Can You Picture It?
Reading to Learn
Comprehension is essential in reading and in order for students to comprehend what they read they must be able to visualize what
happens in the story. This lesson will teach students to visualize what they read by picturing in their head what is happening in the
story. When they do this, they will successfully be able to understand what went on in the story and comprehend the text.
Poem: "My Elephant is Missing," Book for each student: Benny the Big Shot Goes to Camp, white paper, pencils, and markers for
each student, assessment checklist for each student (provided at the end of the lesson).
1. Today we are going to learn a trick that you can use while you are reading to help you remember what you read. It is called
visualization. Does anyone know what visualize means? Correct, visualize means to see something or to picture it. Well today we are
going to learn how to picture things in our heads while we read them so we will be able to remember what happens in the story. And
everybody remembers how to read silently right? Yes, when we read silently we don't move our mouths. We read silently so everyone
can read together and be able to understand the story.
2. Before you read the book by yourself, I want us to practice together. I am going to read a poem and I want everyone to close their
eyes and visualize, or picture in your head, what is happening while I read. I will read the poem "My Elephant is Missing" and then ask
the students what they pictured as I read. I would also read the first stanza and tell them what I would picture in my head as I was
reading to model to them what I wanted them to do.
"My Elephant is Missing"
I cannot find my elephant.
He must have run away.
He isn't on the sofa
where he promised he would stay.
I've looked around the living room,
the kitchen and the hall.
My elephant is missing
and I'm not sure who to call.
I'll need to get a bloodhound
who can track him by his scent,
or hire a house detective
to discover where he went.
He isn't in the basement
or the attic or the yard.
You'd think, to find an elephant
would not be quite so hard.
Perhaps I'll make some posters,
and I'll offer a reward.
I'd make it more, but fifty cents
is all I can afford.
If you should see my elephant,
he answers to "Jerome."
Please tell him that I miss him
and I wish he'd come back home.
He knows the way. It's up the street
and down our garden path.
And next time I won't warn him
when it's time to take his bath.
3. Now I am going to give each of you a copy of Benny the Big Shot Goes to Camp. Benny thinks he is the best at everything,
but when he goes to camp he realizes that he isn't good at anything. When some campers get in trouble, will Bennie realize that he
can help? I want you to read this story to find out what happens. But remember we are going to read silently and as you read I want
you to visualize what happens, just like we did with the poem. Then after you read the first chapter, I want you to draw on a sheet
of paper what happened. You will also write some sentences under your drawing to explain what you drew and what happened in
the first chapter. We will finish these over the next couple of weeks and put all of your drawings together. Then when everyone is
finished we will share our drawings with our classmates and see if peoples' drawings look similar or different.
I will assess the students by looking at their drawings and their sentences when they stand up and share. I will use an assessment
Did the student pay attention to detail? Yes No
Does the drawing accurately describe Ch. 1? Yes No
Does the student comprehend the text? Yes No
Bader, Bonnie. Benny the Big Shot Goes to Camp. Grosset and Dunlap. New York, 2003.
Nesbitt, Kenn. "My Elephant is Missing"
Nims, Courtney. What Do You See? http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/voyages/nimsrl.html
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