Picture this!

Reading to Learn Lesson Design

Ashley Baas

Rationale: In order to become an expert reader, students must learn how to comprehend text. Visualizing is so important. They will begin to learn from the text and understand what it is saying. Visualization is a strategy that helps students picture in their mind what is happening. It helps them understand the story fully. It helps them engage and actively participate.  In this lesson students will practice this skill by reading and creating a picture in their mind of what the text is saying.


Poem "My Neighbors Dog is Purple " By Jack Prelutsky

Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath (a copy for each student)

Assessment checklist




1. Say: Today we are going to learn about visualizing. It is so important to us when we read. Visualizing helps us picture in our heads what a story means. We can use our imagination as we read to create images that help us understand a story.

2. Say: Now that we know what visualization is we are going to read a poem. First we need to practice a few vocabulary words to help us understand the story. The first one is neighbor. A neighbor is A person living near or next door to the speaker or person referred to. A neighbor would be a friend that lives down the street not in another town. Which would be a neighbor? A boy living in a house two houses down or a boy living 4 hours away? Now finish this sentence: My neighbor lives….Good! Our next word is endless. Endless means Having or seeming to have no end or limit. Endless would be something that goes on forever, not a short piece of string. Which would be endless? The supply of water on earth or this week? Finish this sentence. This road seems endless because…Good! Our last vocab word is wicked. Wicked means evil or morally wrong. Wicked would be the look on a witches face, not a smiling little boy. Which would be wicked? A newborn baby or a big bear? Finish this sentence. That wicked animals is very… great job!

3. Say: Ok, let me show you how I visualize when I read. What I am about to read to you is silly little poem called My Neighbor’s Dog is Purple. The poem is about a dog that is very, very strange. [Read first section of text. After reading, close your eyes and explain to students what you see.] I see a big dog that is purple but has green eyes. His tail is very long and you cannot see the end of it.

 4. Say: Let's do the next section together. I'm going to read the next part to you, and I want you to listen to what I am reading. After I finish, I'm going to ask you some questions about the poem, so listen carefully. Close your eyes so you can really see the story.  [Read section two of the text.] Now I want you to close your eyes and add some more details to the picture that's in your head. What are some of the things that you are seeing? What does the dog look like now? How big is your dog in your head? Great! Those are awesome descriptions!

5. Say: Now that you know how to visualize you are going to read a story with your partner. We are going to read "Everything on a Waffle.” You are going to take turns reading each page and then you will discuss what you see in your head. This story is about a girl named Primrose and she loses her parents out at sea during a big storm. She has many accidents and moves families many times. You have to read the book to find out what happens to her. When you are both finished reading the book to each other I want you to go back to your desk and draw a picture of one scene you visualized and it stuck out to you.

6. I will then assess each student’s picture with the following checklist.


Comprehension Questions



Is the picture about the poem?



Does the picture show comprehension of poem?



Does the picture include some details from the poem?



Can you interpret the picture?



Can the student describe to you what is going on in the picture about the poem?







 Assessment checklist http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/doorways/farleyrl.htm


Prelutsky, Jack. "My Neighbors Dog is Purple."


Byrd, Sarah. Snap a Picture.



Horvath, Polly. Everything on a Waffle. 2001. United States: Sunburst Books.


Reading Genie: http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie


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