Lesson: Envision to Monitor Comprehension

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Lesson Objective

Students will envision while reading to monitor comprehension and connect deeply to characters.

Lesson Plan

Connection (3-5 mins): Readers, we have learned so many strategies over the past couple days to help us become even better readers.  One thing I have noticed is that some of us become distracted while we read.  Today we are going to continue to practice envisioning. This time we are going to envision to help us monitor our reading to make sure we are not distracted. Remember that envisioning is to create a picture, almost like a movie in your head while reading.

Teach (8-10 mins):
Have you ever been reading and started to think about what you ate for dinner last night or something else completely unrelated to the story?  This happens to me all the time and when I finally snap out of it I realize I have no idea what is happening in the story.  We can’t let ourselves “space out” while reading, then we miss the importance of the story.  Good readers monitor their reading, get into the story, and actually become involved in the story almost like walking in the character’s shoes. You become so involved in the story you can understand what the character is thinking and feeling instead of being disconnected and separated from the story.  When we do this we have to think deeply about the book to help us understand. Remember this is just one of the strategies we can use to help us monitor our reading.  (Teacher refers to classroom chart in the room-spelled out below)
CHART:   Monitor Reading
                       -stop when we don’t understand
                       -ask questions
                       -make connections                      

Model (8-10 mins):
Teacher reads aloud from James and the Giant Peach.  Teacher reads aloud in a monotone way without intonation or seemingly interested in the story.  What did you notice about how I was reading that page?  Students turn and tell a partner what they noticed.  Students share out their responses.  Students should say that the teacher seemed bored, wasn’t connected to the story, or not interested.  Now watch me as I reread the story and stop to envision becoming the character.  Teacher reads aloud the same page with fluency and emphasis.  Teacher stops to model thinking and envision the scene.  What did you notice about how I read and envisioned the second time?  Turn and tell a partner.  Students share out responses and teacher charts them on chart paper.

Now I will read the part when Sophie gets angry and ask you to envision and become the character.  Try to see what she sees and think what she would think. Teacher reads aloud page from the text.  Turn and tell a partner what you envisioned.  Students share out responses.  Teacher pushes students to share what the character might be thinking/feeling.

Active Engagement (15-20 mins):
Now that you have monitored your reading by envisioning and becoming the character in our book, I want to give you a turn to read and stop and jot what you see by drawing a picture of what you visualize from your book.  Then I want you to try to become the character and jot what the character might be seeing and thinking. 

Students return to their seats to read independently in their “just right” books.  During this time students should actively be stopping to envision what they are reading.  Teacher should monitor room and conference with those students who seem to be struggling. 

Mid-workshop Interruption: I notice so many of you are focused on your independent reading.  Remember we want to monitor our understanding so I shouldn’t see anyone “spaced out” or thinking about what we are having for lunch today.  I like how so many of you are already drawing your picture to show what you envisioned.  Remember we want to include what the character is thinking and feeling as well.  We can do this by drawing a thought box or a dialogue box beside the character. 

Exit Slip (3-5 mins):
Students should complete the envisioning exercise.  Teacher can collect these drawings to determine what students need more practice with the skill.  I suggest these pictures be used during individual conferences.  During this time students can explain their pictures and the teacher can assess whether the student connected with the character’s feelings or simply drew a picture from the story. 

Envisioning is a skill that I return to multiple times throughout the year.  I find that many students in my classroom will focus to read independently for 10 minutes then lose focus and have trouble reconnecting with a story.  As a result, I allow students to stop and jot a quick picture of what they are reading during independent reading time.  I generally set a timer for 10-15 minutes and students are not allowed to draw/write in their reader’s notebook until that time is up.  Once the timer goes off, students are free to envision in their notebooks.  This is helpful for many struggling readers who lack the stamina to read for longer periods of time.  In order for this to be a successful option, I try to model envisioning multiple times and in different ways for my students in the beginning of the year.

Lesson Resources

Envisioning Worksheet   Activity


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