Rationale: To become a skillful and successful reader, children must learn to visualize what they read in order to comprehend better. Visualization takes place when one forms mental images in their mind while reading. By visualizing, you can understand what you are reading better as well as comprehend the text easier by creating your own detailed picture in your head. Since the most important goal of reading is comprehension, children need to be able to visualize what they read so it will make sense. This lesson will teach students to visualize text when reading, which will in turn help them to comprehend better and be skillful readers.
Materials: Copy of book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for each student, construction paper and markers/crayons for each student, TV and VCR or DVD player, movie of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, whiteboard and dry erase markers or board and chalk, grading checklist to assess the student's comprehension from their description of their picture: Does the student have the correct characters? Is the setting appropriate? Does the situation drawn connect to the story?, sentence strip with sentence I went to the beach for vacation.
Procedure: 1. Today we are going to learn how to read to learn using visualization. We are going to learn how to visualize or imagine a picture of what we read in our head to help us better understand and comprehend what we read. It is important to remember that when we visualize what we read today, we are going to be silently reading to ourselves because we want everybody to be able to concentrate and that would be hard if all of us were reading out loud!
2. To be a skillful reader, you must learn to visualize the text you are reading. In order for you to understand what it means to visualize words that you hear or read we are going to all participate in a visualization exercise. Let's read the sentence on this sentence strip together, I went to the beach for vacation. Now, we are going to visualize that we are at the beach. Before you visualize on your own, I am going to tell you what I am visualizing. I am going to close my eyes and I am imagining I am at the beach. It is a hot, sunny day with blue skies and a couple white, puffy clouds. I am walking on the beach and feeling the sand in between my toes and the hot sun on my face. I walk down by the water and feel the cool and refreshing splash on my toes. I splash the water on my face and taste the salty ocean and I feel the breeze blow my hair. I go and sit down in a beach chair and the sand feels rough on my legs. I watch the waves crash on the sand and see the seagulls flying above my head. I love the beach! Now you are going to try to visualize so listen closely to my directions. First, get comfortable at your desk, close your eyes, and relax. Everyone must be very quiet and not talk. Imagine now that you are at the beach. It is still very warm outside and you are getting very hot. You decide to go swimming in the ocean to cool off. Picture what is going on around you. Who are you with? What do you see, smell, feel, and hear? Allow time for the students to form pictures in their minds. Now open your eyes. Did everyone form a picture of the beach in his or her head? Model how to form a visualization of the beach by describing to the students the picture you created of the beach or draw a picture of your visualization on the board. When you see things in your mind it is called visualization. It is important that as we read we use visualization to think about what is going on in the story. By visualizing the words in the story we will also comprehend what is happening in the story.
3. Today we are going to practice visualizing with selected chapters of the book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. This book is about a young boy, Harry, who lives with his cruel aunt and uncle and finds out he is really a wizard and never knew it! He happily leaves his aunt and uncle’s and goes off to school at a place just for wizards and meets great friends along the way. But he runs into a lot of trouble while at school with an evil and mean wizard and might not make it to the end of the book alive! To find out what happens to Harry, read this book! Before we all begin to read silently, I am going to read the first chapter of the book aloud so that you can practice visualizing as I read. Close your eyes and listen carefully! Read the first chapter. Okay, now that I read the first chapter, I want you all to tell me what you were picturing in your heads. Isn’t it fun to be able to create such wonderful things in our minds? That is why reading is so fun; it is just like watching a movie, but better because we can imagine what we want! Visualization is a great tool to help us understand what we read.
4. Now you all are going to have your own copy of the book and I want you all to silently read chapter two to yourselves and visualize what you read in your heads. Pass out construction paper and markers with the book. As you all read and create pictures in your heads about the story, I want you to really focus on creating a visualization of what you think the story would really look like if it were really happening. When you get to the end of chapter two, pick your favorite scene or event from the chapter, and draw what you visualized happening in your head. When everyone is finished reading and drawing, we will share with the class our pictures and see how different or alike our pictures are!
5. In order to assess the students’ understanding of visualization, collect the students’ visualization pictures as well as have them write an explanation of what they visualized. Check to make sure the student knows the characters, setting, and situation of the story. Use the grading checklist to assess: Does the student have the correct characters? Is the setting appropriate? Does the situation drawn connect to the story? Base grades on the students’ comprehension of the text, which will be evident in their written explanations and not their artistic ability.
6. When the students have finished reading the entire book, have them watch the movie to see how alike or different their visualizations were.
Internet site: Landon McKean. Visions of Pigs. http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/constr/mckeanrl.html
Internet site: Andrea Williams. Picture It. http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/connect/williamsrl.html
Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, (and movie) J.K. Rowling. September, 1998. Scholastic
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