Creating Pictures from Words: “Along the road stood many spindly trees…”

reading-and-visualization-webVisualization or mental images we create in our mind help us see and plan for our future, convey a story, and to comprehend. The ability to make mental images in our heads is often taken for granted, but what happens if you can’t visualize?
Without the ability to visualize it’s hard to make plans for the future. Planning takes the ability to see past the now. If you don’t have a picture of where you are going how can you prepare? Poor reading comprehension can sometimes be the result of poorly formed mental images. Imagine reading the “Hunger Games” and not having a mental image of the bleak poor world that was Catniss’s home. With out that mental image the story would not have made sense. Finally, when we write we have to use our words to create mental images for others. Visualization is a skill usually not taught, but if you don’t have the ability then many other areas of language and executive function are impaired. Got mental images? Not as catchy as ” got milk” but certainly more vital.