I chose this book because the kids can relate to having a bedroom and dreaming in their bed. The imagery and illustrations allow the students to enter a ‘dream world’ where lots of magical things happen. It also has great detail words that I’ll be focusing on to help the kids understand that author supports the reader with details in the words and illustrations.
** "Imaging" is the term that my district uses for "visualizing". In order to stay true to the district expectations, I'll continue to use this verbage. Visualizing is a critical skill for 2nd graders because they need to 'go deeper' in the text. By visualizing as they read, they are creating and tweaking images in their minds as they actively read. This kind of 'close reading', forming images using text, verifying and changing those images, and ultimately comparing their images to the author, creates critical readers and deepens comprehension.
Underlined words below are lesson vocabulary words that are emphasized and written on sentence strips for my Reading & Writing word wall. I pull off the words off the wall for each lesson, helping students understand this key 'reading and writing' vocabulary can be generalized across texts and topics. The focus on acquiring and using these words is part of a shift in the Common Core Standards towards building students’ academic vocabulary. My words are color coded ‘pink’ for literature/’blue’ for reading strategies/’orange’ for informational text/'yellow' for writing/’green’ for all other words)
Common starting point
I am working on imaging/visualizing throughout this unit by helping students realize that this powerful reading strategy can really deepen comprehension. Take a look at some of my other lessons, utilizing the 'Imaging/Visualizing' poster mentioned in the materials section: Imagine That-Make a Picture in Your Mind, Pictures in the Snow-Imaging, Picture This-Lost and Found on a Mountain, Oh No! Duck for President-Imagine That!, and Imagine What An Inchworm Would Say.
Explain the task
Imaging/Visualizing helps us to extend our world.
Although this story is literature, there were some informational text vocabulary that we discussed. My kids had great questions specifically about the salamander. I enjoy stepping 'off the lesson plan' to discuss the differences between a chameleon and salamander (as in this great vocabulary discussion). We can go back to the book at hand as the students build knowledge of the characters in the story, but it is worthwhile to teach to the topic, even if it means stepping away from the story.
Although it was not relevant to the story, one of my students made a personal connection to the name of the character in the text. Those connections can be powerful and a point of discussion. "You said that your brother has the same name...does he look like this character?"
This connection is a starting point for students. They can verify, adjust and rework their images based on an original connection instead of having to create an image 'from scratch'. Whenever you can encourage these personal ties to characters, setting or plot, it ultimately makes for a more powerful tie to the story.
Explain the task
Read and give students time to work
This discussion is really the crux of the lesson. Students have varying drawing abilities and some are better at imaging than others. My real goal is the discussion of how imaging helps. I want students to internalize that we all have different images, based on background experience and that we can compare, verify, adjust or conceptualize a new image by looking at the illustrations in the text. This kind of introspective learning, using information gained from the illustrations and word in a print to demonstrate understanding of the plot and setting (RL.2.7) allow the student to 'take charge' of their own learning.
Share what you know
Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.
Students with limited language ability will need help writing detail words. I would write them on the board or slate to help them with spelling. They should be able to draw images, but may need help spelling details for their own ‘extension’. Here is one of my student's projects. His images were not the best, but he did understand the purpose of the lesson.
For those with more ability, encourage them to use higher level descriptive words.