Painting Pictures in Your Mind



Reading to Learn

By: Savanna Smith



To become expert readers, we must be able to comprehend, or understand, what we are reading. Visualization is a very important part of this. Visualization means that we picture in our minds what is happening in the literature we are reading. This is important because it helps us to remember what we have read. This lesson will help students visualize in their minds what is going on in the story which, in turn, will help with their comprehension.



·   Power point with poem '"The Land of Happy'" by Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends

·   Copies for each student of: A Box Can be Many Things by Dana Rau

·   Drawing paper

·   Pencils and crayons

·   Assessment Checklist



1.  Say: '"Today we are going to be doing some visualizing! Who thinks they know what it means to visualize?'" Give students time to answer with their thoughts. '"Visualizing is when you picture what you are reading in your brain. You are painting a picture of what is going on in the story in your mind. I will show you how it's done and you can try it with me! I'm going to read a sentence and everyone is going to close their eyes and picture what I read'"


·     '"I woke up to the sound of sizzling bacon and the clanking pots and pans. Then, the smell of bacon and pancakes filled my nose. It was time for breakfast!'"


'"When I read that sentence, I saw a table full of yummy breakfast in my head! I pictured myself in bed hearing those sounds and smelling those yummy smells. What are some things you all saw?'" Allow students to answer and record their answers in list form on the board. '"Good! I think we are all starting to understand what it means when we visualize while reading!'"


2.     Say:  '"Now we are going to do some silent reading to practice visualizing together! Who remembers what silent reading is? That's right! It is when we read to ourselves without making any sounds out loud. We do this so we can read as much as we want, without bothering our neighbors. We are going to silent read a poem by Shel Silverstein called 'The Land of Happy' and then we will talk about it afterwards. While you read, I want you to make some pictures in your head and be thinking about what you want to share with the class!'"


Have you been to The Land of Happy,

Where everyone's happy all day,

Where they joke and they sing

Of the happiest things,

And everything's jolly and gay?

There's no one unhappy in Happy,

There's laughter and smiles galore.

I have been to The Land of Happy-----

What a bore!


3.     Have students share ideas of what they saw and record them on the board in list form once again.

4.     Now that visualization has been modeled to students and they have had a chance to practice with visualization, it is time for them to put their practice to use!

5.     Give students a copy of A Box Can be Many Things. Say: '"This book is about a little boy who finds a box his mom has thrown out. The boy makes the box into many things! We are going to read to find out all of the exciting things he discovers along the way. While you read I want you to practice visualizing. When you are done reading you can come take one sheet of paper and use your pencils and crayons to draw a picture of what you read. You should draw at least two pictures showing what the boy made the box into. At the bottom of your drawing write two or three sentences about what you visualized. Remember: I am not grading you on your artistic ability, just that you showed me that you were able to visualize what happened in this book.'"

6.     Have students read the book silently to themselves. Once the students read through the book, have them draw a picture of what they just read. Let students share their drawings in front of the class and grade them according to the proceeding assessment checklist. After the students present their picture, ask them a visualization question that does not make sense. Have them tell you why it does not make sense. For example, '"It was a hot sunny day. When Henry got dressed the morning he put on a jacket and earmuffs.'" What is wrong with the picture in your head?




___Did the student draw a picture?

___Does the picture correctly relate to the story?

___Did the student include two to three sentences about their drawing?

___Do the students correctly relate to the story?

___Can student find inconsistency in the following through visualization?





·        Visualization Movie Magic! By: Meagen Dennis

·        Can You See What I See? By: Laurin Lee

·       Seeing the Story Crystal Clear. By: Rebecca Weathers

·        Where the Sidewalk Ends By: Shel Silverstein

·        A Box Can be Many Things By: Dana Rau

·        Christina Statler, '"Painting Pictures in My Mind.'"

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