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.  

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.   

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!

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!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Have a great day!


  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. I love the idea of hiding the book in the file folder! Genius!

    I am adding this book to my Amazon cart right now. Thanks for sharing!

    Koonce’s Korner

  3. I am always looking for books to work on visualizing. I will have to check this one out pronto. Thanks for sharing!

    Eclectic Educating

  4. What a super cute book! I am sure I can find a reason to use it with my big kids...big kids (and their teachers) like fun books too! ;)
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  5. Fun activity! My kinderkids love to visualize. This book looks super cute and kid approved!!

    Learning With Mrs. Brinn

  6. This looks like a great book--one I will need to add to our collection! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Have a great week,
    Sarah @ Hoots N Hollers

  7. What a cute book. I just added it to my wishlist. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  8. This is such a sweet book. :) thanks for reminding me of it!
    ideas by jivey
    Follow Me On Facebook! :)

  9. Oooooooh I have this book!!!! And I had no idea how I wanted to use it! So I am so glad that you linked it up because now I know!!

    Yay! I love this linky!!
    Collaboration Cuties

  10. This book is adorable! So glad I stopped by! Thanks for the visualizing activity.

    Read with Me ABC

  11. This book looks great. I think our kiddos would love it. I like the set up of your visualizing worksheet. Thanks so much!
    Tamra and Sarah
    First Grade Buddies

  12. 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 :)

  13. So honored that you chose DRAGON for this wonderfully clever exercise! Thanks so much! Dragon love & hugs, Jodi Moore :)

    1. Hi Jodi,
      I am so honored that you stopped by our blog! Thank you for writing such a wonderful children's book!
      Aylin :)


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