One of my favorite things to do over the summer is find new books to use with my class.  Deanna Jump is hosting a weekly book talk which would be a GREAT way to find some new books to try out with your class.  

Here is one of my favorites:

Dirt on My Shirt by Jeff Foxworthy 
 As you'd expect by the author this book is full of silly fun poems that will have you and your kids CRACKING up!
I use poetry a lot when teaching visualizing to my students and this book is a perfect way to introduce the concept or to practice.
 In one section of the book there is a series of poems about super silly family members. These poems are so descriptive they lend themselves well to having students draw what they see in their minds.  Here is how I use them to teach visualizing: 
 First I have students lay on the carpet with their eyes closed and tell them that I will read them a poem and they should try to get a good picture in their minds of the person.  Then, I read the entire poem once. 
 After that I give students a blank sheet of paper and tell them to listen to the poem again and draw what they see. I remind them to pay close attention to all the descriptive language they hear and try to include all of it in their picture.  I then read the poem very slowly, one part at a time to students to give them time to add to their drawings.  While students are drawing I make sure that they cannot see each others work. The results are hilarious! 
 I usually post them with a copy of the poem and the illustration for the book.  The kids get a kick out of how different everyone's visualization is.  We then discuss similarities in our pictures, and why we think they are they they same. (Author gave a great description) We also discuss the differences, and why we think they are different (Author left some things up to the imagination).
 After several days of listening, visualizing, and drawing, we write our own poems about someone real or fictional using our best descriptive language.
Finally students read their poems in small groups and try to visualize and draw each others work.  The results help students know how good they were at using descriptive language in their work.

I hope you find this lesson and book useful in your class.  Check out more great books here:

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