Watching Mind Movies!
Elana Rees Willett
Reading to Learn
Rationale: Teaching children to make
“mind” movies in their heads will help them to comprehend texts better,
as well as make reading more enjoyable. By reading with
visualization children will gain a deeper meaning of the story.
This lesson will help students learn how to visualize or make “mind”
movies while they read by teaching them visualizing strategies and
helping them learn how to see images in books with
All the small poems and fourteen
more by Valerie Worth or
Fireworks by Connor (age 8)
Dork on the Run by Carol Gorman
1. Begin this
lesson by having the children try to picture a scene in their
minds. “I want everyone to close their eyes and think of a big
chocolate ice cream cone. Ok, now open your eves and describe
what you imagined.” Let children talk among themselves for a minute to
discuss the ice cream they pictured. “Now, we are going to
practice doing that again, but I am going to read you a poem to picture
in your mind. When we read poems, stories, or anything at all it
is like we are creating a movie in our minds! That’s my favorite
thing about reading books, I get to create it just how I want. I
use the author’s words to get started, but then my mind creates things
just how I imagine! Even the characters can look how ever I want
them to. Ok, now let’s close our eyes again and create a movie of
the poem Fireworks.”
2. “What kind of
picture did you see in your mind? Great, that is all
wonderful! I pictured myself at the fireworks show waiting for
them to start.” Pick through the poem with them, talking about
what they pictured for each line. Ask them if they could see the
spark climbing in the air, did they hear the loud crack in their minds
when it exploded?
3. “What we are
doing is called visualization. It helps us to become better
readers because not only are we reading the words, but we really
understand the story because we can see it in our minds. We make
the characters come alive by having them act in our mind movie!”
4. Now we are
going to read silently from the book, Dork on the Run. Remember
that we read silently by saying the words in our minds, but not out
loud. This means that no one can hear us but ourselves!
First, start reading and after you have a little just close your eyes
and visualize some of the story that you have read. Then you keep
reading, only stopping every now and again to play your “mind
movie!” Ok, read beginning in Chapter 1 page 1, and go until the
middle of page 4. After you have finished reading, take out
paper, and pencils or crayons to draw a picture of what you saw in your
mind. These pictures don’t have to be perfect, just do the best
you can to show me what movie you were seeing!
Assessment: Break the children into small
groups so they discuss what they drew and compare with their
peers. I would discuss the passage with them to ensure their
understanding and be sure each child was visualizing the correct
images. I would use a check list to make sure each child either
drew or discussed something about characters, setting, feelings or
emotions, and/or actions.
-All the small poems and fourteen
more by Valerie Worth; Farrar, Straus, & Giroux (1994)
-Fireworks by Connor (Age 8);
-Dork on the Run by Carol Gorman;
Harper Collins (2002).
-Use Your Imagination by Volandra
Connor (aged 8)
Fizzing up and
Whooshing like the wailing wind.
Leaving a steamy trail.
A smell likeSteam engines going along the
Catherine wheels about
To take off with
Shimmering light in the
Did the student draw or discuss:
Feeling or emotions _____
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