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Paint brush: Visualizing

Now that we've gotten you all excited about visualizing, what texts should you use to try it out with your students? Actually, you can use any text that you or students are reading. Just make sure it is at their comprehension level, and has evocative language that will make it easy for students to create mental images. Try for passages that will trigger the different senses for richer visualizations.

Don't forget to use magazine articles and everyday text as you help your students learn to visualize. Magazines such as Ranger Rick, Kids Discover, Sports Illustrated for Kids and others that have high interest for students are great for practice. Ask students to visualize as they read a menu or instructions. You get the idea — anything goes!

Need a little more direction? Here is a list of suggested books to get you started. They are packed with sights, sounds, smells and actions your students will enjoy visualizing.

These are outstanding trade books chosen for us by the Cooperative Children's Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The list includes engaging titles that meet a range of reading and listening abilities. You may also print the complete list with suggested books for all strategies (pdf): Reading to Understand: Children's Books to Use with Comprehension Strategies. Then find multimedia, online resources about these books and authors using the Into the Book List at

Children's Books to Help You Teach the Visualizing Strategy

Alarcón, Franciso X. Iguanas in the Snow and Other Winter Poems / Iguanas en la nieve y otros poemas de invierno. Illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez. Children's Book Press, 2001. 32 pages

Davies, Nicola. One Tiny Turtle. Illustrated by Jane Chapman. Candlewick Press, 2002. 32 pages

Karas, G. Brian. Atlantic. Putnam, 2002. 32 pages

Grimes, Nikki. A Pocketful of Poems. Illustrated by Javaka Steptoe. Clation, 2001. 32 pages

Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Weather: Poems for All Seasons. Illustrated by Melanie Hall. (An I Can Read Book) HarperCollins, 1994. 64 pages

Keller, Holly. Farfallina & Marcel. Greenwillow, 2002. 32 pages

Medearis, Angela Shelf. Our People. Illustrated by Michael Bryant. Atheneum, 1994. 32 pages

Miller, Sara Swan. Three Stories You Can Read to Your Cat. Illustrated by True Kelley. Houghton Mifflin, 1997. 48 pages

Perkins, Lynne Rae. Snow Music. Greenwillow, 2003. 36 pages

Schaefer, Lola M. What's Up? What's Down? Illustrated by Barbara Bash. Greenwillow Books, 2002. 32 pages

Schertle, Alice. Down the Road. Illustrated by E.B. Lewis. Browndeer Press, 1995. 40 pages

Updike, John. A Child's Calendar. Illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. Holiday House, 1999. 32 pages

Suzuki, David and Sarah Ellis. Salmon Forest. Illustrated by Sheena Lott. Greystone Books, 2003. 32 pages

Wetterer, Margaret K. and Charles M. The Snow Walker. Illustrated by Mary O'Keefe Young. Carolrhoda, 1996. 56 pages

Compiled by Megan Schliesman
Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC)
School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison

For another list of books for strategy instruction and practice, see Strategies that Work.

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