I usually cover the book with brown paper so that they can’t see the wonderful art during the first reading.
Introduce the strategy of visualizing. Explain why it is important-that if you can have a picture in your mind or a”movie” it helps you to understand what you are reading.That if the movie stops or you have no pictures in your head it is a hint that you might not be understanding and you might need to go back and re-read.
Set your purpose by telling your students you want them to make a movie in their mind while you are reading , ask them to use all their senses as they listen.ask them to think about what they see, hear , smell, as you read the book to them.
Read the story to them as you would read a poem. At the end of the book ask students to illustrate the part of the story that meant the most to them ( their connections) older students can also write about it. For further application assign each student a line to illustrate and create class books.
Re-read the story. Check with students to see if they had visualized the story in the same way as the artist had. Stop periodically and ask them to quietly share with an elbow partner what they had imagined. Ask how was it the same/different as what the artist painted.
I usually end by showing a you tube version of the song. I show how another person had envisioned the song. I talk about how when we visualize we all do it differently. There is no right or wrong and that is what makes it such a fun strategy.