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Reading Comprehension Strategy: Making Mental Images

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1 Reading Comprehension Strategy: Making Mental Images
Movies should take place in your mind every time you read. Catherine Wishart Literacy Coach Copyright © All rights reserved.

2 (Zimmerman and Hutchins, 2003).
Sensory Images “Sensory images are the cinema unfolding in your mind that make reading three-dimensional” (Zimmerman and Hutchins, 2003).

3 “Plowboy” by Carl Sandburg
What Do You See? “Plowboy” by Carl Sandburg After the last red sunset glimmer, Back on the line of a low hill rise, Formed into moving shadows, I saw A plowboy and two horses lined against the gray, Plowing in the dusk the last furrow. The turf had a gleam of brown, And smell of soil was in the air, And, cool and moist, a haze of April. I shall remember you long, Plowboy and horses against the sky in shadow. I shall remember you and the picture You made for me, Turning the turf in the dusk And haze of an April gloaming.

4 The Motion Picture in the Mind for “Plowboy”
A plowboy – young man who is strong and dirty working in a field Horses used for plowing – not for riding or recreation, but for work Springtime – early in the season Low rising hills – not flatland, not mountains Childhood memories of seeing farmers working in a field

5 What Should Be in Your Movie?
All of the senses are in play when you watch a movie: You can see what is on the film You can hear what is happening You can almost taste the food depicted You can almost smell the scents in the air You can feel the emotions of the characters All of these senses should be in your personal movie when you read.

6 What Are Some of Your Favorite Songs?
Why do you love these songs? What makes them special? Do certain emotions come flooding back when you hear these songs on the radio? Do you remember certain events in your life? Do you “see” as well as hear the songs? You are making a personal movie for these songs.

7 Sensory Images Help You Understand
Your images and feelings for a particular song are different from anyone else’s images and feelings Your images and feelings for a particular story are different from anyone else’s images and feelings Some of the images and feelings you have for a particular story are shared with all readers The shared images make the story universal; the individual images makes the story personal

8 When Should You Have Sensory Images?
Every time you read! Every story should cause a motion picture to begin in your mind Every text book should cause a motion picture to begin in your mind Even a grocery list should begin a motion picture in your mind My Grocery List Eggs Bacon Milk Butter Ham Rye bread Capers Chicken

9 How Do Sensory Images Help You Comprehend?
Sensory images make reading active instead of passive Sensory images help make something you read concrete in your mind and help to cement it to your memory Sensory images help make your reading three-dimensional – you can see, hear, feel, smell, and even touch what the text describes

10 When Sensory Images Are Working
When you are reading, the motion picture should be constantly running If the motion picture stops, you know that comprehension has stopped If the motion picture is out of focus, you know that comprehension is only partial The motion picture can make the reading fun

11 Have You Ever? Read a book and then seen the movie?
What changes about your understanding of the book after you see the movie? Did the movie do a good job of depicting what you saw when you read the book? Why or why not? Which mental images were different? Which mental images were the same?

12 Making Mental Images: “The Puzzle” by Anonymous
Pugh came into my room holding something wrapped in a piece of brown paper. “Tress, I have brought you something on which you may exercise your ingenuity.” He began, exasperating deliberation, to untie the string which bound his parcel; he is one of those persons who would not cut a knot to save their lives. The process occupied him the better part of a quarter of an hour. Then he held out the contents of the paper. “What do you think of that?” he asked. I thought nothing of it, and I told him so. “I was prepared for that confession. I have noticed, Tress, that you generally do think nothing of an article which really deserves the attention of a truly thoughtful mind. Possible, as you think so little of it, you will be able to solve the puzzle.” I took what he held out to me. It was an oblong box, perhaps seven inches long by three inches broad. “Where’s the puzzle?” I asked. “If you will examine the lid of the box, you will see.” I turned it over and over; it was difficult to see which was the lid. Then I perceived that on one side were printed these words: “PUZZLE: TO OPEN THE BOX” The words were so faintly printed that it was not surprising that I had not noticed them at first.

13 What Do You See? Reread this portion of “The Puzzle” to yourself.
Think about what images you see in your mind. Complete the double-entry journal page Be prepared to discuss the images in your mind and experiences of which this part of the story reminds you.

14 What Can Readers Do When Their Movies Stop or Get Fuzzy?
Place checks next to the sections where you see, hear, feel, touch, or smell so you know where the images stopped. Begin to read again where the checkmarks stopped so you can try to get your camera working again. Ask yourself questions: What did I see when I read those words? Not that I’ve pictured what’s going on in this chapter, what predictions do I have for what will happen next? Have my sensory images changed as I read the story? What words added detail to my mind picture? What words have helped me make sensory images? What words are confusing that image? Why are they confusing? Zimmerman and Hutchins, 2003, pp

15 If books could have more, give more, be more, show more, they would still need readers, who bring to them sound and smell and light and all the rest that can’t be in books. The book needs you. - Gary Paulsen Zimmerman and Hutchins, 2003, p. 35.

16 References Anonymous. “The Puzzle.” “Mind Pictures: Strategies That Enhance Mental Imagery While Reading.” Zimmermann, Susan and Hutchins, Chryse. 7 Keys to Comprehension. NY: Three Rivers Press, 2003.

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