Read About Health and Safety Measures at Our Learning Centers


Tips: The Imagery-Language Connection for Writing

Sep 24, 2016


Book reports, essays, and even short responses, can cause frustration, panic, and, sometimes, even tears for many school age students. And it’s no wonder. Writing is a complex task that requires a lot: good thinking skills, organization, spelling, grammar and punctuation, as well as ease with a pencil, or keyboard.


Writing can be particularly difficult for students who have an identified comprehension weakness. A primary cause of language comprehension problems is difficulty creating an imagined gestalt. This is called weak concept imagery. This weakness causes individuals to get only “parts” of information they read or hear, but not the whole. So without the “big picture” idea for a passage or book she just read,  a student will have a hard time coming up with a strong paragraph. Writing is imaged thought.


Students who can write well are putting words to the images in their mind’s eye. The imagery-language connection is key to good thinking and communication. Try using language that stimulates imagery as you coach your child through their next writing assignment.


Start at the Beginning

Make sure your child understands the writing assignment. To gauge understanding, read the directions together and pause to see if she can picture the key details. For example, if the assignment is, “Choose your favorite character in your book. Write a paragraph about why they would make a good president.” you can ask your child questions about what she is picturing like, “How long are you picturing the finished assignment will be?” and “What are you picturing for ‘president’?”


Make a Plan

Before your child starts the next big writing assignment, work on a list of tasks to be completed. Use imagery-stimulating questions to ensure your child is understanding the purpose and goal of each.  A book report might entail:

– read book

– take notes

– write outline

– write the first draft

– read my draft and edit

– write final

Work together to estimate how much time each task will take; and get them onto a timeline or calendar. Just like adults, kids prefer to check off smaller tasks as they go, rather than returning to one big daunting project.



Outlines are a great way to get ideas organized.Your child’s teacher may have suggestions or tools for organizing paragraphs. Many graphic organizers (e.g. the “hamburger” method) are acceptable as they reflect a classic paragraph structure:

A topic sentence / main idea

Detail #1

Detail #2

Detail #3

Conclusion: A closing sentence that links the details

To get the most out of outlines, engage your child by using language that prompts imagery. Asking questions may help spur new ideas. For example, “What do you picture the pig is doing all day?”  


Writing & Editing

Your student can follow her outline for keywords to use for writing the paragraph. Throughout the writing process, encourage your child to be connecting language and imagery. When writing, we are creating an image in the mind of the reader. 

Give feedback about whether you can visualize her writing.  For example, “Wow! I could really picture the red fox you described.”

When editing, encourage your child to find and correct words she may have misspelled. 


We hope these tips for writing help your family throughout the school year! Nanci Bell, author of Visualizing and Verbalizing for Language Comprehension and Thinking, wrote, “Many students with language comprehension weakness may also have poor writing skills because they lack the imagery for the gestalt (whole). Attempts to teach them to write are hampered by their weakness in the nonverbal code of imagery. While often good in spelling, punctuation, and grammar, they still can’t write.”

If you’d like more information on language comprehension weakness and writing, please contact our Learning Centers at 800.300.1818.

Teachers can explore our workshops that develop the imagery-language connection: Workshops Schedule.



Connect with us
Educators, join us for a free webinar on Early Literacy and Sustainability. 
Presenter Tracy Newhart, Literacy Coordinator at Fort Smith Public Schools in Arkansas, will share about implementing our evidence-based approach throughout her school district. RSVP at the link in our bio, @lindamoodbellofficial
Parents, join us for a free online workshop, "From Crisis Learning to Learning Success." Get tips to help your child tackle school this year, using our unique approach! 

We are happy to share our expertise with you during this challenging time. 
Events occur the last week of January. RSVP NOW at the link in our profile, @lindamoodbellofficial
From one-to-one instruction to small group classes, 
Lindamood-Bell Academy has the right school experience for every student.
✅ Evidence-based approach
✅ Personalized curriculum
✅ Experienced, engaged instructors 
🚫 No passive screen time
Imagine YOUR child at Lindamood-Bell Academy for Second Semester! It's not too late to enroll! Get started at the link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
A mother is thrilled when her son catches up to his classmates in reading. The entire testimonial is at the link in our bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
🎧New Podcast Episode🎧
Over the past three years, more than 150 teachers from across Jamaica have received Lindamood-Bell professional development to increase literacy. 
Local educator, Ancelene, joins us to describe her experience using the programs with her own students. Listen now at the link in our bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
Liz shares what it was like to have her dyslexic second-grader receive Lindamood-Bell Learning Center instruction mostly ONLINE!
Parents, this is a must-watch! 
Full testimonial is at the link in our bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
As part of our efforts to maintain an exceptional standard of quality instruction, we continually monitor results. Our Learning Center Results summary reports on instruction for more than 28,000 students from 2008 to 2019. Results are viewable by instruction focus or previous diagnosis, including dyslexia and ADHD. View our results! 
Follow link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
Right now, all children continue to face a variety of changes at school. Missed time with teachers and hybrid-distance learning have been particularly hard on kids who struggle with basic skills like reading and math.

Parents, we've been live, online since 2015. Our evidence-based instruction is fun and effective, ONE-to-ONE, live, online. In person where allowed.
Link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
Winter Break instruction at Lindamood-Bell can help your child 
go back to school in the New Year with better skills and new confidence!
Our evidence-based approach helps students catch up or get ahead in Reading, Comprehension, or Math in a short amount of time. 
We're experts in fun & effective one-to-one online learning. In-person where allowed. Get info at the link in our profile, @lindamoodbellofficial.
A parent explains how Lindamood-Bell instruction gave her child new hope and confidence despite her previous struggles, “It gives them self-esteem and gets them to believe they can do something.” 

Entire testimonial at the link in our profile, @lindamoodbellofficial. 
Watch it now!
Our unique approach can unlock learning and new confidence. Lindamood-Bell one-to-one instruction is live online or in-person, by location. Get info for your child!
Request Information
Loading ...

Request Information

When you complete our form, we'll send you to our information packet and reach out to you shortly. You may also call us at

Choose at least one option. *
* required

Schedule a Learning
Ability Evaluation

Please fill out the form and we will be in touch to schedule an evaluation.

* required
Chat with a Live Representative