Today’s post will show you how to teach visualizing with picture books! This post contains affiliate links.
Today I’m sharing another way to teach comprehension strategies with picture books. It’s part of the collaborative blog series that I’m doing with This Reading Mama.
Visualizing is the ability to hear (or read) a story and have a mental image of the text.
I grabbed a copy of the word-rich book, Owl Moon, by Jane Yolen. Then I created a simple printable for my second grader to record his visualizations.
Before we began, I talked to him about the word “visualize” and what it means. “Do you think that visualize has to do with hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, or touching?” He wasn’t sure, so I told him that it has to do with what you see. “Visualizing is what you see in your mind.”
On his own, he made the connection, “It’s like the word visor.”
“That’s right! When you see vis at the beginning of a word, it has to do with sight. It’s important to have a picture of what you read in your mind, because that helps you understand the story better. When I read you a chapter book without pictures, you visualize. But you can also visualize when you listen to a picture book.”
I read each page in the book aloud, one by one. As I read, I stopped to pick out phrases or sentences that created a vivid picture in my mind.
To demonstrate the strategy, I picked a strong sentence from the text.
“The trees stood still as giant statues.”
I copied it onto the printable and illustrated it.
We continued reading through the text. This time my second grader chose the strong sentences, recorded them, and illustrated them.
I would recommend using this strategy as a class multiple times before asking students to do it on their own. One thing you can do is give each student a clip board with a stack of sticky notes or note paper. Stop at pre-determined points in a whole class read aloud (either a picture or chapter book) for students to illustrate what they see in their minds. Then they can share their pictures with classmates.
P.S. Visualizing works especially well with poetry! See this post from This Reading Mama for a printable pack: Visualizing with Poetry
Other ways to teach visualizing:
- Read a poem aloud to your students. Have them each illustrate the poem without looking at other students’ pictures. Then have them share pictures to see that everyone visualizes differently.
- Put a stuffed animal in a bag. Have students put their hands in the bag to feel the animal. Then have them draw to show what they visualized.
- Encourage students to have a movie in their mind as they read. If the movie stops, it means comprehension has broken down. They need to go back and reread.