Personal tools

Introduce: Visualization

From FreeReading

Jump to: navigation, search
Lesson Type: Introduce
Grade: K, 1, 2, 3
Group Size: Small Group, Large Group, Whole Class
Length: 15 minutes
Goal: Given a descriptive work of fiction, students will use visualization to enhance their reading and understanding of it.

Materials: A descriptive fiction book to read out loud, chart paper or board

What to Do


Choose a highly descriptive book that appeals to early readers.


1. Explain the meaning of visualization.

Today we are going to read a book entitled _________________________ by __________________. We are going to practice visualizing what we read. This means that we are going to make pictures in our heads of what we are reading.

2. Give examples of the ways students have already used visualization strategies.

When you listen to a story, do you ever close your eyes and imagine what is happening? Have you ever listened to a television show without watching it and realized that you didn’t completely understand what was going on? Have you ever visualized the words of a song as you listened to or sang it?

3. Read the first part of the book. Stop after a particularly descriptive part. Model visualization by describing the images you see in your mind.

As I read the passage, I thought about the words and I imagined what the characters were doing, what they looked like, and what the surroundings were. I imagined __________.


4. Continue reading, pausing at an appropriate place for students to practice visualization.

Let’s talk about what we have been able to picture in our heads so far. While I read, close your eyes and listen carefully. Remember to try to draw pictures of the characters and setting in your head.

5. Check and confirm images that students visualized.

Now let’s share what we imagined about that part of the book. Remember that everyone probably imagined something a little different. That’s okay. Who can share what they pictured in their head?

Call on students to share and record comments on chart paper or the board.

6. Continue reading the book, pausing at appropriate places and allowing students to share their mental images.


For Advanced Students:

Provide these students with a copy of the book. Encourage them to link a mental image that they had with a specific word, phrase, or description from the book. Have them explain their mental image to a partner and show the words that inspired the image.

For Struggling Students:

Some students may have difficulty drawing images in their heads. In this case it is helpful to ask students to make a physical drawing. Read a different part of the same text, showing no illustrations. Ask students to make a physical representation of the story. Explain how they can do the same thing in their head.

For ELL Students:

Before reading the book, explain the meaning of any key vocabulary or concepts. Discuss what some of the descriptive words feel and look like (what it feels like to be hot, for instance, or what shade of green a plant is in the spring). Use students’ prior knowledge to reinforce the meaning of these words.

Related activities