What do you see?
Melinda McDonald
Reading to Learn


While children are reading they need to be able to see what is going on in the story.  Visualization is an important key in comprehending stories.  During this lesson it will help children learn how to create mental images of what they or someone else is reading.


copy paper for drawings, crayons, the book "Because of Winn-Dixie" by Kate Di Camillo, and copies of the passage, copy of Smart by Shel Silverstein.


1."Okay, class, I need for everyone to sit very still, relax, and close your eyes.  Please no talking because I need you to listen to every word I say.  I want you to picture something for me.  Imagine your favorite place to be.  What makes it so great?  How is the weather?  Are there people there with you?  Now that you have this imagine in your mind, open your eyes.  Wasn't that fun!  (class response)  Does anyone want to share their thoughts?  (class cooperation)  This process is called visualization.  Does anyone know what visualization is?  (class interaction)  It is the process of seeing mental pictures in your mind.  You guys did it greatly!!"

2. "Visualization is an important tool when reading because it helps us understand the story.  We are reading much thicker books with fewer pictures so it helps to think about what something might look, smell, or be like."

3. "Now I am going to read a poem out loud and I want you all to think about what I am reading."   Read Smart to class.  After poem is done class will respond to how the dad looked at his son and what he may have looked like.

4. Explain to students this is what visualization is all about.  Even though someone may have a different opinion about what something looks like them it is okay.  The reason is because people see things differently but it is all right.

5. "All right everyone we are now going to read a passage from "Because of Winn-Dixie."  Pass out copies of passage for the students.  "When you are done I will pass out copy paper and crayons.  I want you to draw the image you see.  Describe the dog and the surroundings."

6. Assessment will be their drawings.  Have children to break up into groups and discuss their drawings.


The reading Genie website:

Silverstein, Shel. Smart. HarperCollins Publishers

Di Camillo, Kate. Because of Winn Dixie, Scholastic Inc, 2002

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