I Can See Clearly Now!

Learning To Read: Lesson on Visualization

Elizabeth Smith



For students to become fluent readers they need to have comprehension strategies to help them make sense of what they read. A strategy that helps readers comprehend better is that of visualization. To perform this strategy students must constantly be making pictures in their head of the events of the story. This lesson will help students begin to use the strategy of visualization while reading to help them improve their comprehension skills.


Materials: Drawing paper, crayons, markers, colored pencils, pencils, the book of poems “Sometimes I Wonder if Poodles Like Noodles” by Laura Numeroff, and the chapter book Esperanza Rising one per student.



1. "Does anyone know what comprehension means?  Comprehension is something that happens when we understand what we are reading. When we read longer books we need to remember what is going on in the story so we can understand the rest of the book but this can be hard sometimes. If we make a picture in our mind of what is going on in the story this can help us to remember what has happened. Today we are going to be making pictures in our minds while we read a few poems from the book “Sometimes I wonder if Poodles Like Noodles” by Laura Numeroff. Before we start reading I want us to practice making a picture in our heads. Close your eyes and picture this in your head, “The horse ran through the meadow and threw back its mane.” Open your eyes. Did everyone picture what I said in his or her heads? I pictured a big black horse running through a meadow of bright purple flowers. Did you picture anything different?  


2. "When we picture things in our minds like this it is called visualization. Visualizing while you read is really important to remember what is happening along the way. Now I am going to read a poem to you from our book. While I read the poem I want you to use your new visualization skills to make a picture in your head about what is going on. You can think about what the setting would look like, how you think the characters would look or act. I am going to be reading the poem “My Cousin’s New Paint Set” by Laura Numeroff.  This poem is about a girl whose cousin gets a new paint set and the creations she makes with it. I wonder what all she will create! Let’s read to find out! Now close your eyes and listen and picture while I read.


3. Okay! Since we have had some practice visualizing now, we are going to start reading our chapter book Esperanza Rising. This book is about a girl named Esperanza who lives in Mexico. She lives on a beautiful vineyard and her life is really wonderful until something happens to her father. Now her mother and her are struggling to survive. We are going to have to read the book to find out what happens to Esperanza and her mother. Since you’ve been doing so well visualizing I am going to let you do it on your own! Lets read the first chapter on our own in our heads. Remember to make the pictures in your head as you are reading! At the end of the chapter I want you to draw what you visualized, either what you think Esperanza would look like or her house. Draw with details and draw what you pictured in your mind. When everyone finishes we will share with the class what we have drawn.



The teacher can assess the level of the student’s understanding of the task of visualizing by collecting the pictures the students drew. Have the students write what an explanation of what they pictured in their heads. Ask questions to make sure the students know about the characters, setting, and what is going on in the story. Students can also answer some comprehension questions to make sure they really understand what they are reading:


1. What is the big celebration Esperanza is looking forward to?

2. What was the thing that ruined Esperanza’s family?

3. Name 2 things that would describe Esperanza.

4. How would you describe Esperanza’s life in the beginning?


Johnson, Holly. “Finally I See It!” http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/awakenings/johnsonhrl.htm

Numeroff, Laura. “Sometimes I Wonder if Poodles Like Noodles”. Scholastic Inc. New York. 2000.

Ryan, Pam Muñoz. “Esperanza Rising.” Scholastic Inc. New York. 2000.

 Return to Epiphanies: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/epiphanies.html