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The Visual Imagery Strategy

The Visual Imagery Strategy is a reading comprehension strategy for creating mental movies of narrative passages. Students visualize the scenery, characters, and action and describe the scenes to themselves as they read each sentence in a passage. Students use the strategy to improve their understanding and recall of specific facts and sequences.

In research studies, students showed average gains of 51 percentage points in reading comprehension of grade-level materials after they mastered the strategy.

Research on the Visual Imagery Strategy

Author(s): Jean B. Schumaker, Donald D. Deshler, Alice Zemitzsch, and Michael M. Warner

Publication Info: University of Kansas, 1993


This product is available through the KUCRL Shop.  Professional development is recommended, see the SIM Event list for sessions.

Research Articles

  • Clark, F.L., Deshler, D.D., Schumaker, J.B., Alley, G.R., & Warner, M.M. (1984). Visual imagery and self-questioning: Strategies to improve comprehension of written material. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 17(3), 145-149. Two learning strategies, Visual Imagery and Self-Questioning, designed to increase reading comprehension were taught to six students with learning disabilities using a multiple baseline across strategies design on several outcome measures.
  • Schumaker, J.B., Deshler, D.D., Woodruff, S.K., Hock, M.F., Bulgren, J.A., & Lenz, B.K. (2006). Reading strategy interventions: Can literacy outcomes be enhanced for at-risk adolescents? Teaching Exceptional Children, 38(3), 64-68. In two studies, students who learned reading strategies outperformed students who did not.