Creating Your Narnia

Reading to Learn

JulieAnna M. Whiting


Rationale:  The whole point or goal of teaching a child to read is to gain knowledge or information.  In this lesson the objective is to teach a child to comprehend a text by using the strategy of visualization.  It is important because by using this strategy it allows a person to zone in and picture the main point of the text.  And by doing so a person will understand what the information is disclosing.  In this lesson I will show how to use visualization by modeling the strategy using a text and then scaffolding the students as they practice visualizing.




  1. Ask the students if they know what the point to reading is?  (To learn.)  Also, ask the students if they know any strategies to help them remember what a story is about?  (Possible answers may include rereading, mapping a web, drawing a picture, and visualizing.)  Then ask the students if they know what it means to visualize?
  2. Explain to the students: I am going to teach you the strategy of visualization.  This strategy helps us to find the most important part of a book, story, or even paragraph.  To visualize means to create your own image of a story in your mind.  We will also be using other strategies we have already learned; such as rereading.  When we read a paragraph it is a good idea to reread it if it didn’t quite make sense just in case we missed some information that may have been important.  After we have read a text a couple of times we will practice creating a picture in our minds.  This strategy is helpful to remember what a book was about or to understand what a sentence is stating specifically.
  3. Okay, now I am going to give you an example of visualizing.  I am going to read aloud a paragraph from the book Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  Then I will show you how to create a picture in your mind by using key words.  Here is the paragraph from page 57:
    1. The door had been wrenched off its hinges and broken to bits.  Inside, the cave was dark and cold and had the damp feel and smell of a place that had not been lived in for several days.  Snow had drifted in from the doorway and was heaped on the floor, mixed with something black, which turned out to be the charred sticks and ashes from the fire.  Someone had apparently flung it about the room and then stamped it out.  The crockery lay smashed on the floor and the picture of the Faun’s father had been slashed into shreds with a knife.
  4. Okay, now I will read it for the second time thinking to myself what is the story wanting me to know.  (Read it aloud again.)  The main things that jumped out at me that helped me to see a clearer picture of this "break-in" were: “The door had been wrenched off”; “had the damp feel and smell of a place that had not been lived in for several days”; “Snow had drifted in from the doorway”.  All of these phrases help me to get a mental picture of what the story is telling us happened.
  5. Now you and a partner will read another paragraph from Narnia.  You will read it a second time and draw a picture of what you saw in your head.  Then share your picture with your partner after you are finished.  Afterwards we will come together and go over it as a group.  (Allow some students to discuss their pictures they came up with.)  Here is the paragraph from page 64:
    1. They all saw it this time, a whiskered furry face which had looked out at them from behind a tree.  But this time it didn’t immediately draw back.  Instead, the animal put its paw against its mouth just as humans put their finger on their lips when they are signaling to you to be quiet.  Then it disappeared again.  The children all stood holding their breath.
  6. For the Assessment: Have the students read one more paragraph from Narnia.  (Printed out on a piece of paper for them.)  This time have the students read it individually.  After they are done rereading it have them draw another picture and write sentences explaining their picture.  Here is the paragraph from page 119-120:
    1. The dwarf obeyed, and in a few minutes Edmund found himself being forced to walk as fast as he could with his hands tied behind him.  He kept on slipping in the slush and mud and wet grass, and every time he slipped the dwarf gave him a curse and sometimes a flick with the whip.  The Witch walked behind the dwarf and kept on saying, “Faster!  Faster!”



Lewis, C. S.  (1978.)  The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the WardrobeNew York, NY: Scholastic Inc.

Mazza, Michelle. (2007.)  Do You See What I See?

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