What do you see?
Reading to Learn
Comprehension is an essential component of reading. Students must be able to understand what they are reading. One strategy that readers can use to increase comprehension is representational imagery, also known as visualization. When students read, they must visualize in their heads what is happening in the story. This lesson will help students develop their visualization by asking them to form an image in their head while reading a poem. After everyone has read the poem we will discuss as a class the images that they formed while reading the poem.
To Be a Mouse
If I were a mouse
And could run around the house
There are plenty of things I'd like to do
Like run under chairs
And try to climb the stairs
And scare my mum a little too
I could fit in the cracks
That lead behind the bath
And see what insects were down there
I could go high and low
Go where only mouses go
And wander around without a care
I could eat all the cheese
Without ever saying please
And watch what other people do
From my place down there
And with my agile mouse-like flair
I could scamper up, around and through
But then there's the cat
Who would think I was a rat
And I wouldn't want to get caught in his teeth
So I'd make myself small
Wrapped up in a tiny ball
And roll myself under his feet
If I were a mouse
I would never leave the house
There'd be lots of new things to do and see
But I wouldn't go outside
No, especially not at night
So I think a person's what I'll be
©2002 Gareth Lancaster
1. "Today we are going to learn a trick that will help us remember what we read. Before we do that though, I want us to review what silent reading is. Everyone take out your library book. First, I want everyone to read one sentence from your book out loud." Allow time for students to read a sentence. "Did you notice how it was hard to concentrate on what you were reading because everyone else was reading out loud at the same time? Now I want everyone to read another sentence, but this time I want you to whisper it to yourself." Allow time for students to read a sentence. "Now I want everyone to read another sentence, but this time I want you to read it to yourself without moving your lips. Read it to yourself inside your head." Allow time for students to read a sentence. "Were you able to understand what you read easier that time? It was probably because it was a lot quieter, so you could concentrate."
2. "Now I want us to talk about a special trick that I am going to teach you that can help you remember what you read. It is called visualization. Visualization is when you picture in your head what is happening in the book that you are reading. It's very important to learn to do this because if you can't remember what you read, then you won't understand what is going on in the story or learn new things."
3. "Now it's time to practice visualizing. We are going to read a poem, and while we read the poem, I want you to picture in your head what is happening throughout the poem." Read the "To Be a Mouse" poem. "As I read this poem, this is what I pictured in my head: I start off by visualizing myself as a mouse. As the mouse starts to explore I then visualize all the many places he can go. Finally, the mouse starts to think about how he could stay in the house all day but never outside. Then the mouse says, “So I think a person’s what I’ll be.” Then allow students to share things that they visualized as they read the poem and see how their answers differ.
4. "Now I am going to give each of you a book called Judy Moody was in a Mood. Judy Moody was in a Mood is about a girl who isn’t very excited about her third grade year. Her desk won’t have her favorite armadillo sticker on it. Her new class won’t have a class pet porcupine named Roger. She will probably get stuck sitting in the front again. As a want to be doctor, Judy has a little brother to practice on, a new pet, and a gigantic Band-Aid collection. Mr. Todd Judy’s new teacher assigns the class a project where Judy can really show her personality. You will have to read the book in order to find out how her third grade year went. In order to start to find out what happens, today I want you to read the first chapter silently, then I want you to draw your visualizations on some white paper. You should write a few sentences at the bottom to tell about what you draw. After everyone is finished, we will share our drawings with one another and compare and contrast them to make sure that your visualizations included all of the characters and the events in the story. Over the next few weeks we will be drawing our visualizations for each chapter of this book so that we will have something to remind of the events of this story." Give the students the books and allow them time to read the chapter, draw their visualizations, and share their drawings.
5. Assessment: I will assess the students by looking at their drawings. I will use the following checklist:
Student includes each of the characters from the chapter in his/her illustration.
Student’s illustration accurately reflects a passage from the chapter.
Student statement has a clear correlation between the statement and the illustration that pertain to a passage within the chapter.
Student pays attention to detail.
1. What are some events that took place in the chapter that you read?
2. What do you think will happen in the next chapter?
3. Describe the characters in the book so far.
Nims, Courtney. What do you see. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/voyages/nimsrl.html
Lancaster, Gareth. (2002). “To be a Mouse.” Retrieved April 10, 2016. http://www.fizzyfunnyfuzzy.com/poem/to_be_a_mouse
McDonald, Megan. (2012). Judy Moody was in a Mood. Candlewick Press. http://www.judymoody.com/#books/1