Effective with students of all ages

  • Form mental images of words and relate descriptors to the words
  • Link meaning to new vocabulary
  • Links new concepts to already existing schemata
  • Use new terms in connected language in various settings
  • Write sentences using new word
  • Summarize information

Strategy steps:

  • Select a key word that is critical to the comprehension of the text the students will be reading.
  • Write the word on the board. Students say/sign, fingerspell, and write it.
  • Tell the students what the word means and then use it in an analogy.
    • For example, if the key word is zebra, tell the students: A zebra is an animal that lives in Africa. A zebra looks like a small horse with black and white stripes.
  • Children close their eyes and picture a zebra in their minds. Each child describes her/his mental pictures and teacher and students discuss.
  • Students draw their mental pictures (this step will not be appropriate for all concepts).
  • After the students have read the text, they can elaborate on the key word/concept.
  • Summarize by writing sentences explaining the meaning of the key word.
    • The class can write a summary together.
    • Each student can write a summary.