Lindsay Long
Reading to Learn
Imagine This

Rationale:  The most important goal of reading is comprehension.  This can be reached through certain strategies.  One
strategy that aims at this is visualization.  This lesson is designed to help children learn to visualize as they read.  This strategy
will ultimately help children to comprehend as they read as well.

Materials:   History Book:  The World and its People; the US and its Neighbors, poem Water Noises by Elizabeth Roberts
to print on chart paper, Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan, drawing paper, crayons and markers

1.  The lesson will begin with an introduction of visualization.  I will say the following, "Has anyone ever pictured something in
their head before?  (Wait for responses.)  That is called visualization.  You can visualize at any time, even while you are
reading.  It can also be thought of as playing a movie in your head.  That is what we are going to work on today, visualizing
while you read.  Let me give you an example of how I visualize.  If I read the sentence 'In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean
blue.'  I would picture a man dressed in a sailor outfit, on a boat, sailing through the ocean.  That is just one example of how
you can visualize."
2.  "Now I would like everyone to close their eyes and listen while I read this poem to you.  I want you to try to visualize a
picture of the poem in your head.  (Read poem to students)  Did everyone visualize a picture in their head while I read the
poem?  Tell me some of the things that you saw while I read the poem.  (Wait for responses)  Great job!  Those are all perfect
examples of how you visualize."
3.  "Now I want you to read in your history books about Christopher Columbus.  Letâs review how to silent read.  First you
can all read while moving your lips.  Now I would like everyone to read silently without moving your lips.  I know you can all
remember to read silently since we have been practicing this.  Now you can start reading.  While you are reading I would like
for you to visualize a picture of what you think that you are reading.  Read a paragraph at a time and then draw what you
visualized on your paper.  Do this until you are finished reading about Christopher Columbus."
4.  "Now we are going to share our visualizations with each other.  Letâs come to the circle and show our wonderful pictures to
each other."
5.  "Now we are going to read another chapter out of Sarah Plain and Tall.  Visualize while I am reading.  (Read one chapter to
the students from the book)  Now I would like everyone to take a turn and tell me what you visualized.  (Let every child
respond)  Great job!  I think that you all know how to visualize now."
6.  For assessment I would have all the students to read a chapter from their history book.  I would remind them to visualize
while they read so they will be able to understand the story better.  I would then give each student some questions on the
chapter to see if they really can comprehend the material.  I would also discuss with them some of their visualizations.

Cole, William.  A Book of Nature Poems.  Water Noises.  The Viking Press, NY, 1969.

MacLachlan, Patricia.  Sarah, Plain and Tall.  Harper Trophy, NY, 1985.

Murray, Bruce.  The Reading Genie Website.

For more information email me at

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