Good readers create images as they read, and they become emotionally involved with what they read. They create movies in their head. These images are not just visual but can include the other senses.
As I read:
- What do I see?
- What do I hear?
- What do I smell?
- What do I feel?
Good readers combine these mental images with their prior knowledge and background experiences to make a personal connection with the author’s writing. This connection helps them to create meaning, draw conclusions, and recall important details long after they place the book down.
Visualization is a skill that needs to be shared, developed and taught.
“Once your child makes the jump to longer books, creating sensory images becomes even more critical in helping him remember and understand a more complicated story line.”
– Susan Zimmermann (7 Keys to Comprehension: How to Help Your Kids Read It and Get It!)
What you can do at home
- As you read together don’t only ask your child what do they see and feel, share your own impressions.
- Take turns reading and have the listener close their eyes. Share the images (mind movies) you see.
- Afterwards draw pictures to go with the book or act out what your favorite parts.