Ashley Dulaney
     Sketch It to Stretch It!

Rationale:
 When taught mental imagery techniques, students are struck by how effective this strategy really is.  If children are appalled at this reality, they will use the techniques indeed.  Knowing this, teachers should begin teaching mental imagery strategies now!  This is a lesson to give teachers one example of what I believe to be an effective comprehension strategy.

Materials:
      1)   The Horse and His Boy by: C.S. Lewis
2) Copy of passage from this book (page 45) Note: This page number may vary in different printings of story.   However, the passage begins: “Soon, however, they had more important things to think of.”
3) Sketch paper and pencil for each child

Procedures:
Begin lesson by stating goal for students as individual readers.
IN OUR CLASSROOM, IT IS PART OF OUR ROUTINE FOR ME TO READ ABOUT A CHAPTER A DAY TO YOU.  I HOPE THAT AS I READ TO YOU, YOU ARE UNDERSTANDING THE STORY.  I AM NOT INTERESTED IN YOU KNOWING TRIVIAL STUFF IN THE STORY BUT IN COMPREHENDING THE MEANING.  MY GOAL IS FOR EACH OF YOU TO HAVE SOME RELATIVE IMAGE IN YOUR HEAD ABOUT WHAT I AM READING.  BY FORMING A PICTURE IN YOUR HEAD ABOUT THE WORDS I READ, THE STORY WILL BE EASIER FOR YOU TO FOLLOW AND COMPREHEND.  I BELIEVE THAT YOU WILL BETTER ENJOY THE BOOK AS WELL.
2)    Tell students how you will help them become familiar with imagery strategy.
TODAY I AM GOING TO SUGGEST AN IMAGERY STRATEGY TO HELP YOU HELP YOURSELF WHEN READING A PASSAGE THAT MAY BE DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND.  WE ARE IN THE 3RD CHAPTER OF THE HORSE AND HIS BOY.  WHEN I BEGIN READING THE CHAPTER I WANT YOU ALL TO RELAX AND TUNE OUT EVERYTHING AROUND YOU EXCEPT WHAT I AM READING.  BEGIN TO FORM PICTURES IN YOUR MIND ABOUT WHAT IS GOING ON.  ON ONE SIDE OF YOUR SKETCH PAPER YOU CAN DRAW PICTURES OF WHAT YOU ARE VISUALIZING FROM THE BOOK.  WE WILL STOP SHORTLY AND DISCUSS SOME OF OUR VISONS. (Do just that and sketch some images on the board throughout the chapter)
3)  (Pass out copies of passage.)
WHAT I AM PASSING OUT TO YOU IS A SHORT PASSAGE FROM THE BOOK WE HAVE BEEN READING.  I WANT YOU TO READ IT SILENTLY TO YOUSELF.  LETS REVIEW SOME POINTS ABOUT SILENT READING.  IF YOU HAVE TROUBLE IMMEDIATELY READING SILENTLY, BEGIN READING OUT LOUD IN A WHISPER.  WITH EACH SENTENCE, LET YOU VOICE BECOME SOFTER AND SOFTER.  FINALLY YOU LIPS WILL STILL BE MOVING BUT NO SOUND WHATSOEVER WILL BE COMING OUT OF YOUR MOUTH.  AT THIS POINT YOU REALLY ARE READING SILENTLY; JUST STOP MOVING YOUR LIPS.  ONE GOOD THING TO KEEP IN MIND ABOUT READING SILENTLY IS SOME OF IT’S SEVERAL BENEFITS.  YOU CAN READ FASTER. YOU CAN STOP ON A THOUGHT AND TAKE YOUR TIME PROCESSIN THE INFORMATION.  YOU CAN GO BACK AND REREAD WITHOUT OTHERS HAVING TO LISTEN TO A SENTENCE OVER  AND OVER AGAIN.  THESE ARE JUST A FEW BUT THINK ABOUT THESE AS YOU READ THIS TO YOURSELF.  WHEN YOU STOP TO PONDERON AN IDEA OR WHEN YOU FINISH THE PASSAGE, SKETCH TO STRETCH THE IMAGES IN YOUR HEAD.  DO THIS ON THE BACK, CLEAN SIDE OF YOUR PAPER.  I WILL BE TAKING THESE UP TO SEE WHAT YOU HAVE SKETCHED AND IF IT RELATED TO THE WORDS IN THE PASSAGE.  YOU HAVE ABOUT 20 MINUTES; GO AHEAD AND GET STARTED.
4) Allow the given time while maybe doing you own sketch about the passage so you can also share with your students.  You may even want to hang up all of these sketches on a “comprehension” or “reading” wall in your classroom.  During later readings, encourage this strategy.  It may be especially effective when reading nonfiction text such as history material.

Extra note to teacher:  Of course you can choose any story to apply this to.
 

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