"A Picture's Worth 1,000 Words"


Reading to Learn: Visualizing

 By: Taylor Freeman

Rationale:  We all know that it is important for children to learn to read; that's why it is the main focus in the classroom today.  However, if children never reach the point where they read in order to learn, all of their reading instruction was in vain.  This lesson will help children comprehend what they read by teaching students how to visualize the things they read.  When children learn to picture what they read, they also comprehend what they read by remembering the pictures and replaying the "movies."





Crayons or markers

Paper (two pieces for each child and divided in half)

Sarah, Plain and Tall (one copy for each child, or specified paragraphs on copy paper for each child)



1. First, I will explain visualization to students.  "Today, we are going to learn how to make pictures in our minds from the things we read.  This is called visualization.  I know this is a big word, but it just means to make a picture what you read in your head.  You can think of it as making a movie in your head. When we do this, it helps us remember what we read. 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. Second, I will model how to visualize things.  "If I read the word 'Auburn' I picture a lot of things in my head.  I see the football stadium, Aubie, and our colors.  If I read a sentence that said, 'Suzie had fun at the Auburn football game.' I would picture a girl at a football game. I'll draw the picture so you can see what I see in my head."

3. Third, I will lead the class in guided practice.  "This week, we have started to read Sarah, Plain and Tall.  I want everyone to turn to page 14. Now that you know how to visualize, I want you to picture what we read."  Read the first paragraph out loud. Ask children to close their eyes and draw what they see on one side of the first piece of paper.  After students finish drawing, ask a few to share what they saw and what they drew.  Next, go to the last paragraph on page 14. Get students to read it on their own this time, stopping to visualize what they see. Students will draw a second picture (or describe it in other words if they prefer). Ask the students to compare what they drew with their neighbor's drawing.

4. Lastly, I will ask the students to turn to page 18 and read the last paragraph.  On their second sheet of paper, I will ask them to draw a picture of what they visualize on one side, and a description of what they visualize on the other side.  The description must be written in their own words and explain the picture. 




Griffin, Evelyn. "Pictures Bring Back Memories."



MacLachlan, Patricia. Sarah, Plain and Tall. New York: Harper & Row, 1985.


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