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Lesson Plan: Visual Elements

visual elements - The Raft

Subject:  ELA- Reading

Grade: 5

Lesson Objective: To understand and describe how visual elements add to a text

Common Core Standard:  CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.7- Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).




  • Do you enjoy reading fiction or nonfiction that has illustrations, photographs or diagrams that go with it?  Why or why not?  (Allow the students to answer.)



  • Many times, authors include visual elements with their writing.  Visual elements could be illustrations, photographs or diagrams.
  • When you are reading a story, illustrations that go with the story can do several things. 
  • One of the things that the illustrations can do is to help us better understand the words in the text.  Illustrations can enhance or increase our understanding.
  • Illustrations can also help to set the tone of the writing.  For example, when illustrations are used with poems, the illustrations can help us to understand how to read the poem.
  • If the illustrations are done with watercolors and they are light and pretty, you would think that the writing is soft and gentle.  If the illustrations are big, colorful and crazy, you would think that the writing is loud and silly.
  • Illustrations can help us understand the beauty of writing.  Sometimes the author writes words that are meant to make us feel a certain way.  Adding illustrations to that writing can help us to feel the way that the author wants us to feel.
  • Photographs and diagrams can also help us to connect with information that is being shared in nonfiction writing.
  • Now, you are going to read an excerpt from a book that has illustrations.  While you are reading the story, notice how the illustrations work with the text.  Then, you will answer the questions.
  • Does anyone have any questions?



  • Who would like to share their answers?  (Allow the students to share and go over the answers.)

Written by Kimberly Greacen, Education World® Contributing Writer

Kimberly is an educator with extensive experience in curriculum writing and developing instructional materials to align with Common Core State Standards and Bloom's Taxonomy.

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