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Evoking Sensory Images to Deepen Comprehension By A. Frasier

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1 Evoking Sensory Images to Deepen Comprehension By A. Frasier
March 2009

2 Purpose of Strategy Instruction
Goal of strategy instruction is active processing, NOT use of strategies. Ex: Using a KWL, Venn Diagram, or 2-column notes is not the purpose of that “lesson”. It serves only as a tool for organizing information to foster the active processing of knowledge to understanding. What, Why, HOW- 3 levels of knowledge Discuss HO

3 Sensory Images “People who read without visualizing are simply gliding across the surface of a text, missing out on the rewarding experience of being immersed completely in another world or the complete cognitive engagement that comes from using all their mental resources to understand what they read.” (Kelley & Grace) (Pause for participants to read the slide.) Sensory images bring the words to life and create lasting memories. More and more books are turned into movies, no wonder people prefer the book over the movie, kids included! Visualizing personalizes reading & keeps us engaged. We become attached to characters

4 What Are the Results of “Sensing” Text?
“Mental images bring forth not only snapshots of reading, but smells, tastes, feelings, and chills and thrills as well.” (Zimmerman, Hutchins) (Read slide.) Students who have saturated their lives with movies and video games have not practiced visualization. They don’t need to– images are provided. Reading then is “boring,” No one is providing the images for them. Students need to be taught to visualize so that reading is a satisfying activity. It brings the text ALIVE! “Comprehension of textual information increases when students can create detailed mental pictures of what they are reading.” (Muehlher, Sieman) The mind stores information in two forms: linguistic and imagery. The words on a page constitute the linguistic form. Imagery consists of the mental pictures. “The more students use both systems of representation: linguistic and nonlinguistic, the better they are to think about and recall what they’ve read.”

5 “When Sensory Images Form In a Child’s Mind,
It is an ongoing creative act. Pictures, smells, tastes, and feelings burst forth and his mind organizes them to help the story make sense. It is this ongoing creation of sensory images that keeps children hooked on reading.” (Zimmerman, Hutchins) (Pause for staff to read.) Motivating a child to read is a key ingredient in reading success. Correlates highly with overall comprehension. Understanding, attending to, and developing a personal awareness of the sensory and emotional images that arise from reading give students the flexibility and capacity to experience text at an added depth. (Keene, Zimmerman)

6 Proficient Readers. . . Allow the images and emotions to emerge from all five senses. These are anchored in a reader’s prior knowledge. Spontaneously and purposefully create mental images while and after they read. This description of proficient readers is adapted from Ellin Keene’s Mosaic of Thought. These strategies need to be encouraged.

7 Proficient Readers. . . Allow themselves to be engaged more deeply, making the text more memorable. Use images to immerse themselves in rich detail as they read. (The detail gives depth and dimension to the reading.) Use images to draw conclusions Create distinct and unique interpretation of the text Recall details significant to the text Adapt their images as they continue to read by incorporating new information and new interpretations Understand and articulate how creating images enhances their comprehension. Adapt their images in response to the shared images of other readers.

8 Phase 1: Sensory Experiences
Have students name words that describe the five senses. Bring in fragrances, textures, colors, tastes, sounds. Have students identify the samples. Discuss the qualities of each object. Provide the vocabulary. Only a suggested Sequence…depends on grade level & amount of time students have studied the strategies! We do students a disservice if this training is not given. To fill the gaps in their background of experience is CRITICAL to our underachieving students. We CAN do something. Students will more quickly identify the “sense” words used by the author if they have had this experience. TEACHING A SENSE: Place these objects in different paper bags. Have students identify objects by feel only. Examples: silk, pinecone, fur, sandpaper, rubber ball, cooked noodles, screwdriver Have students place objects in order, for instance, from smoothest to roughest. Provide words for the adjectives of touch: smooth, squishy, slimy, metallic, scratchy, bumpy

9 Concrete Experience Different objects
Ask students to look at the object carefully and feel its texture. Smell it. Listen to it. (Some objects may have a sound.) Put the object away. Have students close their eyes and see the details in their minds. Have students draw a picture of the object or describe it in writing. Toilet paper rolls/Jewelers Loops For students in the most deprived sensory environments, we need to give specific training in visualization. We move from the concrete to the abstract.

10 Connect to Reading & Writing
Another activity: Where might this item belong? Visualize what sights, smells, sounds and sensations might be surrounding it. Select an object, meet in groups to compare visualizations Sometimes when you read, the writing helps you focus on something. Your brain can see it clearly like you are there. Not only can you see with your mind, but sometimes you can smell, hear, taste, and feel as well.

11 Phase 2: Evoking the Senses
Visual Thinking (photographs/paintings) Wordless Picture Books (Good Dog, Carl) Music/ Sounds (nature) Graphics help organize a student’s thinking. By filling in each section of the chart, he/she is needing to pay attention to all senses. Students should write more than, “I hear a bell.” Instead they should write, “I hear a bell that goes ‘Briiiing… briiiing.’ Another approach is giving students each a strip of paper with one sense on it. A team can find the sections in the text that describe that particular sense.

12 What Does it Feel Like? Short bio of Dorthea Lange
Lange created images that frequently juxtapose signs of human courage and dignity Famous photo: Migrant Mother Carefully look at the photograph Complete the Visual Thinking Chart Discuss responses with group


14 Phase 3: Visualizing from Vivid Pieces of Text
Read/Aloud Think Aloud Poetry Poetry, Poetry Split Screen Notes (Brings Rigor!) Noticing Author’s Crafts/ Figurative Language Visualizing is a form of inference! (BK+ Text= Image) Review poetry sequence BK+ Text= Image Focus on visualizing character, setting, events , etc. (one at a time)


16 Standard 14: Poetry GRADES PREK– Identify a regular beat and similarities of sounds in words in responding to rhythm and rhyme in poetry. GRADES 3– Identify rhyme and rhythm, repetition, similes, and sensory images in poems. GRADES 5– Respond to and analyze the effects of sound, figurative language, and graphics in order to uncover meaning in poetry: • sound (alliteration, onomatopoeia, rhyme scheme); • figurative language (personification, metaphor, simile, hyperbole); and • graphics (capital letters, line length).

17 Standard 15: Style & Language
GRADES PREK– Identify the senses implied in words appealing to the senses in literature and spoken language. GRADES Identify words appealing to the senses or involving direct comparisons in literature and spoken language. For example, after reading The Great Yellowstone Fire, by Carole G. GRADES 5– Identify imagery, figurative language, rhythm, or flow when responding to literature. 15.4 Identify and analyze the importance of shades of meaning in determining word choice in a piece of literature. Vogel and Kathryn A. Goldner, students discuss examples of an author’s use of vivid verbs that bring an idea to life (“the flames skipped across the treetops”), and use vivid verbs in their own writing. 5-6 For example, after reading and discussing Cynthia Rylant’s poems in Soda Jerk, students write their own poems, choosing words that evoke a sense of the soda jerk’s drug store.

18 Adult Learning Experience; What Does it Look like?
Follow the 5 step Split-Screen Notes Dakota Dugout Discuss your drawings with your group What words/phrases did the author use to evoke sensory images? Connect to sci or social studies through poetry Dakota Dugout was integrated in SS study of regions (mid-west/prairies)

19 Poems are Sensory Treasure Chests
The Woman’s 400 Meters (L. Morrison) Skittish, they flex knees, drum heels and shiver at the starting line waiting the gun to pour them over the stretch like a breaking wave. Bang! They’re off careening down the lanes, each chased by her own bright tiger. Writing poetry and reading it multiple times is a way to “sense” any concept. The poem can deal with ANY content area. From reading about a lonely amoeba to the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, students can be helped to enter the scene and subject more fully.

20 Phase 4: Creating and Sustaining Movies in the Mind
Notice as Our Images Change throughout the text SKETCH to Stretch Nonfiction~ Visualize to understand facts/details (Determine what is important!) Move to independent use of strategy, share visualizations in book clubs/ literature discussion groups Use conferring questions Read aloud 1st page from Recess at 20 Below Sketch to Stretch (Harst & burke, 1996) Add details throughout the story

21 All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one, you will feel that all of that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. (Hemingway) (Pause for staff to read.)

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