I love that McGregor can have in-depth reading conversations at home… I try but I don’t get anywhere near the response she gets! I’ve never thought about visualizing as being personal, this was a real eye-opener. I love the “visualizing tube” and think that my fourth graders would go crazy for this lesson; not to mention that they are super easy to get! The sensory exercises of soaking cotton balls in different liquids and paper bags with mystery object are great, I can definitely see myself using these two ideas. This is the first skill I can immediately and fully see myself using music. I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan and the soundtrack to the movie is phenomenal and easy to visualize. I love the prompts that accompany the art work to get students thinking about more than meets the eye.
i tell my students that visualizing is like watching a movie while you're reading. Many of them look at me like I'm crazy. I ask them what they see when they're reading and they say "nothing." That makes me sad. I've got to do a better job of teaching them to visualize. I will probably try some of the great ideas in this chapter. I just used the book "The Gruffalo" in summer school to have them practice visualizing. I had them illustrate what they thought the Gruffalo looked like while I read the book to them without showing them the pictures. They did a great job!
Vicki, I love that idea! I can do that with "The Jabberwockey" This is a hard concept for me to teach because I just automatically do it in my head and I don't know how or why it happens! That is one aspect of teaching that I struggle with. I am a reader and have always been a reader. I teach eighth grade so I sometimes assume that all my students have the basic skills. I feel I'm more of a content teacher, rather than a reading teacher.
In this chapter, I LOVE the sensory exercises on page 94! I plan to incorporate these when I'm reading an article or story in my class. As always, I love the thinking stems. I want to put these up in my room.
When I was a kid, I remember "Peter and the Wolf" piece. My son listened to this in music class in first grade. I hope to use it in a visualizing lesson in my remediation class.
I've realized lately that I assume way too much about my students! My goal is to do better this year with think-alouds and modeling. "The Jabberwockey" will be perfect!
Sadly many children do not see pictures when reading or being read to. I like many of the sensory exercises in this chapter. I have used scents before - sometimes introducing things to students - like nutmeg and other less common spices that might be in a story I am sharing. I have also brought in items mentioned in books for auditory connections with primary classes (whisks on metal mixing bowls, pans clanging together). McGregor really uses lots of music, something I have not done much of. I will try to grow some musical wings this year with some of her suggestions.
Visualizing can really be a hard task for kids to take on. Some of the ideas in this chapter I already love doing with my kids. One of my favorites is asking them to draw what they see in their heads while I am reading to them. Another one that a teammate does every year with his kids is to have the class listen to four different styles of music and then to have them draw what they see while listening to the different songs. I even had him do this with my class one year because it was incredible to see what the students drew and then sharing with others as they began to discuss it. I think that making connections to the five senses can really help with visualizing in the classroom. Another great activity that my kids love is the mystery bag. Any way to get the kids creating pictures in their minds will help them to transfer the idea of visualization while reading.
I love to use seasonal poems/songs to help my students visualize. They can often picture themselves in the poem when it talks about various seasons or months. This is a simple way to make connections for my students and help them to picture things that many of them are familiar with.
What books or poems do you teach in which visualizing would be a critical or valuable strategy? Explain how you might use the strategy.
When I read aloud WONDER by R.J. Palacio, it opened many interesting conversations about visualizing. August Pullman is a fifth grader who looks a lot different than the other students but wants to be treated the same. Now the breaking news is that it is being made into a movie. My students seemed concerned that it just won't be as good as the book. The student's mental images are emotionally attached to the book.
Here's a fun poem for younger children to visualize.
My puppy makes pizza.
He bakes every day
In chef hat and apron
he's quite the gourmet.
He'll roll out some dough
and he'll give it a toss,
then spread on a generous
topping of sauce.
He'll heap it with cheese
and mountains of meat,
but, still, it's not something
you'd probably eat.
For though he makes pizza
with obvious flair,
it all ends up covered
with slobber and hair.
Kimber TateCoordinator of English, Reading and Libraries