Do You See What I See?

Reading to Learn

By Sara Roehm

Rationale: Once children are skilled readers, they begin to make mental pictures as they
read through a process called visualization. This process involves picturing the events an author describes while reading a story. Since a person must understand they text to picture it in his/her mind, visualization is related to comprehension. These are both extremely important for a person who is reading to learn. During this lesson, students will practice reading a text and using background knowledge along with the author’s words to create a mental picture of a story that has few or no illustrations.

Materials: poem- “Louder Than a Clap of Thunder” by Jack Prelutsky (one copy per student and teacher), book- Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt (one copy per student), white paper, markers/crayons, a chalkboard and chalk

1.    “Class, I want you all to sit quietly and listen to directions. We are going to play a game called ‘Do You See What I See?’ In this game, I will give you a topic and I want you to close your eyes and try to picture it in your head. Let’s try one together. Close your eyes and think about the beach. (Allow about one minute) Open your eyes. I saw waves crashing on the shore, seagulls flying by, people on floats in the water, and umbrellas stuck in the sand. Would anyone else like to share what you saw? (Allow share time) Now close your eyes again and think about a beautiful sunset. (Allow about one minute) What did you see? What colors? Where were you? Let’s try one more. Close your eyes and picture your favorite place.” (Allow think time and then share time)
2.    “The process you just used is called ‘visualization’. We have talked about using background knowledge before. When you were visualizing the beach, you probably thought about a trip you have taken to the beach before. That is using your background knowledge about a place to create a mental image. Most of the books you are reading now have fewer pictures, so you must rely on your visualization skills to image what the author describes.”
3.    “We are going to practice visualization as we read a poem called “Louder Than a Clap of Thunder” by Jack Prelutsky. (Pass out the poems) I am going to read the poem out loud and I want you to close your eyes and visualize what is going on in the poem. (Read the poem) Now I would like some of you to share what you saw. (Share time) We all read/heard the same poem. Do you think we all saw exactly the same thing? Why not?" (Background knowledge)
4.    Now pass out the books, paper, and markers/crayons. “Now I am giving each of you a copy of Tuck Everlasting and a piece of paper. I want you to read the first two chapters and try to visualize the setting and characters. Use the author’s descriptions and your background knowledge. When you are finished reading, go back and draw your interpretation of the setting and characters.”
5.    To assess have each student show you his/her drawing and explain it. You may want to use a rubric or checklist with the following criteria: The student demonstrates an ability to use the author’s words to create a mental picture, the student uses background knowledge to assist in visualization, the student is able to represent mental pictures with drawings, etc.

    Meadors, Laura Can You See It?
    Babbitt, Natalie Tuck Everlasting. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux: United States of
        America, 1975.

    Prelutsky, Jack “Louder Than a Clap of Thunder”

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