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Visualize as You Read


ELA: Reading Study Skills & Tools MS/HS/College Strategy


Working Memory Verbal Reasoning Abstract Reasoning

Visualize as You Read

If your middle/high school student's visual skills (abstract reasoning and visual memory) are notably stronger than verbal skills

Instruction And Practice

  1. Objective: Students will create a mental picture in their mind while they are reading, listening or solving a problem to help their understanding and remember the details.
  2. Developing detailed mental pictures takes time but once students learn and practice, it becomes a natural part of their process and can help them effectively understand and remember their reading. Guide students through the steps on the next slide.

*student* Guide: Visualize While You Read

  1. Stop at a key point in your reading and create a mental picture of the scene or concept. (What are you seeing?) You can even use other senses to make the image more vivid. (What are you smelling, hearing?)
  2. In your picture, think of similarities to familiar people or places. For example, the street in the story might remind you of where you live. The more details, the more it helps you remember.
  3. Sketch what you visualize if it helps you. Save and re-use that sketch when you need to review later.
  4. When you need to remember the information later, re-think the picture in your mind.
  5. Don't overuse it. Visualization takes extra time, so save it for when there are a lot of details you must remember or there's a complex idea that you are having difficulty understanding.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

Learning to create a vivid mental picture is a proven way to increase retention. This active learning approach helps students stay engaged with the text and make sense of and remember complex story lines, sequences of events and factual information.