We made visualizing concrete today with an empty box and an interesting object! I drew an eyeball on the box because we “see” mental images in our minds while we read. I also drew a question mark because as readers, we need to pay close attention to detail and descriptive language when visualizing. Readers are constantly questioning their mental image and revising/changing it based on new learning and new text.
When my kids came into our room today, this “mystery box” was sitting on the end of my desk.
Questions and discussion started pouring into the classroom.
“What’s in the box?”
“What are we doing today?”
“What is that?”
“Is that a science experiment?”
“Is there something ALIVE in there?”
“Can I see what’s in it?”
“You’ll just have to wait for our reading mini-lesson!” I told the kids.
(Insert shrieks and some groans because they didn’t want to wait that long!)
When it came time for our reading mini-lesson, my kids sat around the edge of the rug and I held up the box. I let them ask questions about what was inside the box to integrate questioning skills into our lesson. Then, I had the students close their eyes and I used very descriptive language to share what was in the box without giving away the name of the object. My students practiced making a mental image in their head, and then they discussed their mental image with their peers.
One at a time, I had each child come up and “feel” the object in the mystery box. I made them use describing words to tell me what the object felt like. We discussed how words and details cant paint a picture in our minds. We also discussed how words appeal to our senses and help us visualize what we are reading. This helps us understand the text better.
After being able to hold the object and get a concrete understanding of what it felt like, they headed to their reading journals to sketch and write about the picture they had in their heads. Many of my kids started their sentence with thinking stems such as, “In my mind, I see…” or “In my brain, I can see…” We took some time to share our mental images with our classmates.
Finally, it was time to reveal what our “mystery object” was! They LOVED getting to confirm or revise their mental image within their reading journals.
We also read the adorable poem, Green Giant, by Jack Prelutsky. We used the printable of the poem from the adorable Welcome to Room 36’s blog. You can find it by clicking HERE. We read this poem three times. First, we read it for enjoyment. Then, I read it as they closed their eyes and made a mental image. During our final read, we broke down the text line by line and used our crayons to infer and show the various colors within the poem’s descriptions.