Seeing the Picture

Christi Stewart
Reading to Learn

In order for students to comprehend text they must have background knowledge of what the words mean.  As we read we visualize in our minds what the words mean so that the overall picture makes sense.  In this lesson students will become aware of the things they visualize and will practice "seeing the picture" of different poems and books.  They will become more aware of their thoughts.

Paper and pencil for each student
A variety of books around the room
The poems Snowball and Danny O'Dare by Shel Silverstein
Stanley and the Magic Lamp by Jeff Brown

1. Review what it means to comprehend what you are reading.  Can anyone tell me what it means to comprehend a story?  It is when we are able to understand the meaning of the words in the story so that it makes sense.  Today we are going to talk about visualizing a story.  Can anyone tell me what visualization is?  It is when you create pictures in your mind that explain the story.
2. I am going to show you what it means to visualize the story by reading Snowball and telling you what I see.  Read poem and go line by line describing what you see.

I made myself a snowball
As perfect as could be.
I thought Iâd keep it as a pet
And let it sleep with me.
I made it some pajamas
And a pillow for its head.
Then last night it ran away,
But firstöit wet the bed.

For example, I made myself a snowball.  Class when I read this line I picture a little girl in the snow making a snowball.  Continue through the whole poem.
3. Now it is your turn.  Read Danny O'Dare aloud to the class and call on different students to describe different parts.  Discuss importance of visualization.  Do you think a story would be interesting if we did not visualize the different characters and what they were doing? Why or why not?  If you are giving directions for someone to get to your house do you picture it in your head? Why or why not?
4. Have students draw a picture of what they think Danny O'Dare looks like.  Choose a few to compare and share with the class.  Discuss the differences and ask students why their bear has certain characteristics.
5. Have each student read a favorite book and draw a picture of a scene that they like.  Then put them in groups of four to share their picture with the group.  Tell them explain your picture to the others in the group.  Tell them why you chose that part of the book and why it is your favorite book.
6. Teacher reads the first chapter of Stanley and the Magic Lamp aloud.  Have the students get in groups of four and discuss their favorite parts of the chapter.  Tell them explain what your favorite part is and why.
7. For assessment have them read passages with inconsistencies and see if they can detect the inconsistences.  Have them draw or write about the inconsistence(s) they found.  For more practice have students draw what they visualize in their favorite parts of the story.  Tell students that as we continue to read this book we will have discussions of what they see to get more practice at visualization.

Brown, Jeff (1996).  Stanley and the Magic Lamp.  New York: Scholastic Inc., 1996.

Pressley, M. Johnson, C. J., Symons. S., McGoldrock, J. A., & Kurity, J. A.(1989).  Strategies that Improve Childrenâs Memory and Comprehension of Text.
        The Elementary School Journal, 90, p.9.

Silverstein, Shel (1996).  Falling Up.  New York: HarperCollingPublishers, 1996. pp.11, 31