Visualizing a Best Friend!

Reading to Learn

Jennifer Pride



The goal of reading is to be able to comprehend what you read.  There are several strategies that help us comprehend better.  One of those is visualization.  If a child is able to construct mental images of what he or she is reading, comprehension is facilitated and students are able to learn more.  In this lesson, students will learn how to construct mental images first with sentences, then with a short passage, and eventually with chapters in books to help them remember things read.



Sentence Strip "The two twin girls with yellow curls were swinging on the swing set."

White Paper (2 for each student)

Paragraph on chart paper "Sally was playing outside.  She was playing a fun game by herself.  Then, her mom called her and said it was time for dinner.  Sally was sad."

Crayons (enough for students to draw a picture; can be shared)

Pencils (one for each student)

Betsy-Tacy (Lovelace, Maud Hart.  Betsy and Tacy.  Harper Collins Publishers:  New York)

Assessment Checklist-

1. Did the student read silently? Y or N

2. Did the student draw a picture? Y or N

3. Did the picture represent something that happened? Y or N

4. Are the images or events in the picture accurate? Y or N

5. Did the student draw or describe in detail the events? Y or N

(If the students are not artistic let them explain with words what they remember)




1.  Say, "Sometimes, we read things without pictures in them.  That is because the author uses descriptive words to show us what is happening and wants us to make up our own pictures in our head.  Today, we are going to learn a new trick that helps us remember things as we read.  We are going to paint a picture of what we read in our heads to help us remember what it happening in the story."


2.  Say, "Who can remind me how to read silently?  That's right; I read all the words in my head without saying them aloud.  I can move my lips as I read, though.  Let me show you how to read silently."  (Model with paragraph on chart paper:  Sally was playing outside.  She was playing a fun game by herself.  Then, her mom called her and said it was time for dinner.  Sally was sad.") That is how you read silently!  Now you try, I want you to read this silently.


3.  When we visualize, we are just forming a picture in our heads of what we read. Say, "Now, I am going to show you how I visualize when I read."  (Display sentence strip) "The two twin girls with yellow curls were swinging on the swing set."  Say, "When I read this sentence, I am going to show you how I would visualize what I read.  (Teacher reads sentence silently).  "First, I get an image of what I read in my head.  Now, I am going to draw what I see.  I see two girls with blond hair in their play clothes swinging on the swing set.  Not everyone visualizes the same thing, even when they read the same passage.  Do not worry!  That is just fine, what is important is that you see a picture in your mind to help you understand what is being said in the story."


4. Say, "Now, you are going to read a passage and draw your own visualizations!"  (Pass out passage & blank sheet of paper- "Are You Ready, Sam?")  Say, "Students, as you finish silently reading your passage, you may draw your visualization that represents what you remember from the story.  Remember, that not everyone's is going to be the same and that is ok!"



For assessment, students will read the first chapter of Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace.  Students will read the first chapter and then draw a visual representation of it.  The picture will be assessed based on the checklist below.  The picture will also assess comprehension because in order to know what the story in trying to illustrate, students must comprehend.  Comprehension will also be assessed through questions about the chapter.



"Are you Ready, Sam?"  (Short story)


Keasal, Lauren.  "Can't you See?"


Lovelace, Maude Hart.  Betsy-Tacy. Harper Collins Publishers:  New York, 1940).


Wise, Lindsey.  "Becoming the Illustrator"


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