We have been focusing on comprehension strategies for this unit using the novel, "The Whipping Boy" by Sid Fleischman. This lesson will focus on the comprehension strategy of visualizing the text when we read. I have created this unit to explicitly teach my students comprehension strategies or "tools" to assist them in better comprehending complex text. To begin the lesson, we will talk about what it means to "visualize" what you are reading in a text. We will then watch the following video to further aide in student understanding of what visualizing means.
Fleischman, S. (2003). The Whipping Boy. New York, NY : Greenwillow Books
Now that we know what it means to visualize, we are going to practice visualizing the text as a class. I will read "What Do Teachers Do (After You Leave School)?" by Anne Bowen to the students. I chose this book because it is not available in our school library and I wanted a picture book that the students had not read before. Any picture book would work for this activity as long and the students have not previously read it and seen the pictures.
Before we read, I will cover the illustrations on the cover of the book. I will also not show the pictures during the story. As we read "What Do Teachers Do (After You Leave School)?" I will ask the students to take out their reading response journals and create a double-entry journal which we learned about from the video clip earlier in the lesson. After we have completed the story and shared our visualizations, I will reread the book, this time showing the illustrations. I will ask the students to analyze and compare their visualizations in their double-entry journals with the illustrations in the book. I will be sure to bring up the point that many times, if we read a book and then see the movie made about the book, we are often disappointed. This is because most of the time we visualize the story different than the movie producers interpretation of the book.
Bowen, A. (2006). What Do Teachers Do (After You Leave School)?. Minneapolis, MN : CarolrhodaBooks, Inc.
We have been reading "The Whipping Boy" by Sid Fleischman to apply our comprehension strategies we have learned during this unit. For this lesson, I will have the students read chapters seven and eight. I will remind them to create mental images as they read. I have had the students read individually this unit so that they really can practice and apply these reading strategies. After they have finished reading, I will ask them to think of an event in the story that they read either today or previously which they have a good mental picture of. They will then create an illustration for that event. This provides me with an effective formative assessment as well as integrates art as well. I try to integrate the arts when I can because unfortunately the kids don't get as much as I would like them to. In our area, the arts are considered "fluff." I personally feel the arts have a much higher value than they are given credit for.