Creating visual and other sensory images from text
Creating Visual and Other Sensory Images
1. Proficient readers spontaneously and purposefully create mental images
while and after they read. The images emerge from all five senses, as well
as the emotions, and are anchored in a reader’s prior knowledge.
2. Proficient readers use images to immerse themselves in rich detail as they
read. The detail gives depth and dimension to the reading, engaging the
reader more deeply, making the text more memorable.
3. Proficient readers use images to draw conclusions, to create distinct and
unique interpretations of the text, to recall details significant to the text,
and to recall a text after it has been read. Images from reading frequently
become part of the reader’s writing. Images from a reader’s personal
experience frequently become part of his or her comprehension.
4. Proficient readers adapt their images as they continue to read. Images are
revised to incorporate new information revealed through the text and new
interpretations as they are developed by the reader.
5. Proficient readers understand how creating images enhances their
6. Proficient readers adapt their images in response to the shared images of
a. Where there places in the text where you made a picture in your
b. What images of pictures did you see?
c. What specific words helped you create that picture in your mind?
Sample Strategy Study:
The teacher begins by modeling – the goal is to help students understand and witness ways in
which evoking images enhances comprehension. The teacher should be very specific about how
standing back to reflect upon his or her images helps the reader to understand more and to
understand the text deeply.
The teacher begins with short, probably fiction, selections and limits the mini-lessons to her or
his own thinking aloud and explanations about how evoking images improves comprehension.
The process of modeling should be almost entirely teacher directed in the early mini-lessons.
Gradually the teacher invites students to share and expand their own images created as he or
she reads. Most mini-lessons at this stage will be done with interesting, but relatively
unchallenging text with the whole class. The emphasis for students is on awareness of their
own images, elaborating upon them, and developing a sense that reflecting on one’s images
In conferences, the teacher begins to focus on images children have when reading. He or she
asks children to read and think aloud about their images and helps them to distinguish between
images that are critical to understanding the text and those details in images that may be
interesting, but not critical to understanding the text as a whole.
In sharing sessions, children begin to share images evoked as they read independently and how
those images helped them to comprehend.
The teacher continues to model in the large group mini-lessons, demonstrating how reflecting
upon images is different in different genres.
The teacher meets with small invitational groups to support children who need more instruction
and modeling in order to make the connection between awareness of their images and
Students may use different response options (artistic, dramatic, written, or spoken) to depict
The teacher should collect depicted images (in any form) from each child over the course of the
six to eight week study and assess changes in the images. Key elements to assess are images
that are central to understanding key points in the text rather than peripheral details; images
that are detailed and richly descriptive; images that extend and enhance the text; images that
come from all the senses and the emotions; images that are adapted and revised as the child
reads or on the basis of conversations with others; and images from text that find new life in the
Mosaic of Thought p. 141-143