Picture This!

Reading to Learn


 Katie Anderson

Rationale: Comprehension is an important part to becoming a good reader. It helps readers to understand what they are reading. One strategy that readers can use to increase comprehension is visualization. Visualization is when readers make pictures in their heads about what they reading. This lesson is designed to help students increase comprehension through visualization.



Class set Chocolate Fever by Robert Kimmel Smith

Color Pencils

White Paper


A poster board or chart paper with this poem written on it:

Granpa Dropped His Glasses

Leroy F. Jackson

Granpa dropped his glasses once
In a pot of dye,
And when he put them on again
He saw a purple sky.
Purple fires were rising up
From a purple hill,
Men were grinding purple cider
at a purple mill.
Purple Adeline was playing
With a purple doll;
Little purple dragon flies
Were crawling up the wall.
And at the supper-table
He got crazy as a loon
From eating purple apple dumplings
With a purple spoon.



1.     Review silent reading with the students. Today we are going to talk about visualizing what we are reading, but first we have to review silent reading. What is silent reading? That is correct. Silent reading is when we read to ourselves quietly and our mouths do not move.

2.     I want everyone to put their heads on their desk, relax, close your eyes, and listen to me very closely.  The sun is shining very bright and it is hot day at the park. You run to the swing and swing as high as you can. You get hot and go get a cold glass of lemonade. I want you to imagine what is going on in your picture. Who is at the park with you? How are feeling? What kinds of smells do you smell? Food? What do you hear? Give them ample amount of time to imagine their pictures. I want everybody to open their eyes and we will talk about our visualizations. Model for the students your visualization to show them how to do it effectively.  In my picture, I was at an amusement park. I got really tired from all of the rides and bought me something to drink. I could hear people screaming on the roller coasters and I could smell the corn dogs, cotton candy, and popcorn in the air. What I just showed you is called visualization. Visualization is when you imagine or see a picture in your head. It is important to visualize when you are reading to help you understand what is going on.

3.     Put up the poem poster on the board. Give each student a piece of paper and colored pencils. I am going to read this poem to you and I want you to read along with me silently. I want you to visualize or make a mental picture about what is going on in poem. Read the poem to class. Now that we have read the poem, I want you to draw the picture in your head onto your paper. Discuss line by line what is going on after the students have completed their drawing. In my visualization, Granpa has on some silly purple glasses.  Everything that he looks at seems purple.  The sky is purple, the dragon flies are purple, and even his food is purple.  I see his sitting at the dinner table eating purple food!  Yuck!  Good job! Visualization can help you understand a story by picturing it in your minds!

4.     Give everybody a copy of Chocolate Fever, a pencil and one piece of copy paper. Have the students to read chapter 1 of the books silently to themselves. After you have read chapter one (4 pages), then I want you to draw on your paper a picture of what you visualized. Write about your picture at the bottom of the page to help you remember what it is about. Pay close attention to adjectives. Adjectives are describing words. These words will help you with your pictures. We will do this after each chapter. At the end of the book, we will have a visualization book or picture book of all the chapters. This lesson will have to be done over a course of a week.  

5.     Allow the students to finish their pictures for chapter 1. I want you to turn to a neighbor and I want you to talk about your visualizations. Compare and contrast them to see how they are the same and how they are different. Collect the students’ pictures and keep them so that at the end they can be put in a folder together for each student.

6.    Assessment: I would assess the students by looking at their pictures. I would make sure that their pictures match the story and that they are not making it up. Have a checklist for each chapter about the important parts such as characters and what happened in each chapter.



Take a Picture with the Camera in your Head! www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/guides/schofieldrl.html by Rebecca Schofield


Smith, Robert Kimmel.  Chocolate Fever.  Putnam Juvenile.  1989.

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