Pictures Bring Back Memories

Reading to Learn Visualizing

Evelyn Griffin




Of course, phonics, phoneme awareness, and fluency are extremely important in reading, but it is all pointless if the student can’t comprehend what they are reading. Some students need special techniques to help them remember. Visualization is good comprehension tool. As the students read, they should make a conscious effort to construct mental pictures of what is going on in their heads. When they are asked questions about the text, they can think back to the metal images.






Paper divided into 8 squares

Poor Old Lady from The Random House Book of Poetry for Children

What is Red? from The Random House Book of Poetry for Children



1.  First, I will explain visualizing to the students. “Today, I’m going to try to help you remember things from a story by visualizing the events in your head. Everyone close your eyes. When I say the word beach, what comes to mind? (allow students to say what they picture in their head) Good. Now let’s try snow. (allow students to give descriptions about the snow they see in their heads) What was the first word I asked you about? (beach) What was the second? (snow) See how easy it was to remember after we had made mental pictures in our heads.


2.  Second, we will read the poem Poor Old Lady. “Now that you know how to visualize in your head, we are going to read parts of a poem together. It is about an old lady who eats a lot of things she shouldn’t. I want you to visualize what she is eating after each stanza. Then, I want you to draw it in boxes. Be sure to keep your boxes in order so that you know when and what thing she ate.”


3.  Review the poem with the students. Ask them, “What did she eat first, second, third, forth, fifth, sixth, and seventh?” Allow students to show their drawn out mental pictures to the class.


4.  For an assessment, I will give the students another poem to visualize called What is Red? They will read it silently and have the option to draw pictures to help them remember.  I will have a mini conference with each of them and ask them questions about the poem. This will help me determine if they are gaining comprehension skills.




Prelutsky, Jack.  The Random House Book of Poetry for Children:  A Treasury of 572 Poems for Today's Child.  1983. 

Oaks, Anne Larkin. Think It, Read It, Picture It.

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