Picture This!

Kayla Vernon

Reading to Learn



Visualization skills are important skills to have to achieve comprehension when reading.  Visualization is the ability to build mental pictures or images while reading.  Through listening to the teacher read aloud and through reading silently, this lesson will teach children to comprehend what they hear and what they read by practicing visualization skills.




Primary paper

Poem, Swinging From the Lights by Kenn Nesbitt

Poem, My Dog is Not like Other Dogs by Kenn Nesbitt


Drawing paper

Copies of the book, Because of Winn Dixie by Kate Dicamillo

Comprehension questions (3)                     

1. Where did Opal first see Winn Dixie?

2. How did Winn Dixie look when Opal found him?

3. Where did Opal move to?

Assessment questions (3)

            1. Did student create a visual image?  Yes       No

            2. Did student write a statement explaining chapter 1?  Yes        No

            3. Did student show comprehension of chapter 1?  Yes       No



1. Explain Comprehension.  To begin this lesson, have a discussion on what it means to comprehend when reading.  Ask students, "What does comprehension mean?"  Wait for responses.  Explain that comprehension is remembering and understanding what we read.  "Today we will listen to a poem and begin reading a chapter book to help us practice comprehension."

2. Explain Visualization.  "To help us achieve comprehension when we read, I want to tell you about a special tip that will make comprehension easier.  The special tip is called, visualization.  Does anyone know when it means to visualize?"  Wait for responses.  Explain that visualization is building mental pictures and images of what we read.  "We will also practice visualization today when we listen to the poem and read in the chapter book."

3. Model Visualization.  "Now, I will read you a poem and show you how I visualize this poem.  As I read the poem, I will create a picture in my mind to help me understand what I am reading."  Read aloud the poem, My Dog is Not like Other Dogs by Kenn Nesbitt.  "Now that I have read the poem, I am going to draw a picture on the board to show you what I remembered after I read."  Draw a picture with a lot of detail to model how to visualize what you read.

4. Practice Visualization.  "Now I want you to give it a try."  Give each student a copy of the poem, Swinging from the Lights by Kenn Nesbitt.  Also give students a piece of drawing paper and crayons.  "Okay, follow along with me as I read this poem aloud to you.  As I read I want you to create a picture in your mind of what is happening in this poem.  After I finish reading, you will draw your picture on paper."  Have students explain their drawings.  "Great job Visualizing!  Now we will begin reading our chapter book and practice comprehending through visualizing."

5. Pass out a copy of the book, Because of Winn Dixie, for each student and give a quick book talk.  In this book, a ten-year-old girl named Opal moves to Florida to live with her dad.  One day she runs an errand to the grocery store and she finds a very large, ugly, and homeless dog.  Opal is immediately attached to this dog and she names him Winn Dixie because of the grocery store she is in.  Together, Opal and Winn Dixie make friends with some of the characters in the book.  Let's read to find out what all happens to Opal and Winn Dixie.

6. "Now I want you to read silently to yourselves all of chapter 1.  As you read, I want you to visualize what you are reading to help you understand it better.  As you finish reading chapter 1, take out your drawing paper and draw a picture of what you visualized from chapter 1.  Remember to draw as many details as you can.  After you draw your picture, then write a short statement that explains the picture and explains chapter 1."



To assess the students individually, use the three comprehension questions and the three assessment questions.  Look at their drawings and statements on chapter 1 to see if each student successfully comprehended what they read.

1. Where did Opal first see Winn Dixie?

2. How did Winn Dixie look when Opal found him?

3. Where did Opal move to?



Ami Young: Paint Your Picture



Leah B. Smith: Picture It!



Nesbitt, Kenn.  My Dog is Not like Other Dogs.



Nesbitt, Kenn.  Swinging From the Lights.



Dicamillo, Kate.  Because of Winn Dixie.  Candlewick Press. 2009.


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