Can you see it?

Can You See It?

Reading to Learn

Sarah Jane Brock


Rationale: One essential aspect of reading is comprehension. In order to comprehend, it is helpful to put images together in order to picture what you are reading. One strategy that readers can use to increase comprehension is representational imagery, also known as visualization. In this lesson, students will learn the tool of visualization but representing what they are reading in a visual picture. They will read a poem as well as a chapter book to improve their visualization skills.



-         Crayons

-         Pencils

-         Paper

-         Poem “Today I had a Rotten Day” by Kenn Nesbitt

-         Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (one per student)


1. First, I will open up the lesson with a discussion on reading silently and what exactly we do when we read silently. Secondly, I will discuss with my students that when we read silently we have to comprehend in our heads what is going on in the story. To help us comprehend when we silently read we have to come up with images to help visually see what we are reading. In order for the students to understand, I will model reading silently to myself by moving my lips, but not making any sounds. This will help students understand what reading silently means.

2. We will then discuss visualization and what it means. Visualization is when we take the story and imagine the story in our head. We will practice some visualization now.

3. I will tell the students to close their eyes and imagine they are on a summer vacation. I will tell them they are sitting at the beach with the wind blowing and the sound of the waves crashing onto the shore. There is a couple playing with a beach ball on the shore while kids are playing with a skin board in the water. After I have explained what I have seen, I want some students to raise their hands and explain to me what they visualized.

4. After they have visualized what I have just read to them then I will ask them to visualize by drawing what they saw. By illustrating what they visualized is another way they can picture what we have read. This will help students understand how to create the image they read, and then picture it into an actual drawing.

5. I will then hand out the poem, "Today I had a Rotten Day."  I will ask them to read it silently first. As you read it silently, think about what all is going on with this kid’s rotten day. I would ask these kids some questions such as: What would this kid look like? What would you feel like? Etc. I will stimulate their thinking and visualizing. After they all have read this poem we will go over what the students thought the main character look liked and what he felt like. I will discuss with the students that although we read silently we all come up with pretty much the same picture. Visualization helps us to all create our images and understandings from what we read.

6. After we have gone over the poem then we will move on to the chapter nook. I will pass out The Little House on the Prairie and give a book talk. The Ingall family decides to move from Wisconsin to Indian territory in Kansas. Will they be safe moving there or not? You will have to read to find out.

7. The students, after reading the first chapter, will then have to visually draw what they have read. In the first chapter, Wilder talks about how their house is built and their surroundings. This book does have great descriptive words that help us create images as we read. Descriptive words are words that tell us about a person, place, or thing. By using descriptive words we are able to visually see what we are reading.  So begin reading the book silently to yourself.

8. Lastly, tell students to remember something from the chapter to draw, color, and share. We will discuss the picture when everyone is finished to see how we comprehend what we read.


To assess students, I will look at the pictures they drew from the reading. I will make sure that they have paid close attention to the details that are in chapter one and give a clear statement during our discussion of what they imagined while reading. This will let me know if they comprehended the text well though visualization.


Anderson, K. (2006). Picture This! Reading to learn design. Auburn University Reading Genie Website: Retrieved April 14, 2008.

Nebitt, K. (2007). “Today I had a Rotten Day.” Retrieved on April 14, 2008.

Wilder, Laura I. (1935).  Little House on the Prairie. New York, New York: Harper & Brothers, Later, Scholastic.

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