Let your child unlock the benefits of read and draw for comprehension! Despite the fact that drawing often gets brushed aside in pursuit of “important” learning, drawing has a place at the table alongside reading and writing. The three work hand-in-hand in a mutually beneficial relationship.
Young readers have a lot of work set out for them simply in decoding words. Once they “read” a particular word though, the job is not done. They must understand it in context of the entire sentence and then the entire story.
Visualization in Reading
To understand what we are reading, we must be able to visualize what we are reading. This takes practice, and it may come more easily to some than to others.
Picture books play an important role in this development. While they do offer a picture on each page, the child is still left to imagine the movement within the scene set before them and then to imagine the parts of the story that are written but not specifically illustrated. It is a connect-the-dots of sorts in their minds.
Some teachers and librarians even intentionally wait until they have read all the words on a page before showing the children the picture. This gives them a minute to start visualizing on their own before receiving help from the illustration.
Picture books are essential to building early literacy skills, and they should continue to be a part of child’s life beyond when they start reading on their own. Children start the practice of visualization guided by the illustrations in picture books. Then they may move on to some early chapter books that still have some illustrations and then on to more complex chapter books and novels that have little to now illustrations. At that point, they must provide their own illustrations in their minds.
Read and Draw Worksheets
While picture books, of course, are essential, we can also practice visualization in other ways. One way is to use read and draw activities that prompt your child to draw simple sentences or short passages on their own without the help of an illustration. Having to draw what they read, forces children to stop and visualize what they have read.
Your Printable Read and Draw Workseet
Below is a two-page printable read and draw activity you can use at home.
There are three sentences for your child to read and then three boxes for them to draw out what they’ve read. The second page is slightly higher level. There are three sentences that work together in succession as a mini story. There is one large box for the child to draw out the story.
Depending on your child’s reading level, you may give your child only the first page, or you may give him or her both pages. You can also sit with them to talk about the sentences and help guide them in their visualization.
The first sentence on the first page is, “I see a funny bunny.” It’s not just a bunny, but a “funny” bunny. We know bunnies have long ears and round noses, but what might make this bunny “funny”? Is it the color of his fur? Does she have a silly expression on her face? Is one ear pointing straight up and the other straight down?
How might a “calm” cat look? Maybe the cat is lying down; maybe his eyes are closed…
Some children may be used to these types of activities and have no problem jumping right in. Others may need a little guidance to get started.
Let Me Know How It Went!
If your child does this activity, I’d love to hear how it went. Please comment below, or contact me directly with your feedback!
For additional tips and read and draw activities, including my printable read and draw booklet, Sparky Plays Ball, enter your email address below.