Visualizing is the process of creating mental images while reading. Mental images can include sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations, and emotions."
Here are some questions you can ask your young readers to help them develop this reading strategy:
- Without showing the illustrations, read a book and ask them to make a picture in their minds of what is happening in the story. Ask them to share their mental pictures.
- Make illustrations for a book.
- Ask questions based on the five senses: What do you think it looks like? What do you think it smells like? What do you think it feels like? What do you think it sounds like? What do you think it tastes like?
- At the end of the story, ask: what do you think will happen next?
- How was _____ (certain character) feeling?
Now let's be practical. How does visualizing work with a book like: Goldilocks and the Three Bears (just to continue to use a popular one)?
You can start by asking your young readers to make a mental picture of Goldilocks. How tall is she? What is she wearing? What does she look like? Also, you can talk about the bear's house. Since you have read this book before, you can move to more advance senses! Ask: What do you think the porridge taste like? What do you think the house smells like? What do you think it sounds like when Goldilocks uses each chair? What about the beds?...etc. Also keep in mind that a great way to visualize is to add to the end of a story. It is all up to the reader to create an extra ending!
This picture is from Classic Fairy Tales illustrated by Scott Gustafson. What do you think the porridge taste/smells like?
Help your reader see the text by making mental images of what is explicitly and non explicitly in the story. When we visualize, the story becomes ours! We decide to add in the details that are not revealed to us through illustrations. Sometimes our visualization of a story is based on facts given. Some other times, our visualizations of a story are based on our preferences. In either case, visualizing a story makes it easier "to understand, remember, and enjoy." (From: Making Meaning Kindergarten Manual).
Next week: Making Inferences