Picture This!

Reading to Learn
Lauren Lewis

RATIONALE: Comprehension is an important component of reading.  There are several strategies that one can use to foster the development of reading.  One strategy is representational imagery, or visualization.  This lesson will introduce students to the idea of visualizing images as they read text in hopes of improving their comprehension skills.
MATERIALS: pencils, notebook paper, chalkboard, chalk
Book: Paulsen, G.  (1997).  Hatchet. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks. Pg.1.
2 poems:
"Bats" by Randall Jarrell [Saltman, J.  (1985).  The Riverside
(for ea. Anthology of Children's Literature: sixth edition.
student) Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. Pg 130.
"The Bat" by Theodore Roethke [Saltman, J.  (1985).  The Riverside Anthology of Children's Literature: sixth edition.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. Pg 131.
1) "I want everyone to close your eyes and think with me·picture yourself in the mountains.  It is cold and snowing.  You try to catch a snowflake, but you miss it.  Think about why you could not catch that snowflake.  Who are you with?  What else is going on around you? Teacher gives students chance to form pictures in their minds.
Now open your eyes.  Who would like to share with the class what
they saw?  Great! (now teacher shares what she saw) I also saw
people, except I was on a mountain skiing.  I could not catch the
snowflake because I was gliding by too fast.  I liked the feeling of
the snowflakes softly brushing against my face as I skied down the
2) Explain what images/visualizations are.  "These pictures in your minds are images or visualizations of what is being said.  When you visualize as read or listen to someone talk, it helps you understand and remember what you are reading or what someone is saying.  Visualizing as you read allows you to be
"illustrators" because you are drawing the pictures, yet they are in
your head instead of on paper.  You, the reader, get to decide what
the pictures look like and they relate to the story."
3) Read first page in The Hatchet
"Now I am going to read the first page from our new book.  As I
read, let your mind visualize what is going on.  Tell me what you
saw in your minds. (call on individual students)  What was happening?  What kind of expression did Brian have on his face, according to your pictures?"
4) Pass out poems
"Let's all practice visualizing a little bit more.  Each of you will have two poems to read silently, to yourself.  But before you begin reading, who remembers what 'silent reading' is?  Yes, you're right!  Silent reading is when you read without any sounds coming from your mouths.  Let's practice reading the first title together in a whisper (Bats).  Okay, now, let's read the second title together silently, no noise, only lip movements like these (model showing only lip movements)  Okay, you try.  Very good!!  From now on as you read your poems, you will read silently, but wonât move your lips, everything will be in your mind.  Don't forget to pretend you are illustrators, visualizing pictures in your mind as you are reading.
5) Assessment: Create Venn diagrams on own, and one as class
"Wow!!  That was wonderful silent reading boys and girls!  Now that you are all done, I'd like you to create you own Venn diagrams comparing and contrasting the images that you visualized when you read ãThe Batsä (poem 1) and ãBatsä (poem 2).  Remember from whne we have done Venn diagrams before, you draw 2 circles that overlap each other.  Above one circle you will write "The Bats" and above the other circle you will write "Bats"' (teacher is modeling on board as she is explaining)  Remember, the little part where both circles overlap is where you will write the information that both poems contain.  You are welcome to write words, phrases, or sentences in your diagrams.  Which ever way is easiest for you to express your thoughts and explain your pictures is fine with me."
6) Once Venn diagrams are finished, complete one as a class (fill in blank one drawn on board) using studentsâ images.
www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/elucid/omeararl.html Pictures Make Perfect!" Auburn University
Pressley, M.  (1989).  Strategies That Improve Childrenâs Memory and
 Comprehension of Text.  The Elementary School Journal (vol. 90,
 Num.1).  Illinois: The University of Chicago.

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