Picture That!


 Reading to Learn

Sarah Mobley


Rationale:  In order for students to completely understand the text they are reading they need to be able to visualize the story in their heads.  Visualization is easy when a picture is provided in a book, but when kids are given non-illustrated texts it can be more difficult.  To help them better understand how to do this, they will be given the opportunity to draw pictures that display the content of the story. Being able to visualize the story will help them gain a better comprehension of it.



-Colored pencils



-Dry Erase Board and Marker

-Poem: "House for Rent, Unfurnished" by Rodolfo L (printed for each child)

The house is at a point to fall down,
the weather outside is windy,
it is seeming about to fall down,
the windows slamming themselves on
the wall.
You hear the footsteps of a person
coming towards you,
You look back and there is nobody,
It's only that old squeaky floor you
are stepping on.

The house is as old as your grandparents
and you hear the wind busting in your old
windows. You go outside because you get
scared, and the minute you leave the house,
the house falls down into shreds.

-Story:  Gregory by Barbara Carter

Gregory is my beautiful gray Persian cat. He walks with pride and grace, performing a dance of disdain as he slowly lifts and lowers each paw with the delicacy of a ballet dancer. His pride, however, does not extend to his appearance, for he spends most of his time indoors watching television and growing fat. He enjoys TV commercials, especially those for Meow Mix and 9 Lives. His familiarity with cat food commercials has led him to reject generic brands of cat food in favor of only the most expensive brands. Gregory is as finicky about visitors as he is about what he eats, befriending some and repelling others. He may snuggle up against your ankle, begging to be petted, or he may imitate a skunk and stain your favorite trousers. Gregory does not do this to establish his territory, as many cat experts think, but to humiliate me because he is jealous of my friends. After my guests have fled, I look at the old fleabag snoozing and smiling to himself in front of the television set, and I have to forgive him for his obnoxious, but endearing, habits.


1. "Today we are going to talk about visualizing stories. Does anyone know what visualizing is? Right! It is when we imagine a picture in our heads.  Being able to make a picture in our minds when we read is important because it helps us understand what we are reading better.  Today we are going to practice visualizing."

2. "Ok I am going to show you what I visualize or see in my head when someone talks about the beach by drawing the picture in my head on this board." Begin drawing a picture of the ocean, sand, and sun on the dry erase board. "When I think of the beach, I see a picture of the ocean and sun in my head! Does anyone else think of something different?"

3.  "Now I am going to read you a story called "Gregory" about a cat.  As I read the story I want you to draw what you see in your head on your piece of paper." Read the story slowly, allowing time for students to draw.  When everyone is finished, have them share their pictures. "Great visualizing everyone!"

4. "Since we have had a little practice visualizing as I read aloud to you, we need to see if you can do it as you read silently.  Who remembers what silent reading is? Very Good! It is when we read quietly to ourselves so that nobody else can hear us. Who thinks they can make a picture in their head as they read silently to themselves?"

5. "We are all going to read the poem "House for Rent, Unfurnished" silently.  As we each read it to ourselves we are going to draw a picture of how we imagine the house." Give the students time to read the poem and draw their picture. I will show them how I saw the house as I read the story and I will then allow them to share and explain their drawings.


For assessment I will use the following checklist as I observe their silent reading and visualizations:

Did the student read silently?
Did the student draw a picture?
Were the drawings accurate for poem?
Why do you think the house is in such bad shape?
Were the drawings accurate for the story, "Gregory"?
Were the drawings detailed?
Why do you think the cat Gregory is jealous of his owner's friends?


-Model Descriptive Paragraphs: Gregory by Barbara Carter


-Descriptive Poems: "House for Rent, Unfurnished" by Rodolfo L


-Close Your Eyes and Visualize By: Heather Smith



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