Reading to Learn Lesson Design
the Doors to Imagination
Rationale: The most important goal of reading is
comprehension. In order for children to
successfully comprehend what they are reading, they must be able to
visualize the text in their minds. In this lesson,
children will learn how to construct mental images from their reading
Materials: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
by C.S. Lewis (class set), writing journals, pencils, checklist for
silent reading. "Does everyone remember what silent
reading is? Yes, it is when you read without saying
the words out loud—you say them in your head. It is
important to read silently, because if everyone were to read out loud
then no one would be able to pay attention to what they are reading
because they would get distracted. When you all
read silently do you ever picture what you are reading in your minds?
Well that is what we are going to talk about today."
when you all were younger and only read books with pictures in them?
Well, now that you are older and reading books with little
or no pictures in them does not mean that you still cannot 'see' what
is going on in the stories. If you close your eyes
you can see pictures in your mind; this is called visualization.
Visualization helps us to remember what we read.
Let's try a little exercise-- I want everyone to close their
eyes and visualize this in your mind: (the teacher will read an excerpt
from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe aloud). Can
anyone tell me what they pictured in their mind as I read to you?"
- "Now I want
you all to keep your eyes open as I read aloud to you again."
The teacher will read another excerpt from the book.
"Did anyone notice any difference in how they pictured the
story in their minds from when you closed your eyes and listened?
Will someone share with the rest of the class what they
visualized with their eyes open as I read aloud to you?"
- "When you
all read chapter books with few or no pictures in them, this is what
you have to do in order to remember what you read. When
you picture the story in your mind as you read, it helps you to better
comprehend the story after you have finished reading. If
it helps you to close your eyes to visualize the story, then you can
take a break at the end of each chapter in a book to think about what
you have just read."
- "We are
going to read the book The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by
C.S. Lewis." At this point, the teacher will give a
book talk to get the students interested in the story and pass out
copies to each student. "Now, I want everyone to
read the first page silently, and don't forget to visualize what you
- "Can anyone
describe their visualizations as you read?" The
teacher can do this visualization exercise several times with the
students if she wishes. Following each
visualization exercise, students share their images with the rest of
- After the
class has read the first chapter or so, the teacher will ask the
students to write down their favorite line of imagery from the text
they have read thus far. Four or five students come
up to the front of the class and, while the rest of the class has its
eyes closed, create an oral collage by reading their selected passages
and leaving space between speakers so the class can visualize each
Assessment: The students will silently read the next
chapter in the book and create illustrations of what they visualized as
they read that chapter. The teacher will go around
the room and look at all of the children's pictures (ask what pages
their ideas came from). The teacher must be sure
that they grasped both the idea of the story, and how to use
visualization when they are reading; she will use a checklist to measure
□ The illustration
reflects excerpt from book.
□ Child can describe
what he/she visualizes when reading.
comprehends what he/she has read by telling me.
C.S. Lewis. (1998). The Lion, the
Witch, and the Wardrobe. HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
McClellan, Jennifer. "What do You See?" http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/chall/mcclellanrl.html
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