When kids get in the habit of visualizing, we know they are comprehending what they are reading. Here’s a strategy to teach visualization that can work for all students.

Set up a center/station that includes a book in print and audio form. As students cycle through the station, have them first listen to the book without looking at the printed version. The emphasis during this reading is on creating a mental image of what’s occurring in the story.

When the audio is finished, challenge students to draw a picture to represent the story/text. Whatever they draw, you want them to depict as much detail based on the text clues as possible. When the drawing is finished you could also have students label their pictures or write a sentence that explains the picture and summarizes the text.

Next, have students at the center listen to the book again, but this time, following along in the print version simultaneously. As they listen and watch, encourage students to pay special attention to the illustrations, comparing how close their own visualizations were to the actual illustrations. Ask students, Did the image you saw in your mind match the picture that the illustrator created?

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