Creating Mental Images of Colorland
In Reader's Workshop, we are talking about the reading strategy of creating mental images. Mental images are the pictures that we paint in or mind. As we hear stories and create these mental images, we are making connections and making meaning of what we are hearing and reading. Creating mental images helps reading comprehension, enhances our memories and help us create meaning and appreciation towards the texts we read.
Over the past few weeks, we have been paying attention to the pictures that are created in our mind when we read stories and poems. We have been practicing this important tool with books like Salamander Room by Anne Mazer and For You are a Kenyan Childby Kelly Cunnane and poems like Clouds by Christina Rossetti and Listen to the Rain by Bill Martin, Jr.. After reading these descriptive books and poems, we have been sharing our images through modeling, dialogue, as well as through capturing our images through drawing and movement.
We also practiced creating mental images using a real experience. The Preschool children have told us about a special place called Colorland. This is a place tucked in the Arboretum near our school that the Preschool adopted and made their own with care and love. We wondered:
What picture do we get in our mind when we think about Colorland?
What do we imagine it will look like?
What schema do we hold for this place in the Arboretum?
Together, the children shared their mental images. Some details of their mind pictures were:
- rainbow grass
- orange clouds
- all the colors in the rainbow
We then invited two preschoolers to the classroom to interview them about Colorland. They shared their experiences with Colorland as well as their relationship to this magical place. Their descriptions altered our mental image of Colorland and really got us excited to discover and explore this place first hand.
And we did!
As we were walking back from our outing the children shared how it was not at all like the images that they painted in their minds. Through thinking, talking, investigating and wondering about this particular place, the children were able to really play with the idea of creating mental images. They discovered how images can change and grow as we have more experiences in the world. Despite the difference of the Colorland in our minds and the real Colorland, it has become a special place for us, too!
We Love Colorland
We see pink flowers
We feel rough trees
We hear the wind blow.
We see lots and lots of white and green flowers
We feel bumpy moss
We hear friends playing together.
Colorland is a playing place,
a grassy place,
a climbing place.
We love Colorland!