Visualizing strategies can be used by readers at three strategic phases of story reading.
When used at the before reading phase it can activate background knowledge and enable the reader to predict and select a schema or knowledge framework to provide a flexible structure on which to scaffold their imagination as the story events unfold.
The during reading phase should be characterised by an active imagination that creates images from a combination of the reader's past experiences and the new story ideas. Good readers will often visualise the story as if it was a movie. This visualising activity helps the reader organise and make sense of the text information while, at the same time, enables their working memory to function more efficiently.
The after reading phase is a re-organization phase that helps children re-imagine and re-create according to their own view of their world. Trevor Cairney's blog, 'Literacy, families and learning' recently had an excellent post that is quite relevant to this third phase. He says, "Imaginative recreation is an essential part of learning, probably even life. It sits alongside 'story' as an essential way to relive or enrich narrative experiences. Story in its own right is critical to learning, communication and well-being. Imaginative recreation is one of its essential foundations. For many children, the re-creation of story is a critical part of their growing knowledge of narrative."
Trevor goes on to say that this re-creation phase not only enhances children's enjoyment but also deepens their understanding and appreciation of literature. On his Blog there is an extensive list of visualizing activities from using manipulatives to role play.