Picture This!

Reading to Learn

By: Nikki Tucker

Rationale: To become expert readers, children need to learn an important skill to comprehend what they are reading. Visualization is one way readers can build comprehension.  This is important for students so they can have "a movie" of what's going on throughout their reading. When readers can actively engage themselves in the story, they are able to grasp the meaning of the text. This lesson will help students learn to visualize by creating mental pictures in their mind. Students will listen and read to practice this.


Class Copies of Shel Silverstein's Peanut-Butter Sandwich Poem

Leaves by David Ezra Stein

Drawing Paper and Crayons

Assessment Checklist


1. "Today we are going to talk about visualizing. Does anyone know what this means?" Allow time for student's answers. "Well, this means to read and see a picture or a movie in our mind. You direct your own movie in your head by listening to all the details that you hear. When I visualize I can hear how a voice sounds, imagine how food tastes, and picture what someone or something looks like.

2. "When we read to ourselves, what do we call this?" Silent reading. "Yes, we do call it silent reading. We do this so we can read as much as we want, quietly so we don't bother anyone else." We are going to silent read a poem by Shel Silverstein.

3. Have students silently read the poem Peanut-Butter Sandwich. "When the poem discusses the 'brown and sticky mounds' it is referring to the gloopy, gloppy peanut butter's color and how it sticks everywhere in mountain like things called mounds."   Allow time for students to read the poem "When I read this poem, I picture a king covered in peanut butter from head to toe.  I got this from the poem because it said his scepter and his royal gowns, his regal throne and golden crowns were brown and sticky from the mounds and drippings from each peanut-butter sandwich." Show students a picture of what you drew that you saw then have them share what they pictured. 

4. Give students a copy of Leaves. "This book is about a bear that sees fallen autumn leaves and burrows into them for a long, long nap. When he wakes up spring has sprung and he gets to appreciate all the new growing leaves and plants again!" Have students read the book silently or back and forth with a partner. Once the students read through the book, have them draw a picture of what they just read. Let students share their drawings.


Have students come to the front of the class and explain their drawings. Assess students with a checklist

Students accurately depict the story using pictures

Students accurately retold the story



"Can You See What I See?" Lee, Laurin. Invitations Spring 2011. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/invitations/leerl.htm

Shel Silverstein Peanut-Butter Sandwich Poem:  http://jdsaenz1.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/pbpoem.html

Leaves by David Ezra Stein  (Publishing Company: Putnam Juvenile, Publishing date: August 16, 2007)

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