20/20 Reading!


Reading to Learn

Nonie Wilson


Rationale: In order to become an expert reader, one must be able to comprehend what has been read. To master comprehension, there are a variety of tools and strategies that can be used. One strategy is visualization. Through visualization, the reader is able to figuratively see what the story is telling. This allows the reader to create a first-hand experience of the story for him or herself. The opportunity to allow students to re-create their mental image of what is being read into a drawing will allow students to better understand their own visualizations, allow the teacher to understand what is going on in the mind of each student, and allow other students to witness how each other see certain stories.


Materials: “Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face” - Jack Prelutsky (copy for teacher and each student), piece of paper and pencil for each student, printer paper and colored pencils (for teacher), ELMO document camera, “Last Night I Dreamed of Chickens” by Jack Prelutsky, piece of printer paper and colored pencils for each student, 1 assessment checklist per student.

Assessment Checklist:





Did the student draw a picture from the poem?



Does the picture accurately describe something that happened in the poem?



Did the student include multiple pictures to help him or her remember more of the poem?



Did the student provide a rationale for his or her picture?



Does the rationale go along with the picture and poem?





Procedure: This is what I will say…

·         Explain: Who can remind me what imagery is? Imagery is a written, visual description that authors use to describe a thing or an event. Imagery is used to help readers visualize what is going on in the story. Based on what I just said, can anyone tell me what they think visualization is? Visualization is a technique used by great readers to create a continuous picture or movie in their head while reading a story or text. Readers use visualization to help them comprehend and keep track of what is going on in what they read. Today, we are going to practice using visualization when reading Jack Prelutsky’s poems.

·         Elaborate: I want everyone to look at their copy of “Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face” by Jack Prelutsky. Before I start to read this story, I want us to go over some words we may not know yet. The first word is in stanza three in the first line. The word is “dread”. This word means to absolutely hate. For example, I dread having to get a shot at the doctor’s office. Who can give me an example of something they dread? The next word is in stanza four in line two. The word is catastrophe, and it means a big disaster. I could use this word when I say: Since we did not plan for a big party, the 200 guest birthday party was a catastrophe. The last word is obliged, also in stanza four but this time in line three. When you are obliged to do something, it means that you are urged to do something. Now that we have gone over our unknown words, we are ready to see how visualization works!

·         Model: As I Read “Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face” by Jack Prelutsky, I want each of you to follow along on your copy. This poem is about the silly places our noses could be, and how much of a catastrophe it would be if our nose actually was there instead of our face! At the end of each stanza, I am going to stop and tell you what I am visualizing in my head. After I complete the first stanza and share my visualization, I want you to jot down what you visualize in your head for each stanza. When I share my visualization, I want you to compare it with yours.

o   So after the first line of this poem, I am visualizing my nose on my face. This next line I envision someone cutting and pasting a nose onto another part of my body. At the end of this stanza, I picture myself looking down at my nose, which is on some random part of my body, and making a disgusted face at it.

o   After the second stanza, I see my nose in between my big toe and my second toe. I picture a yucky look on my face from having to smell my feet.

o   During this third stanza, I picture a nose perched on top of my head with my hair covering it. My hair is tickling my nose and making me want to sneeze.

o   Next, I picture a nose sneezing directly at my brain. I picture all the gross stuff that comes with a sneeze falling onto my brain.

o   At this last stanza, I picture my nose planted firmly on face, exactly where it belongs!

·         Class Practice: Now that I have shared what I visualized, I am going to draw a picture of it! (Draw pictures of what I visualized on a piece of paper that is on the ELMO.) Does anyone have any visualizations that they would like to add to my drawing? (Have students raise their hands to mention visualizations that they had. If the visualization fits, draw it on the picture. If not, explain to the student why that visualization may not be a good match for the poem.)

·         Practice the Strategy: Next, I want each of you to practice visualization on your own. First, I want you to read the poem, “Last Night I Dreamed of Chickens” by Jack Prelutsky silently. After you finish reading, I want you to create your own drawing of your visualization like I did of my visualization of the last poem. I want you to include as many pictures as you possibly can that helped you understand the story. You will use the piece of paper and colored pencils that I provide. After you draw your picture, I want you to flip to the back of your paper and write a few sentences about how your visualization helped you comprehend and keep track of the story. After everyone finishes, we are going to share our pictures and our sentences with the class. Any questions?

·         Share the Strategy: I now want each of you to share your visualization and explanation! Who wants to go first? (As students share their strategy, I will fill out the comprehension rubric [assessment checklist] to gauge student learning.)



·         “This I Gotta See!” – Reading to Learn lesson design by Emily Lusher: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/awakenings/lushererl.htm

·         “Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face” by Jack Prelutsky: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/be-glad-your-nose-is-on-your-face/

·         “Last Night I Dreamed of Chickens” by Jack Prelutsky: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/last-night-i-dreamed-of-chickens/



Back to the Rendezvous Index