Picture This!

Reading to Learn Literacy Design

Kayla Wesley

Rationale: Comprehension is the final step in becoming a good reader. Good readers have mastered decoding and learning to read and have moved into the process of reading to learn. To facilitate comprehension, it is important to equip each student with the tool of visualization, or seeing the story like a movie in their heads. This lesson is designed to help students learn to visualize and see stories in their heads as they read.


· “Tuck Everlasting” – Natalie Babbitt. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1975. (1 per child)

· Plain white paper – 1 per child

· Pencils

· Crayons, markers, or colored pencils


1. Say: Reading silently to ourselves is a very important part of reading. Does anyone remember what we do when we read to ourselves? That’s right, we follow along reading the words in our heads or moving our lips like we are reading aloud but no sound comes out! When we read silently to ourselves, it is important to picture in our minds exactly what is going on in the story. Especially because some books don’t have any pictures. We are going to start a new book today called, “Tuck Everlasting”. “Tuck Everlasting” is about a curious girl named Winnie Foster who runs away from home one day. She meets a family, the Tucks, and she soon realizes that they have a BIG secret that they do not want anyone to find out. Hmm.. I wonder why Winnie ran away and what she is going to find out from the Tucks.

2. Say to students: I am going to read the first chapter (8 pages) of, “Tuck Everlasting” aloud and I want you to follow along in your book and listen closely and picture in your head what is going on. When I finish, I want everyone to draw a picture of what they saw in their head that was happening in the story and we will share our pictures to see if we all saw similar things.

3. As you read, stop and point out especially descriptive sentences or passages and say aloud to students what you are picturing in your head. After you finished reading the first chapter, have students share their pictures with the class.

4. Say: You guys did a wonderful job visualizing the story in your head. Now that you have had some practice, I want you to read the second chapter (4 pages) by yourself and draw another picture on the back of what happened in chapter two.

5. As students finish reading and drawing their pictures, divide them into discussion groups and have them discuss the question, “Why do you think the Tucks have all looked the same for 87 years?” Collect and discuss answers as a class.

6. While students are in discussion groups, walk around and assess each students’ drawing of chapter 2 (assessment) to make sure they understand the concept of visualization, noting those who may need extra help.


Anne Larkin Oaks - http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/adventures/oaksrl.htm

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