Do you see what I see? If we were reading the same book, we probably wouldn’t see the same thing. Our imagination as we read is anchored in all that we’ve read and seen and experienced. Our experience informs our imagination and our imagination fuels what we see and then understand as we read. Our experience helps us visualize.
Reading and writing are two sides of the same coin. Visualizing is essential to both. Good readers see what they read and good writers show what they see. Last week we worked on visualizing what we read in our study of Ancient Greece.
I showed scenes from the 1963 Don Chaffey version of Jason and the Argonauts. We could see the rocky, hilly land of Greece on the sea; and what the early Olympic games looked like; and what Greek ships looked like; and what the relationship of mortals and immortals looked like. We saw.
When we moved on to stories from the Iliad and Odyssey, the children came up with vivid images as we played, “I Was There…”
“How?” I asked, “How could a blind poet who lived so long ago help us see so clearly.”
I love the answer: Homer translated his imagination into descriptive words. With Homer’s help, we embarked with Odysseus on the wine dark sea in the rosy fingered dawn.
We explored an ancient world that was new to us, and recorded our journey with the pictures we made in our minds.