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Can You See What I See? (Making Mental Images)

Teaching my students to conscientiously make mental images while they read is one of my favorite reading strategies to teach.  It lends itself to so many FUN activities! Here are some of the things we did this week to learn how to visualize:

We learned our reading strategy song for the week:

We highlighted clues within our Green Giant poem that helped us picture what he looked like. Then, we used our clues to draw our Green Giants. 

 Then we read the poem, “My Neighbor’s Dog is Purple” by Jack Prelutsky.  You can find a copy of the poem by clicking {HERE}.  I used this poem to teach my students’ how mental pictures can change throughout a book.  Sometimes, we see a character one way in the beginning of the book or poem, and another way at the end.  I used Deanna Jump’s response sheet for our lesson.  You can find it by visiting her website and clicking {HERE}. 

Then, it was time to put the strategy of visualizing to the test.  I tied our reading strategy in with our writing this week by working on descriptive writing pieces.  First, we reviewed adjectives and created this anchor chart.  I told my students that adjectives make your writing “sparkly.”  My co-worker Rachel liked to make fun of me for that all week – using the word “sparkly,” combined with my whole-brain teaching movement for adjectives, made my class look like we were putting on a Broadway show.  
I was so lucky to win Hadar from Miss Kindergarten‘s latest giveaway.  I got to choose something from her store so I picked her adorable Monster Madness Craft and Writing Templates product. My students went crazy making their monsters! They had SO much fun! I’m typically the organized-and-OCD-here is your paper-pass the template on 3-structured kind of craftivity person.  But since I knew they would be describing every piece of their monster, I threw out the construction paper bucket and said GO!  It was monster-madness central in my room, but they had a blast and it turned out great! 

Because they were able to make their monster really look unique, they felt so much ownership to them and really did an outstanding job using adjectives to describe what their monsters looked like.  
I took it one step farther and had the students hide their monsters in their desk.  Then, I paired them up and gave each student a blank piece of paper.  I told them to take turns reading their descriptive pieces to their partner, while their partner had to visualize and draw the mental image he or she had while they were listening.  Then, they compared their mental images to the actual monsters and evaluated whether or not their writing pieces had enough adjectives for a good mental image, or if their piece needed more adjectives to fully describe the monster.
It was an awesome series of lessons that really helped my students connect their reading strategy to their writing – and vice versa.  They had a blast and really understand how to visualize while they read a book or poem.  
Thank you so much for visiting and taking a look at our busy week! 
Happy Learning,

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  1. I am totally in love with every activity on this page. Thank you so much for sharing! Can’t wait to do this with my kiddos!

  2. I just love your descriptive poems. I create teaching material for 2 small NGO rural schools in Peru. The children will love these as they learn English.

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