Do You See What I See?

 By Killian Hodo, Reading to Learn: Visualizing

Rationale: In order for children to become successful readers they must be able to comprehend the words that they read. There are many important concepts that children can learn that will help them with comprehension, but the one that you want to focus on for children to learn in this lesson is visualization. Visualization helps children recognize problems in a text that break down comprehension, and it helps students monitor their reading.  Helping students to "see" what they are reading will help them to think about a text in a deeper and more meaningful way.  By helping students to see certain actions and events that take place in a book or a text will give them the tools that they need to fully comprehend the story they are reading. The students will read different portions of text and practice visualizing, they will also work on vocabulary words and interpreting their visualizations.


Materials:  The Random House Book of Poetry for Children; Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt; drawing paper; markers and crayons; list of vocabulary words (listed below); vocabulary bingo cards; bingo chips





1.  First, the teacher will have the students review the concept of silent reading. The teacher will ask the students, "Can someone remember the steps to reading silently?" Silent reading is when you read the text or book to yourself. You do not read the words aloud, but instead you simply read them in your head so no one else can hear you. Sometimes when readers are reading silently, they may move their mouth like they are reading aloud, but no sounds are actually coming from their mouth.


2.  The teacher will then ask, "Has anyone ever read a story silently? Do you ever think about a picture of what is happening while you are reading?" Sometimes we do this when we are reading chapters in a book or books with few pictures. We use the words in the text to help us visualize or see what is happening in the story. This skill is so important for fluent readers to use. It is called visualization. It is very important because it helps us as readers to comprehend the meaning of the texts.


3. Before the students read the teacher will teach some vocabulary words so that the students are able to visualize. Now say: "We will learn a few vocabulary words so that when you visualize you will have background information before you read." The vocabulary words we will learn are: meadow, beneath, and drift.


Meadow- a tract of grassland used for pasture or serving as a hayfield


"The animals wondered in the meadow."


Beneath- below or under


"The mouse hid beneath the table from the cat."


Drift- to be carried along by currents of water or air


"The leaf drifted from the tree to the ground."


4.  Say: "Now I am going to show you how I visualize while I read.  I am going to read a small passage and tell you what I picture."


            The Butterfly


 Over grassy meadows

 Beneath the clear blue sky

 Through golden rays of sunlight

 Drifts the lovely butterfly 

Say: "While I was reading that passage I picture a long field of high green grass, and a meadow has no trees. "Clear blue sky" tells me there aren't even any clouds. So I'm thinking of a field with no trees and a bright blue sky. Can you imagine that?  Visualizing is also using your imagination.  A lot of times things we read in books we might not have ever seen so we have to rely on descriptions and details that the authors give us in the texts.


5.  Now I want you to try. "I want you to close your eyes.  As you are reading the passage I want you to visualize what is happening.  It's important that we are able to see the story in our minds in order to help us better comprehend what we are reading.  I want you to focus on characters and their descriptions and the environment around them.  What do you think it looks like?


"There was a clearing directly in front of her, at the center of which an enormous tree thrust up, its thick roots rumpling the ground ten feet around in every direction. Sitting relaxed with his back against the trunk was a boy, almost a man."


6.  After you have read the passage ask students to tell you what they saw in their heads. Ask them to tell you about their picture of the boy. Then ask them to describe the trees. What is important is that they are able to see the boy and the tree. The boy and the tree may include elements not mentioned in the passage.


If students have a hard time describing their boy and tree, model what you see for them. I might say, "I see a big, old tree with vines wrapped all the way around it. It has the little stream going by it with little flowers popping out of the long roots of the tree. The boy is sitting next to the stream and he is skinny with brown hair. He has these big blue eyes."


Then give students a chance to share again after your modeling.


7.  Have students read all of chapter 5. Then have students pick a passage on their own and visualize what they saw. After the students have finished reading the chapter, have students draw a picture of the passage they selected, and give a brief description of the passage. Make sure students cite the page that they found the passage on. After students have drawn their picture have them share with a neighbor and give each other comments. Then have a few students share their drawings with the class.

8. Now you are going to do a small vocabulary lesson. Choose words from the chapter students just read and previous chapters. Explain to the students the importance of knowing what words mean in order to help you fully comprehend texts.  Pick words from chapter 5 and from previous chapters and talk about each one with the students. They will learn the following words:

melancholy (adj.) – mournful; depressed

oppressive (adj.) – causing discomfort by being cruel or unjust or excessive

rueful (adj.) – to be sorry or regretful

immense (adj.) – vast, huge, very great

Accessible (adj.) – approachable, easy to reach or access

marionette (n.) - a puppet manipulated or moved from above by strings attached to its jointed limbs

reluctantly (adv.) - unwilling to do something

meager (adj.) - inadequate, scanty, lacking, not a lot of something

grimace (n.) -  a facial expression that is ugly or contorted, that indicates disapproval or disgust.

 timid (adj.) - shy; scared, lacking in self-assurance, courage or bravery; easily alarmed

 conceal (v.) - to hide, cover or keep from sight, to keep secret

 intrusion(n.) -  an illegal act of entering, seizing, or taking possession of another's property


  Then play a review game, vocabulary bingo. Have students write down the vocabulary words in the pre-made bingo paper. Then read off the definitions of the words and have the students match the word on their bingo card.


9.  For assessment I will look at the student's drawings and descriptions of the passage based on the rubric below. Also, I will assess their discussion points during the lesson based on the questions below.


____ Did the student draw a picture (2)

____ Does the picture relate to the chapter? (2)

____ Does the picture accurately depict what the chapter was about? (2)

____ Do the description and illustration show comprehension of the chapter?


Comprehension Questions:

1. Give a brief summary of what happened in Chapter 5.

2. Why do you think Winnie went to play in the woods?

3. Why do you think Jesse told Winnie she couldn't drink from the spring?

4. What do you think will happen now that Jesse's family knows that Winnie has seen the spring?




Sikes, Mary Kate, Seeing is Believing

Babbitt, Natalie. Tuck Everlasting. Square Fish, 2007. 144 pp.


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