Do you ever think about the thinking your brain is doing while reading? When you are a good reader you do all of the 'thinking': the questioning, connecting, interring, and visualizing without even thinking about it. I asked my students today to raise their hand if they saw the movie in their brain when they were reading and some hands went up, but not as many has I had hoped. Today I did a lesson with my class where I read a story called 'Tell Me a Dragon" by Jackie Morris.
Before I read the story I taped paper over the front and back cover of the book and had students play a quick game to try and guess what the story was about. Students were allowed to ask me yes or no questions about the subject of the story until they guessed what the story was about. After the students knew the story was about dragons I began to read the story. Every once and awhile I stopped and asked the students to choose on of the dragons on their sheet (I copied and pasted 3 dragon outlines from google onto one page for this lesson) and students were asked to make one of the dragons on their sheet look like how they would visualize the dragon the story was describing. If the story described a dragon that lives in the ocean and spends the day racing dolphins students need to make one of the dragons look like it might live in the ocean.
Once we had finished the story and all three dragons had been coloured I then asked students to get their creative thinking going and invent a new dragon write a new page for the book 'Tell Me a Dragon'. First we did a quick brain storm with potential dragon themes and we talked about how the dragon's teeth, tail, wings could all be made unique by the chosen them of the dragon. With these directions my students did a terrific job in creating some unique dragons below is a sample of the writing produced by my students.
Visualization is an important reading skill and this type of whole class exercise can be done with any story, so get creative, play on your student's interests, and make learning fun!