Lesson Plan

Analyzing Visual Elements

Give students many opportunities to see how visuals can influence a story's meaning. Show off your acting skills and read a great book to help them learn!
Download lesson plan
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Inferring with Visual Elements pre-lesson.
View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Inferring with Visual Elements pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to determine how visual elements influence the meaning of a text. Students will be able to make connections between visual elements and the text. Students will be able to draw inferences from a text.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments


(15 minutes)
  • Set the stage for the lesson by acting like you have a stomachache. Walk around holding your stomach!
  • Prompt your students to ask what's wrong. Act like your stomachache is bad but getting better.
  • Ask your students questions about what they thought. For example:
    • What did you think was wrong with me?
    • Why did you think that's what it was?
    • How did it make you feel to see me feeling ill?
  • Tell them that making inferences, or conclusions based on evidence, from what they saw when they noticed you were sick is exactly what they are supposed to do while they are reading.
  • Tell them that by using all the clues (inferring and any visual elements) they can fully understand what the author wants them to know.
  • Have your students discuss and record their thinking on the What I Saw worksheet.
  • Ask your students the overarching question of the lesson. A potential question includes, "How do visual elements add to the author's message?"
  • Tell your students that you are not looking for what the picture shows but what the picture adds that was not already in the text.
  • Explain that this matters because authors are very purposeful in their writing and illustrating, and they want to increase readers' understanding and enjoyment of the text.


  • Ask ELs to discuss the definitions for "inference," "evidence," and "clues" either in English or their home language (L1). Encourage them to refer to a word wall with student-friendly definitions for these terms.


  • Provide sentence stems as needed, such as:
    • "To make an inference means to ________."
    • "The word "evidence" means ________."
    • "When speaking about reading, the term "clues" means ________."
  • Model what to record on the What I Saw worksheet.

Related Guided Lesson

Figurative Language

2 games
8 online exercises
5 printable worksheets
View Guided Lesson
fifth grade
Subject Reading & Writing