Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mental Images

This week we have been diving into our work with mental images and poetry.  So, why am I showing you pictures of math manipulatives and workmats?

We read a story this week about a dream city.  The city had beautiful patterned walls and three buildings.  All of the buildings were different.  I asked the kids to close their eyes and picture what this city might look like.  Then, we built the city we had imagined.  As I'm sure you can guess, all of the walls and buildings were different.  No two cities were alike.

This lead us into the conversation that our mental images are different because our experiences are different.

What are mental images and why do we teach this in kindergarten?

Mental images are the pictures we paint in our minds.  If we are reading a story without pictures in the book, we sometimes picture what is happening in the story.  It's like a movie taking place in our brains.  As we hear stories, and make pictures in our brains, we are making connections.  The images we create are also linked to our memories, deepening those connections.  Creating mental images helps reading comprehension, enhances our memories, and lets us really appreciate the texts we read. 

Your kids will hear the term "mental images" throughout their reading curriculum in school.  As you are reading to your kids at home, ask them to describe their mental images.  Have them paint the pictures they are seeing in their mind.  Create, make connections, and comprehend!  It's what reading is all about!

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