Do You See What I See?

By Natalie Tate

Reading to Learn



Rationale:       By third and fourth grade, students should have gained the skills necessary for reading fluently which means quickly, automatically, and expressively.  Most books in for this age do not have illustrations to go along with the text.  Because of this, students are taught to see the ideas from the text come alive in their heads and imaginations. At first when they find that the new books that they are reading do not have pictures, students often become frustrated.  But, when skillful readers read, they are trained to automatically create wonderful images in their heads.  Young children will do this also, but it just takes them a little longer to realize what they are doing. This visualization process aids in comprehension and understanding text.  Research shows that this visualization of images helps children’s comprehension, satisfaction, and learning.  They will learn more and enjoy what they are learning to higher level if it is creative for them. My lesson will help children recognize their own visualization process and how to use it to their own benefit while reading.


Materials:       White Paper

Colored pencils

Class copies of Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

Rubric/checklist for assessment

Sentence strip of: This weekend I am going to the zoo with my parents and brothers.

Sentence strip of: Today, I went to the park to play Frisbee with my friends and puppy.


Procedures:    1.         I will first review how to read silently with the students. “Remember how we have talked about how to read silently? When we are reading, we should not be saying words out loud. Instead, we should say them in our heads or mouthing them without any noises so that we do not disturb or distract our classmates.” Then I will read the sentence on the first sentence strip out loud and to myself to show the difference to students. “Now I want all of you to try it with this sentence: Out loud “Today, I went to the park to play Frisbee with my friends and puppy.” Silently “Today, I went to the park to play Frisbee with my friends and puppy.” 


2.         Next I will introduce the new topic of visualization. “Before you came to fourth grade, I bet all of your books you read had bunches and bunches of pictures that helped you read the story right? Well now that you all have gotten a little but older, very few of these books will have pictures to help you. But, even thought there aren’t any pictures there, that does not mean that you cannot make up a picture in your head! How many of you see colorful and imaginary pictures as you read books? Great! Me too! But if you don’t we will now try and learn how to do so… this is called visualization. Visualizing helps us understand and remember what we read.”


 3.        Now I am going to have the children try and see if they can visualize text. “I’m going to read you a part of this book, and I want all of you to close your eyes and visualize what I am reading to you out loud.” (I will now read a passage from Sarah Plain and Tall) “Now who can raise his or her hand and explain to me what you saw in your head? Great, did anyone else visualize something other than what she saw? Good, y’all are doing a great job making these pictures in your heads. Now, its time for us to keep our eyes open and still visualize what I am reading!” (I will now read a little more from Sarah Plain and Tall). “Good job, who can raise his or her hand and tell me what they saw or visualized when you had your eyes open? Wonderful!”


4.         I will now pass out copies of Sarah Plain and Tall to each student and give a book talk for Sarah Plain and Tall. (Book Talk: This book is about two young children, Anna and Caleb, who live with only their father because their mother died when they were much younger. Their father puts out an advertisement for a new wife because he is lonely and needs the help with the children. A young woman named Sarah Elizabeth Wheaton answers his ad. Sarah is from Maine and she brings many treasures with her. Anna and Caleb like having Sarah around as their new mother, but there is a little problem… Sarah might leave and go home. You’ll have to read to find out what happens to Sarah and the children.) “The first thing I want you all to do is to remember how to read silently. We are all going to read the first chapter of Sarah Plain and Tall silently and to ourselves. While doing this I want all of you to make sure that you are visualizing and seeing the action of the story in your minds. This is what good readers do, and I want all of you to become good readers so that you understand what is happening in the book.  After you have finished the first chapter, you should come and get a sheet of this paper and your colored pencils. I want all of you to draw one of the visualizations you had as you were reading the first chapter of this book.” While the students are doing this, I will have them write down the page number of what they visualized. I will walk around and have each of the students describe what they visualized.


Assessment:  I will assess the drawings and visualizations of each student. The drawings will be assessed based on the following checklist:





Student’s illustration accurately reflects a passage from Chapter One.



Student pays attention to detail.



Student includes page number of passage.




References:    MacLachlan, Patricia.  Sarah Plain and Tall.  New York: Harper Trophy, 1985.

How to See with Your Eyes Closed, by Mareena Kohtala

Making Mind Movies, by Coley Duke

See It When You Read It, but Elizabeth Bush

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