Lesson plan

Picture Walk: A Preview

Use pantomime performance to drive your students to predict, question, and cite main ideas. With this dramatic lesson plan, your class will craftily capture information on a graphic organizer to boost their reading comprehension!
Grade Subject View aligned standards

No standards associated with this content.

Which set of standards are you looking for?

Students will be able to preview texts by noting predictions, questions, and main ideas with graphic organizers.

(10 minutes)
  • Write, number, and display the following sentence starters to your class:
      1. I predict...
      1. I think the main idea is...
      1. I wonder why…
  • Explain to your class that you are going to pantomime (perform silently without speaking) a picture walk. A picture walk is a preview technique when you page through a text without reading it, just looking at the pictures, asking questions, and making observations and predictions.
  • Tell your students to silently hold up fingers (up to three) for sentence starters of their choice if it applies during your pantomime picture walk. You won’t be speaking, so it’s up to them to raise quiet hands to stop you! Students may share out when called on.
  • Act out the preview, slowly showing and turning pages towards the class as you look to the audience. As students watch, they will silently raise a hand with one, two, or three fingers held high to be selected to comment.
  • Lead your class through the activity, allowing students to share their predictions, main ideas, and questions through the text’s end.
  • Explain to your students how useful thoughts and predictions could be if they could compare them after reading the story!
  • Share the lesson objective: Note predictions, main ideas, and questions on a graphic organizer while previewing text.
(5 minutes)
  • Display the Picture Walk Preview Notes activity to your students.
  • Demonstrate a picture walk to your class, slowly flipping through and displaying the text while thinking aloud. Note predictions, main ideas, and questions on the activity sheet.
  • Answer any clarifying questions when finished.
(10 minutes)
  • Handout double sided copies of the Picture Walk Preview Notes activity to your students. Select a student to pantomime a picture walk as demonstrated in the lesson opener.
  • Trade places with the student-as-teacher and provide them with a text selection. Share the following protocols:
    • Quiet students will be called on to make comments.
    • The class will have time to write the comment on the Picture Walk Preview Notes activity.
    • The picture walk will resume for preview and comments.
    • Begin the activity.
  • Reflect with your students on the guided practice session, allowing feedback from the student-as-teacher and answer any clarifying questions.
(10 minutes)
  • Hand out text selections for students in pairs.
  • Instruct students to flip their worksheets and take turns performing a picture walk while their partner makes predictions, cites main ideas, and notes questions on their Picture Walk Preview Notes activity.


  • Offer leveled and differentiated nonfiction texts for student analysis.
  • Use nonfiction picture books in picture walk demonstrations for their large page design, strong illustrations, and detailed photographs.


  • Have students complete the Picture Walk Reflections worksheet.
  • Overhead and document projectors can enhance a presentation as this lesson includes a pantomime presentation requiring keen audience observation and interaction.
(5 minutes)
  • Post a nonfiction text in four different places around the room with a blank poster paper, labeled stations 1, 2, 3, and 4.
  • Assign students to a station by having them count off 1 through 4 to add their name, prediction, main idea, or question about the text.
  • Review posters for student understanding.
(10 minutes)
  • DISCUSS: What perspectives, voices, and representations are missing from nonfiction texts reviewed in the lesson?

Add to collection

Create new collection

Create new collection

New Collection


New Collection>

0 items