April 28, 2011

Preposterpus Visualizing

We all know that good readers use visualizing skills when they're reading, but how do we help those struggling students master this concept? In guided reading centers we talk a lot about visualizing when we're reading, yet some of my kids have really struggled with the concept. One activity I use both to enhance and to assess visualizing skills for my students is poetry illustrations. My students each have their own poetry notebook which we add a poem to every week. After reading and discussing the poem, students are asked to illustrate it in their notebooks. A few weeks ago we did a big version of this as a whole class and created our own "Preposterpus" characters from Jack Prelutsky from one of my favorite poetry books A Pizza the Size of the Sun.
First, I hung my poster of the poem (without illustrations) on the wall, and read the poem to the class a few times. We discussed the fact that the more information we have the better our visualizations can be, and how these visualizations help enhance our understanding. I then asked students to close their eyes and visualize what a Preposterpus might look like as I read the poem again. Students were then given time to draw their Preposterpus pictures which we later hung in the hall with our poem. After students finished drawing they shared their artwork with a partner. We discussed how each person's visualizations had similar characteristics from what we heard in the poem, but that just as we all picture things in our minds differently, our pictures looked different as well.
This was a great lesson not only to review and enhance my students understanding of visualizing, but also a great way for me to assess who still needed some extra help with the concept.

Plus...I love their pictures! Take a look at our display:

What do you do with your students to teach/practice visualizing? Leave a comment below and share your ideas! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment