Sunday, November 20, 2011

Visualize and Connect with Cynthia Rylant

Cynthia Rylant is one of my favorite children's authors. Her literature is so rich!
Let's Go Home walks you through each of the rooms of the house. She beautifully describes the features of each room in a house, starting with the porch, continuing into the living room, etc. The descriptions are precious and they really will make you feel sentimental about your own home.

SO, there are three ways I have used this book:

1.Visualize...You can have the kids divide a piece of paper into sections. As you read about each room, have students draw or write about what they are visualizing as they listen to the descriptions. I don't show them the pictures. I love to ask them questions about what they are seeing, such as "What color is the couch you are seeing?" or "Does the living room you are seeing have a fireplace?" They may not even be aware of how they are picturing things until but you draw attention to what they are picturing in their mind. The kids loved this.

2.Connect...After I have done visualizing, then I like to use it for connecting. Students can easily make connections to the text because they all have a home. Students can discuss what the story reminds them of in their lives. The pictures are super detailed and lend themselves to discussion. Even my most beginning English Language Learners can use these pictures to point to objects that they know. Just makes for great conversation!

3.Writing Ideas...Going right along with connecting, you can have students connect to the text by thinking about memories they have of each room in their house and writing them down. Seriously, the pictures in this book get your mind going, it made me come up with several memories about my home that I could write.

**I have done these lessons with 2nd graders and with 5th graders and both enjoyed it very much! You could probably even do it with K-1 and just discuss the pictures and have them describe their own homes.

***I can't read this book without thinking of my parent's home. So, I gave it to my mom last year for Christmas to thank her for the nurturing home she has always provided for our family. The book even has a page about a home at Christmas. Love it!


  1. Thanks for this idea. I have not seen this book but will be checking it out soon:)

    4th Grade Frolics

  2. Hi Casey!
    I went from your post to Amazon... and ordered the book. I am excited to use it for visualizing--and writing with descriptive language. Thanks for the recommendation!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade