Picture yourself there! Take a look into your book!


Reading to Learn Design

by: Lauren Faucett

Rationale: For better comprehension when reading, children should be able to visualize what they are reading.  In this lesson, students will be introduced to the idea of visualizing images while they read. This will allow students to become engaged in their reading and develop a meaning for what they are reading which is essential for comprehension.

Materials: copy paper for drawings, crayons and markers, a copy of the book James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, and copies of the passage, copy of "Sick" by Shel Silverstein from Where the Sidewalk Ends.


  1. Introduce the concept: “Okay I would like everyone to get comfortable, relax, and close your eyes. Now I need everyone to be completely quiet, and I am going to ask you some questions but I want you to keep them to yourself. I would like you to picture your favorite place in the entire world. Imagine that place. What is it like there? Are you there by yourself or with people? How does it feel there? Now that you have imagined this place in your minds, I would like you to open your eyes. Now, will someone please raise their hand and share their favorite place with us? When you see things in your mind it is called visualization. It is important that as we read you use visualization to think about what is going on in the story. We are going to try this when reading James and the Giant Peach today because it has so many descriptive words that will allow us to visualize in great detail!”
  2. “Now I am going to read you this page of James and the Giant Peach. As I read, close your eyes again, and visualize the scene, all the colors and what the characters may look like." After reading, " Now I saw...... What did you see?"
  3. Ask the students questions after: What kind of colors did you see? What did the characters look like? What kinds of expressions were on their face?
  4. “Now I want you to raise your hands and share some of your thoughts about what you visualized, describe it!” Explain, "It is okay that as we visualize different parts of stories or poems that we think about things differently. Everyone visualizes things differently and that is okay! That is what makes reading fun for everyone!"
  5. Pass out the copies of the poem “Sick.” “ Now I want everyone to read this poem, and when you are finished, I would like everyone to draw what you visualized the character looking like in the poem, what he was doing and his facial expressions. Make sure to include the character’s surroundings and how everything in the poem looked."



I will assess the students’ ability to visualize while reading in order for better comprehension by the children’s drawings. Once the students have created their individual drawings, I will have them break into small groups and share their drawings with the group, noting the differences and similarities. This will assess thier visualization ability  because thier drawings will show me how well they were able to visualize when reading.



http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/insp/sanderscrl.html. Sanders, Carrie. “Seeing Is Believing.”

http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/insp/ritterrl.html. Ritter, Shanron. “A-B-“See” is easy as 123.”

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. New York : Puffing Books (1961)
"Sick" by Shel Silverstein from Where the Sidewalk Ends.

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