Visualize a Story

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204 Ratings
The Write Stuff
Grade Levels
1st - 4th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
3 pages
The Write Stuff


Visualizing is a powerful tool to help engage learners and improve comprehension and the creation of ideas. This versatile writing activity will help students learn this important skill and can be used with ANY children's picture book. Students love this lesson!

The teacher will need to choose a favorite unseen book and 6 artifacts from the book that they will show the students one at a time. (You can also do this without a book and with random items of your choosing.)


Artifacts can range from stuffed animals to represent an animal in the book, a bag of sand showing the book may take place at the beach, anda fancy pencil if someone is writing a story in the book. etc. Be creative!

Students will draw each artifact/clue and then add some vocabulary words, action words, temporal words, or emotions they may be thinking about as they draw.

Once the clues have been shown and sketches are done, students write about a quick memory or connection that they make to any of the clues. This is now the pre-writing stage completed for their story. They will use this organizer to write the story they think is representative of the clues.

Students share their varied stories aloud.

The teacher then reads the book. Lots of discussions usually follows this.

This is also a GREAT activity to do as a school-wide write. It does not have to be based on a real book in that case but every teacher in the school is given the same clues. It is fascinating to see and compare the writing and imagination of a first grader and the writing and imagination of an older student based on the same clues!

Here is a blog post to show you how I teach this lesson.

Visualize a Story

If you liked this lesson, you will love this year-long Writing Unit for 2nd and 3rd-grade learners which is full of lessons similar to this one that will engage your young writers.

Year-Long Writing Unit

Other items you may like:

Active Reading Strategies

The Ultimate Writing Template Binder


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Total Pages
3 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure.
Write narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, include details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide a sense of closure.
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
Establish a situation and introduce a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.


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