Mme G.C. -Work in Progress

Independent Consultant sharing my learning with others. Please scroll way down to follow me!!



Kindergarten Visualizing with CHALK

Chalk by Bill Thomson


I love everything about this book. The illustrations are amazing. I have used it in many classrooms at many grade levels. This particular lesson was for kindergarten visualizing, but I would recommend it for any elementary grade you want to engage in an adventure.

I talked to the students about what good readers do. We talked about how important it is to stop and think and try to get a picture in your head as you read. I  introduced my Visualization Wizard and told the children  that when we visualize we conjure up some or all of our senses to help us.Chalk

I introduced Adrienne Gear’s poem from her book Reading Power:

“You don’t close your eyes when you visualize,

You don’t close your eyes when you visualize,

You don’t close your eyes when you visualize,

You use your brain! yeah!” (we added in some snapping,clapping dancing…)


I said “visualize “ice cream” and think about it quietly.” Then we shared-I asked “what would you see,smell,taste,feel or hear? ” Everyone laughed at “hearing” ice cream. After sharing we talked about how not everybody visualized the same ice cream, because we don’t all see things in the same way.

We continued with visualizing  “pizza” and ” a dog” . It really helps to do this orally, before trying to do it with a book.

I then proceeded to share the book Chalk stopping in key places to think and visualize…”get a picture in your head…” at the end of the book, students drew a picture with coloured chalk to show what they would draw if they had magic chalk.

Finally, we sat in a circle and shared our drawings and talked about what it would be like if the drawings came alive.

My next step will be to go to Adrienne Gear’s book and do the activity about Lollipops in her visualization chapter.

I will do this lesson again!!


Other books for visualizing :read more


Leo the Late Bloomer

I have had several requests to share other books I have used for my “comprehension all in one book” strategy. Here is my latest set of lessons for Leo the Late Bloomer, by Robert Kraus.


I do one strategy a day, ending the week  by asking children to think about and share which strategy helped them the most. The objective is for them to see that not every strategy helps all the time. They must learn to pick and choose which strategy they need, as they are reading. Naming the strategies is not the goal-being able to use them is. Assessment should be ongoing as you check which students are participating and demonstrating an understanding of the tasks assigned.

I like to start with questioning and then move to making connections and visualizing. Here are my  anchor charts that I start with. They are then filled in with student responses.




There is not enough room in any classroom to keep all the anchor charts up. I take photographs each anchor chart when we are finished with the book. I keep the photos in plastic sheets covers, in a binder,along with a copy of the book, for the students to refer to at any time.

Visualizing in Kindergarten part 3.

( part 1)  (part 2)

My next step is to read a book but not share the pictures. In this case I chose Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner


I choose 4 strategic visualizing  places to stop ahead of time. I give the children a large piece of paper folded into four. I number the sections 1 2 3 4

I start by telling the children that I will read them the story twice; once without the pictures, and once with the pictures. I tell them that when I stop reading, they need to go to their places and colour/draw a picture of what they are visualizing is happening in the story.

After they have done all 4 ,we share their drawings for each section, in partners. The children explain their thinking to their partner. Some children share their thinking with the whole group and I assess by making sure to listen to each child at least once.

I extend the lesson by listing any questions they might have, making connections to activities the children have done in the snow and predicting what the snowmen might do next!

Here are the visualizations for Snowmen at Night.

photo 2

snowman6 snowman 5 snowman 4 snowman 3 snowman 2 snowman 1

Each child visualized in a different way. I love the last drawing of the snowball fight. “so many snowballs you can’t see the snowman.”

Library Thing other good books for visualizing.

Other ideas for making mental images by Debbie Miller

Thanks so much to LA for letting me try these lessons out in her classroom and sharing her kids with me.

Poetry is another great way to teach visualizing, but that’s another blog!

Visualizing in Kindergarten part 2

After I have built the wizard anchor chart with them (part 1), I read them the names of different things and ask them to think about the taste/smell/sound/feel/ and look of the item I name- I try things I am sure they will know: Pizza, ice cream, then I make it harder with an idea like a puppy –that always brings laughter would you lick a puppy? Amazing how many kids have! We go into items that you wouldn’t use all your senses and I tell them they just have to think about all of the senses and decide which ones help them more.

To practice visualizing , I read them the following sentences about a lollipop (you can do anything, but I find starting with food easiest.)


Students will draw while I read.

This is a good assessment for the teacher to see if children are indeed visualizing (not every child can) and also good to have the children share with each other. It is so important to state that no two people visualize the same way, and that as long as it resembles what we were talking about, different is good. It is a great time for students to praise each other’s work and share their thinking. Here are some samples from a kindergarten class I was in.

child 9child 8 child 7 child 6

child 4 child 3 child 2 child 1

Book cover  Book Cover for the lollipop illustrations

part 1

suggested books for teaching visualizing Library Thing

Teaching Visualizing in Kindergarten

(This is part one of three)

I love teaching comprehension strategies with little ones. They are so excited by stories and willing to try anything. When I first introduce visualizing I use a visualizing wizard on my anchor chart.I slowly turn over each of the senses as I talk about them.

wizard 2wizard 3wizard 4

I tell the children that visualizing is exciting and almost magical, because you ask your brain to think about what something sounds like, tastes like, feels like, smells like and finally looks like. This picture in your brain helps you understand what you are reading because you are connecting to things you already know.

wizard 5

After I have built the wizard with the children  , I read them the names of different things and ask them to think about the taste/smell/sound/feel/ and look of the item I name- I try things I am sure they will know :Pizza, ice cream, then I make it harder a puppy –that always brings laughter would you taste/lick a puppy? Amazing how many kids have! We go into items that you wouldn’t use all your senses for, and I tell them they just have to think about all of the senses and decide which ones help them more.

Recommended picture books for Visualizing from Library Thing

For more ideas on visualizing check out Adrienne Gear’s book Reading Power

Visualizing in Kindergarten part 2 part 3

Teaching Questioning in Kindergarten

We were working on the strategy of questioning. Here are the  two books I read to the kindergarten class. Snow by Uri Shulevitz was day one and Stella  Queen of the Snow by Marie Louise Gay was day two. Both books were fabulous. The children were really interested in the stories, the illustrations were captivating and there wasn’t an overload of text. They had so many questions and loved that their questions were being written down on the anchor chart we had made called before /during and after .Once we were finished each story, we checked off the questions that we had answered and then talked about the ones that weren’t answered directly. We talked about the fact that sometimes when we are reading, our questions aren’t answered and that’s ok. Sometimes it does matter and we have to go looking for the answer. This is more in informational text and we will go there next. Both books are  available in French for all you French Immersion teachers. La Neige and Stella, reine des neiges-souple

Here I am reading Snow to the kindergarten class. The chart paper beside me is the anchor chart we built together. When do we ask questions? Before, During and After Reading. I got most of my ideas for teaching questioning from Tanny McGregor’s Comprehension Connections and Debbie Miller Teaching Reading with Meaning.

On the floor beside me is the thought bubble I was using. When I thought of a question, I picked up the thought bubble, put my face in the hole and asked a question. I will admit I felt ridiculous at first…But the children loved it and it really was a great visual for them to distinguish between what I was reading and what questions I was asking about the story.

The second day, I read Stella Queen of the Snow This time, the children would put on the thought bubble and ask their questions. We practiced “I wonder…?, How…?, Why…? and what if…? They were so excited that their questions were important and that they got to use the thought bubble. We took a photo of each student, printed their question into the bubble  and posted  the photos on a bulletin board. We called it “We are asking questions…” Many of the older kids from other grades are coming by to read the kindergarten questions. Our next move is to do some questioning in non-fiction (informational) text.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: