Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies - Visualising

Teach your whole class the reading comprehension strategy of visualising with these fun and engaging teaching ideas and printables!

Having listened to many children read as a classroom teacher, they can be fluent readers yet not understand nor be able to tell you anything about what they've just read. Explicitly teaching reading comprehension strategies can help young children develop an awareness of the tools they can utilise as readers to improve their understanding of different texts.

As an Early Years teacher, I've always found the strategy - visualising, one of the easiest to teach. Most young children are already using this comprehension strategy as they read, we're just making them aware of what they are doing, labeling it and allowing them to practice it in an intentional way. 

I've designed two different hands-on visualising activities that can be used for a whole class to introduce or reinforce the reading comprehension strategy.

Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies - Visualising. Printables and whole class teaching ideas | you clever monkey
Young children need to understand why it's important to use comprehension strategies like visualising in helping them build an understanding of a text.

It can also be an important tool to help students understand that we all have our own unique way of seeing, influenced by our own experiences and prior knowledge - that there is no right or wrong. The way I might connect to a text could be different from another person's because of our prior understanding and personal experiences.  

The first activity is a relatively simple one.

It utilises a child's prior experiences and encourages them to make connections to texts, other media and themselves.

Using just a title of a story, I provided my students with these blank frames (template supplied) and then gave them the title only. One title we used was 'A Day At The Beach'.

Together we brainstormed what we might see if we went to the beach then I gave my class about ten minutes to draw what they expected to see in the story, the picture they saw in their heads when they heard the title.

Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies - Visualising. Printables and whole class teaching ideas | you clever monkey

As you would expect, their pictures contained some of the same elements like sand and water but depending on their personal experiences some children included icecream while others had surf boards and sharks!

After sharing our work with a gallery walk around our classroom we then repeated the exercise with another title from our list.

Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies - Visualising. Printables and whole class teaching ideas | you clever monkey

The next activity is even more fun and can be done more than once. Again it draws children's attention to how visualising works. 
This time using three clues to build a richer picture in their minds to work out what an item is.
Using these clue cards, and there's 32 different ones to choose from, and our template, read your students one clue then ask them to draw what they think it is in the first box on the left side of the page.
Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies - Visualising. Printables and whole class teaching ideas | you clever monkey

Allow about 5-10 minutes depending on the age of your students then ask a few people to share what they think the item is. 
Then read the class the second clue and ask them to draw what they think the item is in the next empty frame.
Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies - Visualising. Printables and whole class teaching ideas | you clever monkey

Do they still think it's the same thing or have they changed their minds? 

Read the third and final clue and allow them enough time to draw again before asking some people to share what they think it is now.

You can then reveal what the item was and hand each student the picture card to stick in next to their work in the final empty frame.

In a 45-50 minute lesson, you can do two cards this way.
Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies - Visualising. Printables and whole class teaching ideas | you clever monkey

You can purchase our Reading Comprehension Strategies - Visualising unit here.

This set includes:
  • 2 different templates for the 'What's In a Name?' drawing prompt (2 frames per page + 4 frames per page)
  • 20 different story titles to choose from as visual prompts for 'What's In A Name?'
  • 32 different 'What Am I?' cards plus printable template of 8 blank drawing frames to suit 

US $4


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Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies - Visualising. Printables and whole class teaching ideas | you clever monkey

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