Lesson: Connecting Text to Self
1. Choose a book that you can make personal connections to and also a book you think that some of your students will make connections to.
2. In order to plan, read the book through and put post it notes with the connections that you have made with the book on each page where you make a connection. For example, I chose the book John Joe and the Big Hen by Martin Waddell, Candlewick Press. I can connect to this because 1) there is a big sister in the book and I can connect with her feelings being the oldest child, 2) one character in the story is scared by a big hen, and I can connect to this because I remember being scared by the big chickens when I visited the Loma Vista Farm, and 3) the little brother gets lost and his big brother and sister search for him; I connect to this because I recently lost my three year old in Mervyn's and it was terrifying. Keep your connections to about 3-5 for the story.
3. Introduce the lesson by telling students that really good readers think about how books relate to their own life and that this helps good readers understand books better. Tell them that these kinds of connections are called Text to Self Connections. (Draw a book with an arrow pointing to a stick person as a graphic representation.)
4. Read the book aloud and stop to reflect aloud on the connections you have made using your post-it notes. Be sure to explain to students the connection you have made and how it helps you to understand the story better. For example, when I explain that I am an oldest child, like one of the characters in the book, I will also explain that this helps me understand why the character behaves like she does.
5. End the lesson by asking students if they can make connections between the story and their own lives. Make sure to question students about the connection and how it helps them understand the story better. At this point students' responses may resemble the "It Reminds Me of" type of response. As you continue to model your thinking with other books they will begin the shift to telling about how their experience helps them understand the story.
Lesson: Charting Text to Self Connections
After you have worked on Text to Self Connections label a piece of chart paper "Text to Self Connections" include the drawing of the book with the arrow pointing to the stick person if you think it will be helpful. Tell the students that as you are reading books at read aloud time if they make a text to self connection they can share it with the group and you will record the name of the book and the student's name next to it on the chart.
This page written and submitted by Cheri Summ
has created the lesson resources below on teaching connections.
- Making Connections Text to Self | Word | PDF |
- Text to Self T-Chart | Word | PDF |