Anywho...I finally have a moment to catch up on my little bloggy and see what everyone else has been up to this October. I do have to mention that although fall and October is one of my FAVORITE times of the year...in that same breath I also DREAD this time of year just from how busy it is. This month was just hectic from conferencing with every parent, collecting assessments and 'data points' for this new evaluation system, grading-grading-grading!, our Halloween party, and of course my favorite: report cards.
Here's a peek into my readers workshop!
These past few weeks we've been doing a lot of thinking and learning about visualizing in our reading. Starting with conversations about how when we visualize, we better comprehend the stories we read. Here are a few of the books we've read to help visualize:
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:
Everybody knows and loves this story and it really lends itself to a lot of reading strategies that you can model and use with your class. The silly story engages kids and this past week I'll read a few chapters to my kids and I'll stop and have them visualize the different things that happen to the 'naughty' kids in the different factory rooms. For example, when Dahl describes how Veruca Salt changes into a blueberry was both very entertaining but allowed the kids to listen for the descriptive language, which helps them create those mental pictures. I definitely recommend this book to any teacher!
The Great Kapok Tree:
This tells the story of a man who, after trying to chop down this huge tree, stops to rest. As he sleeps, various animals visit him and tell him all the reasons he shouldn't chop down the tree. This is another story that could lend itself to many strategies including inferring or author's message. However, when I read it to my class I didn't show them the pictures. I only read the words when each animal visited him and they were able to share the images in their minds.
Just a Dream:
I've always been a fan of Chris Van Allsburg's books because the stories and pictures are always so creative. This is another great read aloud book to model visualization. This tells the story of Walter, a little boy whose chore is to take out the trash but he doesn't care about separating the trash from the recycling. But, one night he dreams of a dark and polluted future and he is transported to different scenarios of what the future looked like. So, again as I read I don't show the pictures of what he sees next in his dream- I allowed students to create these mental images based on the descriptive words in the text. They seemed to really enjoy the story and they were eager to see how close their images were to the real illustration in the book.
Share what read alouds you love to use to help kids visualize in the comments :)