You Must See It to Believe It!

Reading to Learn


Melissa Roddam




          Visualization is an important part of comprehending reading material.  When children can visualize, they can better understand their book and can therefore better enjoy their book.  The construction of representational images improves children's learning of text, as proven by consistent research.  The children will learn, in this lesson, how to visualize what they are reading to better understand what they are reading.    








1.)    Call students to the floor for an introduction.  "Today we are going to learn what visualization means."  "Does anyone already know?"  "Okay here is a hint∑vision."  "Right, when you see something, but not really, just in your mind.š „Today we are going to learn about visualization and see how it helps us to better comprehend a story."  "Does everyone remember what comprehend means?"  "Right, to better understand."  "I‚m sure everyone remembers reading picture books, the pictures helped tell the story, and helped you understand and see what was going on."  "Well, now that you are older and reading chapter books without pictures, it is important for everyone to visualize what they are reading in order to better comprehend the story."


2.)   Practice visualizing.  "Let‚s practice."  "Following along with me as I read this passage." "As we read, imagine what the setting is in your mind∑visualize." "I will know that everyone is ready for me to begin when I see everyone's eyes looking directly at me."  "Good." "Now read with me." Place passage on overhead projector. "Imagine you are visiting your favorite place."  "Where are you, what are you wearing, are you with anyone, is it hot or cold, are you walking, running, sitting, playing?"  "Now, open your eyes and look up."  "While I was reading, I imagined lying in a hammock, on the beach, by myself reading, a good book."  "What did you imagine."  "Wait until I call on you."  Call on students to tell you what they pictured.  "Wonderful!"  "Today, we are going to begin reading Holes by Louis Sachar."  "This is one of my favorite books, but there are no pictures, so it is VERY important to visualize so that you can really understand and comprehend the story."



3.)   Explain assignment to students.  Tell them "In a minute I will send you back to your desk."  "I will pass out a blank sheet of paper and copy of Holes to each student."  "You are to read the first chapter-only two pages- and draw the setting you imagine after reading."  "Now, return to your desk quietly and get out a pencil and markers or colored pencils."  "I know everyone is anxious to get started, but I will only give the students sitting quietly and following directions a book."



4.)   Pass out Holes and a piece of paper to each student.  While passing out the book and paper, remind students one more time what the directions are.  "Read the first chapter then draw a picture the setting you imagined while reading."




     Have students volunteer to share their drawings with the class.  After sharing, take up all the papers.  Use these drawings to assess whether or not the students are visualizing as they read.  Over the next couple of weeks (or however long you allow for the students to read the book) have a one on one conversation with each student to make sure they are visualizing and comprehending the story.  Use the following checklist.





    ڤ The child can describe what he or she is visualizes while reading.


 ڤ   I am able to tell what part of the story the child is reading due to the description of what he/she visualized.


 ڤ   The child comprehends what he/she is reading by telling me.





Sachar, Louis. Holes. Scholastic Inc. New York, NY. 1998.

Kristin Acuff, Open the Doors to Imagination

Shannon Ritter, A-B-'See' Is Easy as 1, 2, 3


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