Mentor Monday Linky 3/31/14: Visualizing


I’m back for Mentor Monday! I’ve had some incredibly helpful and informative teacher bloggers helping out this month while I am adjusting to life as a Mommy of 3, all under the age of 2 :O. That is a whole separate blog post, so for now I’d love to give all my guest bloggers a huge round of applause. Won’t you join me?

I’m excited to get back to blogging and sharing ideas and strategies with all of you. Since we’re talking about visualizing this week, I ‘d like you to visualize the following scenario. I’ve been home from the hospital after delivering my little bundle of joy for about 2 days. One of my boys is in the kitchen, while I’m in the family room. Things are way too quiet. Now all you Mommas out there know what to do when it’s way too quiet…RUN. I hustled into the kitchen. There is my 19 month old sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor. He has just emptied the entire contents of a large container of Kosher salt, was parked in the middle of the pile, and had proceeded to spread it around by sweeping his hands back and forth (rapidly) on the kitchen tile floor. All the while, he had a huge smile and was LOVING every minute of it.

Who’d like to visualize my reaction? I could either get really mad (not productive) or laugh my head off. I decided to scoop him up (promptly) before he grabbed a handful to eat and calmly start cleaning up. There was no way I could let this baby see me angry after being away from him in the hospital for five days, and it would’ve solved nothing. We had a good laugh over it and a sigh of relief it wasn’t any worse. So…What part of my story did you picture in your mind the most vividly?
I absolutely love teaching visualizing. Historically, if you have been a student in my classroom, it’s the first reading strategy I model for the whole school year. If you can’t visualize a story or create that movie in your mind, the text is too challenging for you. Visualizing is a sensory experience that all good readers do. If takes just the right mentor texts, though.
I chose this topic for Mentor Monday because we’re about to enter my most FAVORITE month of teaching, April. It’s National Poetry Month and in my class we drank poetry in all month long. I mean we really savored it in a special way. I’ll be blogging about some ideas for celebrating poetry in your classroom over the next few weeks. Certainly, you don’t want to limit your class to enjoying it for one month out of an entire school year, but why not take a little extra time to celebrate it in April?
My teacher blogger friends and I will be sharing a variety of mentor texts you may enjoy for visualizing. I’m going to share two.  They work beautifully for this strategy and the first one is perfect for National Poetry Month.

This little gem of a mentor text has tons of poems about small ordinary objects or animals. When I would teach children to visualize I would display a few different poems from this book, BUT leave out the title and illustration (if there were any.) They had to use their rereading skills and visualizing strategies to try and guess what the object or animal was in that poem. You can also discuss how a poet’s carefully selected word choice can guide a reader to visualize with only a few words.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading this book of short stories, please get it! I absolutely love this author for so many reasons. He is such a fabulous writer of animal fantasy, but he writes lovely non-fiction too. This book is perfect for modeling personal narratives, by the way so grab it and add it to your collection.
I chose the short story, A Palace Fit For Mice. Once again, I removed the illustrations and we read the text together as a shared reading activity. I had students sketch what they visualized and write a sentence or two from the text that helped them visualize what they read. You can really tell whether a child is visualizing text from what they illustrate.  Here’s a clip of what we read.

I have TONS of books I could share with you about visualizing, but I just wanted to give you a little taste of what I’ve used and has worked well for my students.  Which mentor texts do you use for visualizing? Please feel free to comment below.

*Note to fellow teacher bloggers: If you’d like to link up your post with a mentor text about this literacy topic, THANK YOU!
Here is a link to the Mentor Monday button I’ve created.
Please use it at the beginning of your post to make it easily recognizable on all link-ups. Also, please name your post Mentor Monday Linky 3/31/14: Visualizing. You’ll find the link-up at the end of this post. It will stay open until 11:30 P.M. Wednesday night 4/2/14.

I’m so excited to read your posts to learn about some other great picture books. Thank you for visiting my blog today! I’d love for you to follow me on Bloglovin‘ by clicking the heart on the blue book in the right sidebar. Please come back each week for Mentor Monday! :))

4 replies
  1. Angie
    Angie says:

    easy to visualise your salt incident…my son did the same thing at the same age but with a bag of flour – and he was wearing a good part of it. I was greeted with a huge smile he was having so much fun…So I did what any good mommy would do – laughed and took a photo. What's a bag of flour in the scheme of things. Save the anger for the big things. Eight years later I still remember that moment and still get a good chuckle from it so I consider it a treasured moment 🙂
    Have fun enjoying your family 🙂


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