Places, ACTION!  Making Mind Movies:

Reading to Learn

By Leigh Morgan



Rationale:  Fluent readers need to be informed how to monitor their own comprehension of text in order to learn.  This lesson will teach the strategy of visualization to improve memory of textual information.





Explain why –   “Today we are going to learn a new strategy to help us remember what we read.  The strategy is a called visualization.  Do any of yon know what visualization means?  Right!  It means to imagine or to create pictures in your head.”


Review –   “Before we can use visualization we need to review reading silently.  Remember reading silently is just like reading aloud except you say the words in your head instead of with your mouth.  If you need a little practice with this you can start out by reading a passage our loud and then reading it more and more quietly until you are not making any noise at all.”


Explain How – “Expert readers use visualization when ever they read.  A simple way to think of visualizing is like watching a movie.  The only difference is that when you are reading you create your own movie.  Everyone’s visual image of what you are reading is a little different.  Usually the writer leaves room for the reader to make their own interpretation of the details.”


Model –   “I am going to give you an example of visualization.”  Read the first page of Carry On Mr. Bowditch.    When I read this page I could put myself in Nat’s place.  I know what it is like to have something important on your mind at night.  I can see Nat lying in his bed. It doesn’t say where Hab is in the room, but I see him in a bed beside Nat with his back turned so Nat can’t see if he is asleep.  Nat is staring at the ceiling as he thinks.  See, when I read that passage that is what I imagined was happening and what it looked like.  You might imagine something totally different.  Creating images helps you to remember more about the story.  I remember that Nat was worried about something and trying to stay awake.”


Simple Practice –  “Now I am going to let you try. Listen as I read and then we will discuss what we see.  You can close your eyes if it helps.”  Read the first page of chapter three.  What did you see when Nat was talking to his sister?  The author did not tell where they were.  Where did you see them?  What did you see when Nat came into the school?  What did the school look like?  What did Master Watson look like?”  Discuss the different images that the students saw.


Whole Texts – “You are going to read the first chapter of Carry on, Mr. Bowditch we will be reading this book together in class, but I want you to practice your visualization with it first.”  Give a book talk. “Get out your copy of Carry On, Mr. Bowditch and read the first chapter.  Make sure that you read silently and allow your mind to make pictures as you read.”  After they have finished reading as what happened in chapter one.  Discuss the mental images that the students created.


Assessment:  “Pick your favorite part of the chapter and without looking back in the book draw what happened.”




Acruff, Kristin.  Open the Doors to Imagination.

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