Saturday, March 31, 2012

Visualizing Introduction

This week I introduced visualization as our next comprehension strategy.  I love this strategy!  The kiddos always crack me up with what they 'visualize' during our introduction week.  The official Comprehension Connections lesson uses cotton balls dipped in various scents, but I just hide smell-y things in a paper bag.

Last year when I used my hamburger patty (freshly heated up in the microwave) as a scent one of the students drew a pile of garbage!  Lesson learned - I did not use a hamburger this year, I used salsa instead.

Here is a quick pick of what I did use (except I did use salsa and that's not in the picture):

nail polish remover, coffee, flower-y body wash, aloe vera, tanning gel - smells orangey, Christmas candle

I start with just having them talk about what they smell.  Then we move on to visualizing a whole picture that helps explain the smell.  I wish I had been recording when the kids were sharing their 'pictures' this year.  One little guy blew me away with the fingernail polish.  Some students were still just saying, "it smells like hand sanitizer" or something close to that.  This very quiet little guy raised his hand...I always call on him when he does because he so rarely wants to speak in front of everyone.  And he begins, "I'm thinking about when you are at the zoo.  And the guy in charge of the zoo is letting you pet some of the animals.  But then your hands have a lot of germs on them.  So you have to go to the machine that gives you the clear stuff that gets rid of the germs.  It has alcohol in it."  I hope my jaw didn't stay down too long!  I was so excited to see it click for him.

The next day I had them smell the tanning gel.  It smells more orangey than my orange juice did.  And this was the description a different boy gave.  "You are shopping in the grocery store and you get really thirsty.  But you already have a lot of things in your cart and it is expensive at the store.  Then when you are leaving you see a big box with lights.  You put some money in it and a can comes out.  You open it and take a drink."  So precious!  He was describing an orange soda but I had been going on and on about not just saying what you smelled, that I wanted a whole picture described.  He took it literally and didn't even want to say what it was in the description.

This is why I love teaching first grade!  I could not have planned these two cute descriptions when I thought about my visualizing lesson plans.

My favorite scent to finish with is my Christmas candle.  That is when I have the students draw their pictures instead of just talk about them.  Here are a few of the drawings. 


At the end of the week I used sound to get them to visualize.  Of course...technical difficulties (As I was being observed!!!) sounds weren't working.  But after a round of Daily 5 I was able to locate more.  I'll get pics of those drawings soon - they were really good.  The sounds I used were birds chirping, traffic, playground, and ice cream truck.

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