Visualizing with Someday a Tree

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Visualizing improves reading comprehension and helps students gain a deeper understanding of the material they are reading. Visualizing means the student is using the words to create mental images. Students need explicit instruction and practice with this skill until the act of visualizing text becomes automatic.

Modeling with Someday a Tree

Since it’s Earth Day tomorrow, I chose to use the book, Someday a Tree by Eve Bunting as the mentor text. Eve Bunting uses descriptive language throughout this book, and the themes are important for our students to hear and discuss.
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Here’s what the Amazon summary says…
 
Alice is dismayed when one day the leaves on the old oak tree start to fall. Although 
she can’t save the tree, Alice remembers something that gives her hope: the 
acorns she collected when the tree was still healthy.

The illustrations are beautiful, but the description in the words are even better.  Here’s a glimpse of the inside.  The words are included below.  Noticed the underlined details that aren’t pictured.

“Mom!” I sit up.  “Mom?”
Her eyes open.
“How come the grass smells like this?” I ask. “Why is it this weird, yellow color?”
Mom yawns. “I expect it’s because it has been so hot.
We bring Dad to look.” There’s supposed to be rain tonight.” he says. “That’s probably all the grass needs.”
As students read, it’s important for them to pay attention to details that provide description, especially in chapter books which have few pictures. Read alouds can be used to model and practice this.  Here is an example showing how teachers can model with selected details and follow the gradual release model by having students practice with later parts of the book or a guided reading text.

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Students can easily do this on their own with a T-chart in a reading journal or use a blank graphic organizer with any book.  A blank organizer can be accessed {here}.
To extend the learning with this book, teachers may be interested in using this Youtube clip to model how to give a book commercial.  I am introducing these in my classroom and as I planned this lesson, I just happened to find a perfect example.  Check it out!

Interested in the full unit including an Earth Day lapbook, class writing materials for a class book, and other comprehension options?  Click the product image below.
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Visualizing is one of the most important skills for developing comprehension, and certainly, using key text examples for modeling helps those who struggle to picture the story. For other mentor texts for visualizing, visit this Pinterest board or search visualizing on my blog.
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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Run Teacher Run!

    Carla, I love this book, but I had not seen the YouTube video. I love all the pieces that go together here for this book. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I thought it was perfect for Earth Day. I'm anxious to show my kids the book review. We've been talking about starting book commercials when they finish a book, and I love this as an example. Thanks so much for dropping by.
    Carla

  3. Amy M

    I love this example! Thank you for sharing 🙂

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