Lesson plan

Use Your Mind and Visualize!

Help students learn the crucial reading strategy of visualizing. Visualizing is a key component of learning to infer from a text. Kids will love using their imagination and drawing pictures of their visualizations.
Need extra help for EL students? Try theDescribe Sensory DetailsPre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try theDescribe Sensory DetailsPre-lesson.

Being able to visualize when reading fiction is an important tool for young learners as it helps to build essential fiction comprehension skills. In the reading and writing lesson plan Use Your Mind and Visualize!, kindergarteners and first graders will learn to use visualization and the five senses to help them make pictures in their minds and think critically about what they read and hear. Children will practise visualizing and describing various scenarios before getting a chance to illustrate on paper what they imagine in their minds.

Students will be able to draw what they visualize as they read and present their drawings to others.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
Making Inferences Pictures
  • Call students together as a group and ask them to think about their last birthday or a birthday party they have attended.
  • After giving students a moment to think about this, ask them to close their eyes. While their eyes are closed, tell them to think about what they saw at their birthday. Ask students to think about what they felt, smelled, heard, and tasted at their birthday party.
  • Have students open their eyes and share with the group or a partner some of the things they saw, smelled, heard, felt, and tasted in their minds.
  • Explain that today, they will practise visualizing as they read.
  • Explain that this is something they already know how to do since they just did it. Today, they will learn to apply this skill to reading. Good readers use the strategy of VisualizationTo help them make pictures in their minds and think about what they read.
(15 minutes)
  • Explain to the students that the word "visualization" means to use all of our senses to help us imagine or picture something in our minds.
  • Briefly review the five senses with the students and explain that when we use our imagination, we are visualizing.
  • Explain to students that to practise visualizing, we will be using all of our senses and our imagination.
  • Explain that you will play a sound and then share with them what you visualize.
  • Play one of the sound clips, e.g. the sound of waves crashing on a beach.
  • Model closing your eyes and listening. When the sound clip is over, explain to students that when you heard this sound, you pictured seeing the ocean, hearing the waves, feeling the sand between your toes, and feeling the heat of the sun on your skin. Explain that you also imagined taking a sip of cold water and how it tasted in your mouth. It is helpful to also draw your visualization on the board as your describe it to the students.
  • Explain to the students that you took the sound and made pictures or a mini movie of it in your mind.
  • Connect the idea that when the students read, the author is telling them what to visualize. It is their job as the readers to form the pictures in their mind.
  • Play two other sounds, making sure to describe what you see in your mind. Make sure to describe the five senses as you visualize.
  • Have students complete the first three problems on the Making Inferences worksheet. Explain that they should visualize what's going on in each scenario to choose the right answer. Read aloud the sentences as necessary.
(10 minutes)
  • Have students describe their visualizations.
  • Call on students to describe and add more details to their drawings on the worksheet.
  • Have students describe which senses the author used.
  • Alternatively, you may have students do this portion of the lesson in pairs and have each pair share their visualization drawings.
(15 minutes)
  • Explain to students that this time they will draw a picture to represent the visualization they have in their mind. Hand out blank paper or use a notebook.
  • Read the last two pairs of sentences from the worksheet. Have students choose one of the sentences to visualize. Have students draw pictures of their visualizations.

Enrichment:Have students draw visualizations based on their independent reading books or other books that have been read in class.

Support:For students having difficulty, make a list of the five senses. As the paragraph is read, have the students list or draw a picture for each sense mentioned. Have the students use this information to create their visualization picture.

(10 minutes)
  • Circulate and question students’ justifications for their drawings.
  • Ask them to describe which senses helped them with their visualization.
  • Ask students to describe what words in the texts helped them visualize various parts of their drawings.
  • Collect students’ drawings and check for accuracy.
(10 minutes)
  • Have students share their pictures with the group. Have students explain how they knew what to draw and which senses were used.
  • Discuss how different students’ visualizations are alike and different even though they all based their visualizations on the same text.
  • Review what the word visualization means and how good readers visualize as they read.

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