By: Stephani Brooks
Augie Block „06
Author: Kevin Henkes
Strategy: Making Connections
Introduction: One strategy that will help you discover the nature of text is making good connections as you read. Good readers think aloud their thoughts and make connections based on their background knowledge and prior experiences. The books we read, the discussions we have, our past experiences, newspapers, news on television, magazines, and conversations with people all build connections that lead to new insight. When I read something, I think aloud and write down my thoughts to help me think about my reading, where I try and find things in my past and present that help me make good connections. What are some thoughts that go through your mind when you read? What kind of connections do you make and how does it help you in your reading?
Explanation: We know that knowledge about a reading topic helps to improve comprehension. Proficient readers use background knowledge to enhance their understanding. They use this background knowledge to connect to text in several ways. There are three types of connections you can make while reading a text. These three types and their codes are:
; Text to Self-Connections (T-S): This is when you use information from your own life. Really
good readers think about how books relate to their own life and it helps good readers understand
books better. (Draw a book with an arrow pointing to a stick person as a graphic representation.)
; Text-to-Text Connections (T-T): This is when you use knowledge of other selections you have
read. Good readers, not only think about how books connect to their own lives, but how books
connect to each other. (Draw a book with an arrow connecting it to another book as a graphic
representation for students.)
; Text to World Connection (T-W): This is when you use your world knowledge. Good readers
not only make connections to themselves and other texts, but they also make connections to the
world, or other people. When we read and learn new things, we have to look at it through other
people‟s eyes as if we were that person. (Draw a book with an arrow connecting it to a globe as a
graphic representation for students.)
Think-Aloud/ Modeling: I will model for you the mental process/or my thinking when I read
aloud to you. At various times I will stop and think about what I am reading and express my thoughts aloud.
Page 6: I have a text-to-self connection…I used to have a very long last name before I got married – it
was “ Stephani Schiefelbein”. My name was very long and I always had a hard time fitting it on my
nametag at school too, let alone it took me until the end of first grade to spell my whole name. (Sticky note: T-S Long last name)
Page 24-25: This part is about Mrs. Twinkle having a long name too and that she is considering naming her baby girl Chrysanthemum – she thinks it is absolutely perfect. This makes Chrysanthemum feel really good. So I have a text-to-text connection to make to the poem “Everybody has a name” by Jean Warren .
(Sticky note: T-T Poem) Read aloud the poem:
Everybody Has a Name
Has a name.
Some are different,
Some, the same.
Some are short,
Some are long.
All are right,
None are wrong.
My name is ___________,
It's special to me.
It's exactly who
I want to be!
Page 26: I have two connections here! First this page is talking about the names of flowers such as carnation, marigold, and Lily of the Valley. My text-to-world connection is that Lily of the stValley is traditionally associated with May 1 in France where this flower is handed out at special stevents. (Sticky note: T-W France/May 1)
My text-to-self connection is that Lily of the Valley signifies a “return to happiness” and is used in many bridal arrangements. In my wedding, I had Lily of the Valley arranged in my bouquet. (Sticky note: T-S Wedding bouquet)
I will conduct a read aloud of Chrysanthemum. As students are listening to me read, they will record their
thoughts on post-it notes and code the type of connection they make (t-t, t-s, t-w). I will model this task for them before we begin. After the reading, the students will get in groups of 4 to share their connections with one another. As a whole group we will record their connections on a big chart.
Students will go through the book on their own and identify ways they feel they can relate to the character (Chrysanthemum) – Text-to-Self Connections. I will have various books by the same author available to students for them to see how books connect to each other. Students will code the connections they make between the books on a piece of chart paper, “This text in _______ reminds me of the text in ________ (text-to-Text Connections). As students go through the book _______, they will read and stop for 2 think alouds. (“I know about ______________. It is something that _____________.” (Text-to-World
I will ask the students to find a book to read during their free-reading time that they can use to make connections using the skills we have learned in this lesson. Students will then add sticky notes to the pages where they made connections and label them (T-T, T-S, T-W) to share with me during individual conferences.
Title: Pink and Say
Author: Patricia Polacco
Introduction: Learning a lot of new information makes us think of lots of questions – that‟s what
researchers and good readers do is ask questions. We draw upon our background knowledge to answer questions as we read along. Sometimes we have to listen for information in the book that might answer a question that we have, or we may have to read between the lines and infer to find the clues to the answer. I find myself questioning the author as I read along. Such questions that I may have are: Why did the author choose this title? Why did the story end the way it did? What are some good books that have made you think of a lot of questions?
Explanation: Through the use of questioning, you will understand the text on a much deeper level because questions clarify confusion and stimulate further interest in a topic. By asking good questions, you are better able to wonder about content and concepts before, during, and after reading by constructing meaning, clarifying confusion, solving problems, finding specific information, and discovering new information. Good readers always ask questions as they read along to help them comprehend the text better. As you practice this strategy you may code your questions with a T=found the answer in the text, I=inferred-found clues, BK=used background knowledge, and C=confused.
Think-Aloud/Modeling: I will model questioning by reading aloud the book Pink and Say.
Before I begin reading I will model my pre-reading questions:
; I wonder what this story is going to be about?
; Why did the author choose this title?
; By looking at the front cover of the two people looking at a book, I wonder if they are reading
about a major event that happened or a story that someone wrote?
As I read along I will stop and ask myself questions to help me think about my reading, such as I wonder…? (T, BK)
Page 5: What does it mean if his leg doesn‟t go green? Hmmm…I wonder what marauders are? Could
they be some type of an invader?? (BK, I)
Page 14: I wonder if the marauders are going to attack Pink‟s home? What are the marauders after? (T)
Page15: Why are the characters called “Pink” and “Say”? (c)
Page 22: So now I know what kind of book they are reading on the front cover, a poetry book, but I wonder what the poems stood for? (T, I)
End: What devastating affects were caused by the Civil War? I wonder if the story would have changed if Pink and Say had never met? (BK, I)
As I am reading this book aloud, I will model the questions above with the appropriate label. I will ask the students to be thinking of questions and writing them down as I read. They should be marking the questions with a T, I, BK, or C. After the story, the students will get into groups of 4 and write their questions down on a big white sheet of paper. We will go through all the questions to see if we can answer any of them as part of our story discussion. As we answer the questions, we will mark them with the appropriate symbol (T, I, BK, C).
Students will reread the story and write down any questions that they still have from the first read aloud. As they read it a second time, they should come up with a few new questions. Remind students that even
though they are reading a book for the second, third, fourth, etc. time, that the questioning technique is always used. Students should brainstorm questions that they have about the Civil War, that way I know how much more background information the students need yet.
Students will be encouraged to use this in their independent reading and guided reading groups – they
should use this strategy all the time. The only way to learn to be a good questioner is to practice. Encourage children to write down particularly challenging questions they form while reading on a sticky note and ask a friend or a teacher to explain it to them. I will have them fill out a questioning sheet, on a book of their choice that demonstrates questions they had before, during, and after reading – they should
record any answers that they have. I will conference with them to see if he/she is on the right track with questioning.
Title: Fire Flies
Author: Julie Brinckloe
Introduction: Visualizing brings joy to reading. When we visualize, we create pictures in our minds that belong to us and no one else. Visualizing helps keep us engaged in the story. This reading strategy is much like creating a movie in our head. When we visualize, we not only use sight, but all of our senses: smell, touch, taste, and hearing. This makes the author‟s words come to life and helps us better understand the text. What do you visualize or picture in your mind when you hear the phrase, “the sky lit up like the th4 of July”? I can visualize a lighting storm with thunder.
Explanation: When you use visualizing in your reading, it helps you to become more engaged in the text. If you are able to see and feel what is happening in the story, it helps you become involved in the story and make you feel like you are part of what is happening. When you visualize, you make the words on the page come to life. In visualizing, you are able to paint a detailed and colorful picture in your head as the author is describing something in the story.
Think-Aloud/Modeling: As I read aloud the first four pages of Fire Flies, I will model my
visualization and code it according to the five senses (see, feel, hear, taste, and smell). I will code on my sticky notes the following codes: see=eye, feel=hand, hear=ear, taste=face, smell=nose. I will conduct a think-aloud at this time so that students understand why I am coding the different parts of the story the way that I am.
Page 2: “It was growing dark.” - I can see this happening as the sun must be coming down and the sky
gets dimmer and dimmer as the minutes pass by. I can just smell the fresh cool air at night.
Page 3: “It flickered again, over near the fence. Fireflies!” – I can hear the buzzing sound of a firefly and
I can remember seeing the fireflies light up at night in the summertime at the lake.
I will give copies of the text without pictures to the students so they can code it with symbols while I continue to read the story aloud. I want the students to visualize what is going on in the story without seeing the pictures. After the read aloud, I will ask students to share the parts where they used visualization with a small group. We will then come back together as a whole group and discuss what each group found and how different each person may look at the visualizing strategy in a story. * I will not be modeling my visualization as I read aloud for the guided practice, as this is a short story and I want to see what kinds of pictures the students can form in their mind.
Students will now receive a copy of the text with pictures and as they are reading, they should highlight or mark a sentence or two where they got a clear picture in their mind that enhances their understanding of the text. They have the choice of either drawing what they see or coding it. I will walk around the room and listen to students read and code text. Students should continue to look for new visualizations.
During the next week, I will have the students pair up and read a short book to their partner without showing the pictures. The partner listening will draw what pictures come to his/her mind. The students will then switch places so that both students have the chance to visualize and draw what they see. Then they will each turn around and read the book independently and code any new pictures that come to mind
as they read and look at the illustrations. We will also work on this strategy during conference time and
Author: Jane Yolen
Introduction: Start out by showing an apple corer, make an inference: What is it used for? (apple) Ask students to infer or tell what might be implied by the following sentences:
A student yawns several times.
A group of students has not completed homework.
A student returns from recess crying.
*Ask students what clues helped them figure out what was taking place.
Explanation: Inferring allows us to read between the lines, to make our own discoveries without the direct comment of the author. When readers infer they draw conclusions based on clues in the text, make predictions before and during reading, surface underlying themes, use implicit information from the text to create meaning during and after reading, and use the pictures to help gain meaning. When we read sometimes the book does not come right out and tell us something, but instead we make our own assumptions and conclusions about what is happening in the book based on clues from the text or pictures. We use prior knowledge that we have to help us infer and find the hidden meaning in the text.
Think-Aloud/Modeling: Show the cover of the book, Encounter, and ask students what they can
infer from the picture and title. I inferred that some sort of voyage might be made and that the story involves a Native American…hmmm, I predict this story has to do with the voyage of Christopher
Columbus. As I read aloud I will demonstrate my inferences:
Page 1-2: The boy daydreamed and saw a bird.
Page 3: The boy is telling a story.
Page 9-10: They think the white men come from the sky.
Page 11-12: The white men turned giving into trading.
I will continue to read from page 13, as the students will make predictions based on the illustrations. I will stop after each page and ask for volunteers who would like to share their predictions and explain their thinking about the prediction made. I will also encourage students to pay close attention to what the characters say and do. Explain that the actions of characters provide hints about what might happen next in the story.
Page 16: I think the picture is telling me that the white men want gold.
Page 24: The boy is falling deep into the water, so that no one sees him swim away. Last page: By looking at the man‟s body from the knee down, I infer that it is symbolic of their people losing their way of life due to the body becoming transparent.
Rereading is one of the best ways to check for meaning, especially if you are having a hard time understanding what you are reading about. It all makes sense the second time through. Students will
reread the story and fill out the following chart to turn in to me. They will write what they know and write what they infer. After the read aloud, we will go over their charts as a whole class.
Facts (Something We Can See and Observe) Inferences (Interpretation)
Students will read the book Tight Times, by Barbara Shook Hazen. They will practice making inferences
based on the title, pictures and characters. As they read, they will fill out a T-chart with one side being an inference they made during the story and the other side being what clues helped them make this inference.
Title: The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth
Author: Joanna Cole & Bruce Degen
Strategy: Determining Importance in Text