Close Your Eyes and Snap a Picture!

Cartoon Camera Clip Art


Reading to Learn

Kristin Bunyard



Rationale: In order to become an expert reader, students must learn how to comprehend text. It is the ultimate goal of reading. After fluency is mastered, they begin to learn from the text. Visualization is a strategy that helps students gain the most from what they read. It helps them better understand what is happening in the story. It helps them engage and actively participate in the story.  In this lesson students will practice this skill by visualizing specific details of a scene to help them better understand the information.



Print out of poem "Once Inch Tall" by Shel Silvertein

Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath (a copy for each student)

Assessment checklist





1)     "I want you to close your eyes and as I say this story allow your imagination to draw pictures and when we are done be able to talk about what you saw. Tomorrow morning when you wake up there is 6 ft. of snow outside and you are stuck in your house for the whole day. You smell the fireplace going and breakfast being made. You are nice and warm thanks to the heater and you don't want to get out of bed…then all of the sudden the front door falls in and your living room is full of snow, what will you do?" From there you would ask the students to open their eyes and then talk about what they saw. "That is called visualization boys and girls, and when you are reading a book it is a good idea for you to do that same thing so that you better understand what the author is trying to say in the story, you have to make it make sense in your head.


2)     "Now we are going to read "One Inch Tall" out loud and I want you to visualize what you hear." As you read the story out loud ask several questions like, "How would it feel to be one inch tall? / If you could would you ride a worm to school? / What else do you see when you visualize this poem? / What is around you and bigger than you?" Give them a minute to digest the poem and then go from there.



3)     Now it is time for the students to work with a partner. "I want you all to pull out your "Everything on a Waffle" books and find a partner and a spot on the floor where you can talk quietly. I want you to read the book out loud to your partner and while they are reading I want you to visualize what is going on. This story is about a girl named Primrose and she looses her parents out at sea during a big storm. She has many accidents and moves families many times. You have to read the book to find out what happens to her. When you are both finished reading the book to each other I want you to go back to your desk and draw a picture of one scene you visualized and it stuck out to you." Allow time for students to read and draw.



Assessment: Have each student stand up and briefly tell about their picture and why it was important to them. Assess drawings by if they were able to create something the author was trying to depict. Use this checklist for assessment:


Comprehension Questions



Is the picture about the poem?



Does the picture show comprehension of poem?



Does the picture include some details from the poem?



Can you interpret the picture?



Can the student describe to you what is going on in the picture about the poem?






 -Assessment checklist from

-Silverstein, Shel. "One Inch Tall." From

-Byrd, Sarah. Snap a Picture.

-Horvath, Polly. Everything on a Waffle. 2001. United States: Sunburst Books.

-Reading Genie:



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