put on flip flops and shorts." What is wrong with the picture in your hear?



Ready, Set, Visualize! By Casey Free on the Reading Genie website


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