I can see it now!

 Reading to Learn

Rachel Bier


Comprehension is the most 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 events in the story. As students become more experienced readers the fewer pictures they find in the books they are reading. This lesson will introduce students to the idea of visualizing images as they read text in hopes of improving their comprehension skills. 


Plumbery Pott’s Unpredictable Neice by Jack Prelutsky written on large paper

Dreams by Langston Hughes written on large paper

One copy of Holes by Louis Sachar for everyone

Reading Logs for every student

Checklist per student for assessment



1. I will introduce the lesson by reviewing with the students what the point of reading is. “Can anyone tell me why we read? Well, we read for a lot of reasons. We read to learn things and sometimes just for fun, but if we don’t understand what we are reading then we won’t learn anything or have fun. One way to understand what we are reading is to picture the scenes in our heads.”

2. Next I will read to the students Plumbery Pott’s Unpredictable Neice by Jack Prelutsky. “I am now going to read you this poem about a silly girl. I am going to read it once to you all. After I read it aloud, I am going to read it to myself and show you how I visualize when I read.” I will read the poem again to myself and then close my eyes. “As I read that poem I saw a silly little girl swallowing all sorts of car parts and then looking guilty when her uncle came in.” I will place a picture of the girl and car parts on the board. As I was reading this poem to myself I was thinking about what I was reading and then put an image with the words in my head and that is how I use visualization in my reading. Now I want to see you all try.”

3. Next I will read the poem Dreams by Langston Hughes aloud to the students and ask them to visualize. “With Plumbery Pott’s Unpredictable Neice I showed every one how I visualized the poem, and I bet most of you visualized it the same way. But, not all readings will be so easy to visualize, and that is okay. Sometimes you may visualize something and your neighbor may see it a different way, but they can both be right. I am going to read you this poem, Dreams, and as I am reading it I want you to close your eyes and visualize the poem.” I will read the poem. “Now, I want you all to discuss with your neighbor what you visualized. By a raise of hands, who visualized the same thing as their neighbor? So, you all visualized about different dreams and what your idea of a dream is, but not very many people had the same dreams.” Next I will hold a conversation with the students about how the words are guidelines for the visualizations and how half of the fun part of reading is to be able to visualize things their own way. 

4. Next I will explain to the students that we are going to start visualizing while we are reading our chapter book. “Since we are in the middle of reading Holes and there is so much going on, I thought it would be a good idea if we started drawing some of the visualizations that we have while reading in our reading logs. I want everyone to take this time to read the next chapter they are on in Holes and then draw one or more of the visualizations they have in the heads in their reading logs. Once everyone is done, since it is our first time doing this, I would like for everyone to share their visualizations. Remember, there is a lot going on in this book so not everyone should be visualizing the same scene in the book. We are going to be reading our book silently. Does everyone remember what it means to read silently? Read to yourself while visualizing. If you get to a hard part you can slow down and even reread so you understand what you are reading.”

5. I will use the visualization/drawings that the students present in the class period. These will be a good way to assess because while the students are presenting I will be able to see if the students read, if they are portraying an accurate scene in the book and if they understand what they are reading.


Hughes, Langston. “Dreams.” The Random House Book of Poetry for Children. Ed. Jack Prelutsky. NY: Random House, 1983. pg. 225

Kohtala, Mareena. How to see with your eyes closed.

Prelutsky, Jack. “Plumberly Pott’s Unpredictable Niece.” The Random House Book of Poetry for Children. Ed. Jack Prelutsky. NY: Random House, 1983. pg. 186.

Sachar, Louis. Holes. Dell Yearling, c1998, 2003. 233 pages. Newberry Award.

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