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The Power of Mental Images: Visualizing Literature


  • Language Arts


  • 3-5

Brief Description

Students use their visualization abilities to construct meaning in a fun and creative way..


Students will
  • make use of a newly taught reading strategy: visualization.
  • use visualization to construct meaning from a piece of literature.


visualization, reading, strategy, literature

Materials Needed

  • a chapter book (lesson includes some suggestions)
  • paper
  • crayons or colored pencils

The Lesson

Discuss with students the importance of visualizing when reading or listening to a story that doesn't include pictures. Visualizing can help increase understanding of the material read. Explain to students that all readers, especially good readers, naturally create mental images when interacting with printed text.

Read aloud to students from a chapter book. The following award-winning books are excellent choices; they are written in a way that encourages students to conjure up captivating images.

After reading a few pages of the book you've selected, encourage students to discuss their favorite parts or the most important parts. Then ask them to draw a picture of one of the mental images they constructed during the reading.


Invite individual students to interpret their drawings. They might do this activity in small groups, and then willing students can share their interpretations with the entire class. Classmates might offer comments or pose questions.

Submitted By

Stiles X. Simmons, Mann Elementary School in Detroit, Michigan

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