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Mentor Text: When a Dragon Moves In- Visualizing Focus with a freebie!

One of my favorite reading strategies to teach is visualization.  I find that my little friends have so much fun with it and even my struggling readers really enjoy our visualizing activities and are able to successfully create images in their minds. I’m linking up with the fun bloggers of Collaboration Cuties for their Must Read Mentor Texts linky.  
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The text I chose for today is: When a Dragon Moves In by Jodi Moore.  This book is so great! The story itself is just a really nice kid story.  There is a little boy at the beach with his family and suddenly a dragon decides to join in on the fun at the beach. The boy and the dragon end up doing lots of things together at the beach but basically the dragon keeps getting the boy in trouble because he is taking food, scaring people etc, but the little boy’s family doesn’t believe him when he keeps blaming the dragon.  So, more or less, it’s just a fun story about this little boy’s imagination and is perfect for visualizing because just like this little boy is imagining things, my little friends get to imagine their own version of the dragon and all that he is doing at the beach.   

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Although the pictures in this book are superb, I first read the story to my little friends while hiding it in a file folder so they cannot see anything.  As I read, each child draws a picture of what they are picturing in their minds as I read.  Afterward, they also write a Visualization Explanation where they include either a list of what they pictured or finish sentences describing what they pictured and why.  Once they are all done with both of these activities, I then take the book out of the file folder and show my little friends the pictures while I have them retell the story for me.  We also discuss why they included different items in their pictures and talk about how it is okay to have different pictures in their drawings than in the book because it is what they pictured in their minds!
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The above pictures are from my Visualization Station Pack, but I also have a version specific for this book for you to grab here as a freebie…I hope your friends have as much fun with this story and activity as mine did!

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Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Have a great day!

Aylin Claahsen

Aylin Claahsen

Providing resources and support to engage all readers.

14 Responses

  1. Always thankful to find these "boy" books! I have a class of 18 of them this year, and it's been a challenge to keep them engaged!! Thanks for the idea!

  2. Thanks for sharing this visualization activity. That book looks adorable. I will have to check it out. I also loved that you hid it with a file folder. Such great thinking!
    Antoinette 🙂

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Hi, I'm Aylin!

I’m so happy you’re here! I’m a certified reading specialist who loves talking all things literacy. I have a huge passion for providing resources and support to engage all readers!


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