Jennifer O'Meara
Reading to learn
Pictures Make Perfect!!

Rationale: As children read it is important that they comprehend the information they are reading.  There are several strategies that a person can utilize to help them comprehend and one important strategy is visualization.  This lesson is designed to teach children how to visualize as they read.

Materials:  white copy paper, markers, a class set of Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan, a copy of The Walnut Tree by David McCord.

1.) "I want everyone to get comfortable in their desks.  Close your eyes and I want you to picture in your minds that you are at the beach.  It is very warm outside and you are getting very hot.  You decide to go swimming in the water to cool off.  I want you to picture what is going on around you.  Who are you with?  What are you feeling?"  Teacher allows time for students to form pictures in their minds.  "Now I want you to open your eyes.  Did everyone form pictures of the beach in their heads?" (students respond)  The teacher can model visualization by telling the students what she pictured about the beach.  "When I closed my eyes I saw huge waves and a sandy beach.  I pictured the hot sun and the smell of salt water.  These pictures that form in your mind is a process called visualization.  Visualization is a very useful tool to use while you are reading.  Today we are going to learn about visualization and why it is so important."
2.) "Visualization is a wonderful tool because it allows us to imagine the illustrations of a story in any way we desire.  We can create a movie in our minds!  Because we are older now and read many books that do not have illustrations visualization helps us to better understand a story."
3.) "Now I am going to read the poem, The Walnut Tree.  I want everyone to close his or her eyes and listen while I read this poem.  I want everyone to visualize pictures while I read. (Read the poem to students)  Was everyone able to form a picture in their minds? (students respond)  What types of things did you see? (Call on a few students to share what they saw)."
4.) "I would like everyone to take out their Sarah Plain and Tall book.  I want you to each silent read chapter 5.  Remember that when we silent read there is no sound coming from your lips.  I want everyone to read the first sentence of chapter 5 by just moving your lips, but no sound.  Great! Now I want each of you to read the rest of the chapter with out moving your lips.  While you are reading I would like you to visualize a picture of what you are reading."
5.) Assessment:  "Everyone did a wonderful job silent reading! I passed out white copy paper to each out you while you were reading.  I would like everyone to individually draw a picture of what you formed in your mind while you read chapter 5.  There are markers going around to those of you who do not have any."  The teacher will have a checklist to grade each child's drawing.
6.) When everyone is finished drawing their picture they will share and explain the picture to the class.


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

Saltman, Judith. The Riverside Anthology of Children's Literature.  The Walnut Tree.  McCord, David. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1985.

Murray, Bruce.  The Reading Genie Website.

Pressley, M., Johnson, C., Symons, S., McGoldrick, J., and Kurita, J. (1989).
   Strategies That Improve Children's Memory and Comprehension of Text. The Elementary School Journal, volume 90, 3-32.

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