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Reintroduce: Visualization

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Lesson Type: Reintroduce
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 be able to relate what they visualize to sensory experiences described in the text.

Materials: A descriptive fiction book to read out loud, chart paper or board, copies of the Visualize Map graphic organizer (print here) for each student

What to Do


Choose a highly descriptive book that appeals to early readers. Make copies of the Visualize Map for each student. Make a large version of the Visualize Map on the board or chart paper.


1. Review the meaning of visualization.

Who can remember what visualization is?

2. Record students’ answers on the chart paper or board and clarify the concept’s meaning.

That’s right. Visualization means drawing pictures in our heads about what is happening in the story we are reading.

3. Explain why visualization helps comprehension.

Good readers visualize what is happening in the story when they are reading. They use the words in the story to make pictures in their heads of what characters look like, what they are doing, and what the setting looks like. Making pictures in our heads helps us understand the words better. It’s important to use visualization when we are reading.

4. Introduce the book.

Today we will be reading _________________________ by __________________. What do you think that this book is about?

Allow students to answer.

5. Direct students to the large copy of the Visualize Map.

On this worksheet are boxes for seeing, hearing, touching, and smelling or tasting. We are going to pretend that we are the main character and draw pictures of everything the main character sees, hears, touches, and smells or tastes. We will use these senses to help make our mental picture.

6. Read the first part of the book, pausing after a descriptive part. Complete the large Visualize Map with students.

Let’s look at the first box, See. What did the main character see?

Call on students to answer. Draw a quick sketch. Make sure to emphasize to students that they do not need to create masterpieces; quick sketches will do. Continue to fill in all of the boxes with student assistance.


7. Direct students to their copies of the Visualize Map.

I am going to read. I will pause to let you draw quick sketches in the boxes. Remember to pretend you are the main character and draw sketches of what you hear, touch and smell or taste.

8. Finish the book. Allow students to finish filling in their graphic organizers.

9. Ask students to turn to a partner to share their pictures.

Now we will share with a partner. Turn to a partner and take turns sharing the pictures you drew in each of the boxes. Explain why you drew what you drew.

10. Hold a class discussion about how using the five senses helps the process of visualization.


For Advanced Students:

Give these students practice visualizing when reading instead of listening to a book being read out loud. Provide them with a short excerpt from the text. Mark every few sentences with an asterisk. The asterisk tells students to pause in their reading and visualize what is going on in the text. Ask them to share what they pictured at each asterisk.

For Struggling Students:

Some students will have trouble focusing on what the main character sees, hears, touches and smells or tastes during one reading of the text. Focus students’ attention on only one sense. After they have completed that one, direct students to focus on a different sense during a second reading. Focus students’ attention by asking:

What does the main character see/hear/touch/smell/taste? What does that look like to you? Does that remind you of anything in your life?

For ELL Students:

Before reading the book, explain the meaning of any key vocabulary or concepts. You may choose to bring in props that have to do with the descriptive words in the story. For example, you could bring in a cotton ball for the word fluffy. This concrete representation will help ELL students understand the meanings of unfamiliar descriptive words and use those meanings to create mental images.

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