Red Riding Hood Smelled Like Apples - Imagine That ! (Lesson 2 of 4)

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SWBAT identify events in the beginning/middle/end of a story and use imaging/visualizing to improve comprehension.

Big Idea

Use imaging to be a better reader and compare versions of a fairy tale!


  • Honestly Red Riding Hood was Rotten!*  by Trisha Speed Shaskan
  • Lesson vocabulary words from the Reading/Writing word wall: version, imaging**, beginning, middle, end
  • large chart  (I shared one with the whole class or you could do one with each group)
  • colored copy paper (it does not have to be colored, but it looked nice)
  • Set up the whiteboard
  • Imaging/Visualizing Strategy poster (I'll be adding to this chart throughout my imaging/visualizing unit)


This is the second version of 3 books about Little Red Riding Hood that we will be comparing. For this lesson, I am letting the students take some of the lead toward imaging because I modeled it yesterday.  I will encourage them to use richer vocabulary and become more independent as we move through this version of the story. I set up the events in a beginning/middle/end organizer so we can compare all the versions later.  The other lessons in this unit are Add Some Sense to the Images (Lesson 1 of 4),  Images Have A Voice (Lesson 3 of 4) and Wanted.. One Big Bad... (Lesson 4 of 4).

I chose this book because it was cute and funny. It gives a different motivation for the wolf and reasons why he acted as he did. The character descriptions (they all have apple names and look like apples) gave us LOTS of discussion topics. As you discuss images, you'll ultimately discuss why the wolf, girl and other characters acted as they did. We spent time comparing versions of the stories and they kids really picked up on the ideas of why the girl acted differently in this story. Describing how the character in a story respond to challenges and events (RL.2.3) gives the kids an opportunity to delve deeper into the text and explore the author's purpose in characterization. 

'Imaging' is the term that my district uses for 'visualizing'. In order to stay true to the district expectations, I'll continue to use this verbage. Visualizing is a critical skill for 2nd graders because they need to 'go deeper' in the text. By visualizing as they read, they are creating and tweaking images in their minds as they actively read. This kind of 'close reading', forming images using text, verifying and changing those images, and ultimately comparing their images to the author's descriptions creates critical readers and deepens comprehension.

Let's Get Excited!

5 minutes

Underlined words below are lesson vocabulary words that are emphasized and written on sentence strips for my Reading & Writing word wall. I pull off the words off the wall for each lesson, helping students understand this key 'reading and writing' vocabulary can be generalized across texts and topics.  The focus on acquiring and using these words is part of a shift in the Common Core Standards towards building students’ academic vocabulary.  My words are color coded ‘pink’ for literature/’blue’ for reading strategies/’orange’ for informational text/'yellow' for writing/’green’ for all other words)


Common starting point

  • "Yesterday we read a version of Little Red Riding Hood about a sweet little wolf."
  • Think about the original story and the book from yesterday. Lets' make a list of descriptive words for the girl and wolf - physical, emotional and feeling words.
  • "Today I have a  different version of a Little Red Riding Hood story where the wolf is not quite so nice.  We're going to use our new strategy of imaging to help us understand better."


Although the focus of the lesson is visualizing, we want to emphasize the importance of finding information in the text. As teachers, we should let the students know that the author’s words are ultimately paramount. The Common Core State Standards ask that we base our inferences on the text because bringing in outside information can confuse the points/message in the text. As I teach these imaging lessons, we garner all the information from the text and build upon that with images.

Teacher's Turn

15 minutes

Give the purpose of the lesson

  • "When we use imaging, we create a picture in our mind and use our senses - sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell - to make a good picture. We can also think about feelings - how does the character feel."
  • "I'll add this to the 'Imaging/visualizing Strategy' chart:"
    • Images are unique because we use our senses and feelings.
  • "Today we'll use imaging in the beginning, middle, and end of the story to help us understand the story better and be an 'active reader'."


Introduce strategy - teacher models

  • Begin by reading the title. Pause and share the image you've created in your mind, and talk about which words from the book helped you "draw" your picture. Go back to the description list - which words describe how the character feels and how the image looks, smells, tastes, sounds like, and feels like?"
  • "What were the 5 senses we discussed yesterday?"  List these senses on the board.  "Let's use the senses and some feeling words to create an image - called imaging."
  • Read the first 2 pages without showing the picture ('once upon at time'). Pause and draw the new image you created. Write some words to show what you see, hear, taste, smell and feel. Show the picture in the book - "What was different in my image? Does that mean my image was wrong - no it was just different! As long as you’ve used the words/evidence from the book to help you make your image, it’s okay if it’s a little different than the image in the book." 
  • At this point, you could  try doing a non-example to show how silly it would be to imagine something without basing it on the text. You could draw the wolf shaking hands with Red, and then you might say, “That image wouldn’t help me understand the story!”
  • Put the picture on the large chart as the first beginning picture.
  • Here's a peek at how this modeling discussion looked like.


Guided practice - work with the students

  • Read the next 3 pages (showing the picture) and then through the page that starts with 'So Sweet Little Wolf set out.' (and don't show the picture).
  • Share your images and ask for ideas from the students.  Reinforce the senses and feelings associated with what you see.
  • Show the picture in the book. "Are our images identical? Probably not! Why would they be different?  "Our experiences and background knowledge change the way we create the picture in our minds."
  • Read through the page that says 'It was a fairy tale!"  (Don't show the picture on the last page). Ask the students for ideas about an image to draw on the board. "What are some descriptive and feeling words?" Show the picture and discuss how the images are the same and different.  I put this 2nd picture on the chart as the second beginning picture.
  • Here's how the whiteboard looked when we were done.


Students Take a Turn

20 minutes

Assign Task

  • "I'm going to continue reading. I'll assign a group to draw an image each time I stop. We can add that image to our large chart. The other groups should be using your imaging skills. If you want to draw a picture on your slate, that would help you be an active reader. Make sure you know who will be your 'illustrator' for the group and remember the Rules of Good Group Work.
  • "Write your descriptive words around the picture so we know what senses you are using to create it.  Everyone in the group should add ideas to these descriptive task."
  • Here's how I reinforced the explanation of imaging as we continued.


Read and assign groups

  • There was some great vocabulary in this text for discussion. Because you're setting the pace and reading, you can stop and discuss the novel words.
  • Don't assign a group to draw until you finish reading. Then each group will continue to pay attention since you're assigning groups randomly.
  • I encouraged my kids to draw on their slates - this kept them involved and actively listening.
  • You can continue to use formative assessment during this portion.  Can the kids think of several descriptive words? Are they able to put detail into their images?
  • Ask the kids about their pictures-what feeling words match how the characters feel? Here's a peek at a discussion that helps me with more formative assessment.
  • Here's are some extra pictures that students created on their own.


When you preview the book and think about your class's ability, I will leave it up to you which pages to stop on and how often to have the kids use imaging. My kids needed more prompting so I stopped after every few pages, but did still remind them of details that I had read, gave them ideas of what to draw and helped, in general. I expect they will improve as we continue to practice this skill. Second graders typically don't have a lot of confidence about their reading and ability to form images, especially comparing them to the author.  As we continue to compare author's versions of these fairy tales from other countries or perspectives (RL.2.9), they will see that there are different interpretations and no 'right answer', which should improve their confidence. I think that's why the Common Core Standards include this focus area. As students critically compare works on similar topics, they realize that perspectives vary and they should be open to different interpretations of stories.

Share What You've Learned

15 minutes

Share what you know

  • Ask students to comment on the pictures and story and ask some introspective questions.
    • "What did you add to the images?"
    • "Was it easy to imagine what to draw with the text I read to you?"
    • "What was hard to do?"
    • "How did you feel about adding the feeling and senses words?  Does it make the images better than the pictures alone from yesterday?" 
    • "What do you think about the finished project that we created?"
  • Here's how I reinforced the explanation of imaging.
  • Groups can share their posters and images. "What was your favorite part of the story?  What was easy or hard to imagine?"


As students work in groups and then participate in class discussions about this text and project, they are part of a collaborative discussion about grade level topics. (SL.2.1) The Common Core standards represent a shift from individual demonstration of a skill to group collaboration to create a finished project and present it as a whole.


Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be easily scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.

This lesson could be taught to those with language challenges with proper support. Putting some feeling and descriptive words on the board would allow them to have some ideas for the images. Grouping them with others of different abilities would allow them to use their creative ideas without the pressure of writing or spelling words. Even those students with language challenges should be able to describe the pictures if you help lead him to the answers..

Students with greater ability should be challenged to use higher level vocabulary to describe the images. Instead of 'smart', perhaps they could use 'sly' or 'sneaky' to describe the wolf. Here are my comments on some more difficult vocabulary that my students used.