Making Connections Mini Lessons

Please note that this page is still UNDER CONSTRUCTION!    I will be adding much, much more in the next few weeks!

       These lessons were modified and modeled from ideas in Strategies that Work by Harvey and Goudvis and Reading With Meaning by Miller.

 

Please note that I have a primary lesson plan for this unit and a secondary plan for this unit.  I am working on the secondary unit- I started working on this page forever ago.  When I moved to second it was no longer relevant to me since I did want to use Polacco books because I felt they were to hard for second graders at the beginning of the school year.  Now that I am moving to third...well I will be updating this unit pretty soon since the primary unit is to, well, primary.

 

Primary Making Connections Unit (Grade 1 and 2)

Books Used in the Primary Unit

Primary Mini Lesson Plans

Printable Copy of Primary Plans

Extension Ideas

Other Links and Resources

 

Secondary Making Connections Unit (Grade 3-4)

Books Used in the Secondary Unit

Secondary Mini Lesson Plans

Printable Copy of Secondary Plans

Secondary Extension Ideas

Other Links and Resources

 

Primary Making Connections Unit (Grade 1 and 2)

Books Used in the Primary Unit

 

     
     
     

 

 

Other Books for the Browsing Box

 

     
     

 

Primary Mini Lesson Plans

This unit is based off of what I actually did this school year (2002-2009).  I have revised it and made some changes so that hopefully next year it will go even smoother.

Please note that this unit does NOT introduce text to world connections.  I did this actually after in the school year when we reviewed connections.

The purpose of this unit was to introduce connections using relatable text.  I did this unit early in the school year so the book choices reflect this. I also wanted to tie connections to compare and contrasting because they are so similar and this is how hey will see it on benchmark and state assessments.

Day

Essential Question

Lesson/ Activity

1

What is a WOW page?

 


  Explain to students what a WOW page is.  A WOW page in a book is a page that gives you some kind of reaction or feeling.  It can be a feeling, what you hoped would happen, or remind you of something else.  You have to react to the page. 

  Model marking the page in Wild About Books by Judy Sierra (previously read aloud when I opened the classroom library- you can use any previous read aloud).  React to the page with the poem that the animals are writing.  React how I thought it was funny and I loved the author's play on words. 

 Model the  again with the page in Library Mouse (read aloud when we started Writing Workshop) of  how Sam puts the mirror in the box to show we  by Daniel Kirk are all authors- I was surprised at how Sam solved his problem. 

 Model writing WOW and posting it in a page.  Give student post its for their boxes and ask students to mark their wow pages.  We will share these tomorrow.

2

EQ:  What does connect to a book mean?

 

Remind students about their WOW pages from yesterday.  Ask students if they found any WOW moments in their books.   

Tell students I found the perfect wow in the story Lily's Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes.  Read aloud the story.  Model the WOW page of when Lily was begging the teacher for forgiveness.  Make a personal connection about how hard that must have been for Lily. 

 Relate it to making up to a friend and how difficult it was reconcile after so many years of not being friends.  Define this as a text to self connection. 

 Connect this back to the idea of a WOW page because some WOW pages are also connections- they remind us of something in our own life.

3

Q:  What does connect to a book mean?

 

Review yesterday how we made a connection with a WOW page.  Redefine that a connection reminds you of something and redefine.    Create an anchor chart defining a connection as when a piece of text reminds you of something else. Reread the connection orally.  Note how when I say it I have to talk about two things: what happened in the book (text) and what happened to me (self).  I cannot just write about what happened to me.

Model how to then write the connection with the following text frame:

Text to Self:
In the book (title) ____________________________________.  This reminded me of when ______________________.

 Review Lilyís Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes with a picture walk.  Ask students to share any text to self connections orally.  Guide them to use the format as they speak to make sure the connection is clear AND concise.  If time allows choose 1-2 student connections and add them to the anchor chart.

 Ask students to continue to look for WOW pages.  Challenge them to look for a text to self connection.

4

EQ:  What are text to text connections?

 

Review text to self connections.  Ask students if they found any t2s connections when they did their WOW pages.  Students can share. 

 Read aloud the story Chester's Way.  Explain to students that these two books really remind me of something.  In both books the main character changes. In Lily's Plastic Purse, Lily lover her teacher and then changes when the teacher hurts her feelings. This reminds me of the book Chester's Way because Chester and Wilson avoided and didn't like Lily, but changed when she saved them. 

 Define this as a text to self connection.  Add what a text to self connection is to the anchor chart. Model adding this to the anchor chart.

 Ask student to share orally t2t connections and add to chart.  Expect surface connections.

5

EQ:  What are text to text connections?

 

Reread the connection orally.  Note how when I say it I have to talk about two things: what happened in the book (text) and what happened in the other books (text).  I cannot just write about what happened in one book if I want someone to understand and know EXACTLY what I am talking about.

Model how to then write the connection with the following text frame:

Text to Text
In the book (title) _____________________________.  This reminds me of the book (title) because _______________.

Ask student to share orally t2t connections between the books and add to chart.  Guide them to use the format as they speak to make sure the connection is clear AND concise.  If time allows choose 1-2 student connections and add them to the anchor chart.

6

EQ: What is a connection?


Review with students the connections we have learned about.  Review the text frame.   

Show student the text frame worksheet.
Read aloud the story Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes. Tell students to make some connections in their heads, but we are not going to share them aloud just yet.  After reading it, dismiss students to their seats where they will write the most important connection they made to this story using the text frame worksheet. Encourage them to illustrate their connections.  Then bring children back for share time to share connections.

 

7

EQ: Why are connections important?


Review the anchor chart with studentís responses from yesterday.  Introduce how some connections help us understand the story better than others.  As a class number the response 1- it helped me understand the story better or 2- it didn't help us.

The whole reason we do WOW pages or connections is because it make us understand the book better.  Reading is thinking- if our WOW or connection does not help us think about the BOOK (not our friend who also has a red shirt).  Usually these help us when it helps us with what we think will happen next (prediction), why the character did something (this can actually be the beginning of inference) or how a character is feeling.

8

EQ: What does compare and contrast a story mean?

 

Read aloud the story Owen by Henkes.  Introduce (or hopefully review it as the kids should have seen it already) the Venn Diagram.

 Model how to compare and contrast yourself with a book.  Tell students that compare is how you are alike and contrast is how you are different.  Label the Venn Diagram

Text Box: Owen (Contrast)
Text Box: Me (Contrast)
Contrast
Text Box: Both (compare)

 

 

 

 

 

 

  


 

8

EQ: What does compare and contrast a story mean?

Review yesterdayís Venn diagram.  Ask students what part of the chart has connections?  What kind of connections would these be? They should see the middle has text to self connections.  Show students how to turn this into the text frame.

Model writing at least one connection on the bottom.

 

9

 

EQ: What does compare and contrast a story mean?

Read aloud the story Chysthanthemum by Henkes.  Introduce (or hopefully review it as the kids should have seen it already) the Venn Diagram.

 Model how to compare and contrast two books.  Remind students that compare is how they are alike and contrast is how you are different.  Label the Venn Diagram

Text Box: Owen (Contrast)
Text Box: Chysthanthemum (Contrast)
Text Box: Both (compare)
 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 


 

9

 

Model writing at least one connection on the bottom.

 

 

Review yesterdayís Venn diagram.  Ask students what part of the chart has connections?  What kind of connections would these be? They should see the middle has text to text connections.  Show students how to turn this into the text frame.

 Model writing at least one connection on the bottom.

 

10

EQ: What does compare and contrast a story mean?

Review connections and how they help us as readers Add making connections to the CAFE menu.

Ask students to choose either one or two Kevin Henkes books. They are going to create a Venn diagram comparing the book to themselves or another Kevin Henkes book- their choice.  Show students the Venn diagram sheet and have them write at least one connection on the bottom.  This will be the final assessment.

 

 

Printable Copy of Primary Plans

Printable Version Of These Lesson Plans

 

Printables for this Unit

Making Connections Text Frame

 

Venn Diagram Final Assessment

 

 

Primary Extension Ideas

 

Other Primary Links and Resources

 

 

Secondary Making Connections Unit (Grade 3-4)

Printable Copy of Secondary Plans

Secondary Extension Ideas

Other Links and Resources

 

 

Books Used In The Secondary Unit:

 

     
     

 

   

 

 

Other Books for the Browsing Box

       
       
       

 

Quick Organization Tip for this unit: I kept all the Polacco books (all the books above) on the chalkboard shelf of my room.  This way students knew where they were and could easily reread them if they wanted to. In a browsing box on a shelf under my chalkboard I had MANY copies of books written by Polacco.  When I asked students to independently mark questions, I had an instant collection and bin to hold the books!

 

Also- students know that any books in the browsing box or on the chalkboard shelf can NOT be checked out or go home.  They need to stay in the classroom so we can ALL use them!

 

 

Secondary Mini Lesson Plans (Third and Fourth Grade)


I have not taught this unit written like this yet.  I will be teaching this in the next week or two.  It is similar to how I have taught it in the past but, I may be making some changes to the unit after I give it a test drive :) .

-Mandy

Day

Essential Question

Lesson/ Activity

1

What is a WOW page?

 

First Mini Lesson/ Reading Focus Lesson:
Explain to students what a WOW page is. A WOW page in a book is a page that gives you some kind of reaction or feeling. It can be a feeling, what you hoped would happen, or remind you of something else. You have to react to the page.

Model marking the page in Rough Faced Girl and discussing how I felt when the girl first said she could see the invisible being., surprised but not sure if I believed her. He was after all, the Invisible Being and the two sisters had already failed.

Model the again with the page in The Talking Eggs by San Soucci of how I thought it was funny when the chickens were running around all colored with crazy legs, scared when the old lady took off her head and surprised with the solution in the story.

Model writing WOW and posting it in a page. Give student post its for their boxes and ask students to mark their wow pages. We will share these tomorrow.

1

EQ: What is a WOW page?

 


 Show students how to store their WOW pages after they have read the ENTIRE book. Open up to the next blank page in the readerís notebook. Put the date in the top right like always. At the top left of the page write the title of the book. A piece of tape (show how to tear off a small piece) may be needed to lay across the post it lengthwise (show them how to do this) so the post it doesnít fall out of the notebook.

Give student post its for their boxes and ask students to mark their wow pages. We will share these tomorrow.

2

EQ:  What does connect to a book mean?

Remind students about their WOW pages from yesterday.  Ask students if they found any WOW moments in their books.   

 Tell students I found the perfect wow in the story Thank You, Mr. Falkner  by Patricia Polacco.  Read aloud the story.  Model the WOW page of when Patricia was struggling to read. Make a personal connection about how hard it was for me in school with math. 

 Define this as a text to self connection. 

Connect this back to the idea of a WOW page because some WOW pages are also connections- they remind us of something in our own life.

 

3

Q:  What does connect to a book mean?

 Review yesterday how we made a connection with a WOW page.  Redefine that a connection reminds you of something either in your life or even another book.    Create an anchor chart defining a connection as when a piece of text reminds you of something else.  Mark example connections on the anchor chart from the post it notes yesterday.

 Reread the connection orally.  Note how when I say it I have to talk about two things: what happened in the book (text) and what happened to me (self).  I cannot just write about what happened to me.

Model how to then write the connection with the following text frame:

Text to Self:
In the book (title) ____________________________________.  This reminded me of when ______________________.

 Review Thank You, Mr. Falkner  by Polacco  with a picture walk.  Ask students to share any text to self connections orally.  Guide them to use the format as they speak to make sure the connection is clear AND concise.  If time allows choose 1-2 student connections and add them to the anchor chart.

 Ask students to continue to look for WOW pages.  Challenge them to look for a text to self connection.

4

EQ:  What are text to text connections?

 Review text to self connections.  Ask students if they found any t2s connections when they did their WOW pages.  Students can share. 

 Read aloud the story Thunder Cake by Polacco.  Explain to students that these two books really remind me of something.  In both books the main character changes. In Thank You, Mr. Falkner, Trisha couldnít read and really struggled until Mr. Falkner helped her.  In Thunder Cake the little girl was terrified of thunderstorms until her grandmother helped her.

Define this as a text to text connection.  Add what a text to text connection is to the anchor chart. Model adding this to the anchor chart.

Ask student to share orally t2t connections and add to chart.  Expect surface connections.

Have students be marking any connections on post it notes in their books from book boxes and then taping in readerís notebooks when they are done.

5

EQ:  What are text to text connections?

 Reread the connection orally.  Note how when I say it I have to talk about two things: what happened in the book (text) and what happened in the other books (text).  I cannot just write about what happened in one book if I want someone to understand and know EXACTLY what I am talking about.

Model how to then write the connection with the following text frame:

Text to Text
In the book (title) _____________________________.  This reminds me of the book (title) because _______________.

 Ask student to share orally t2t connections between the books and add to chart.  Guide them to use the format as they speak to make sure the connection is clear AND concise.  If time allows choose 1-2 student connections and add them to the anchor chart.

 Have students be marking any connections on post it notes in their books from book boxes and then taping in readerís notebooks when they are done.

6

EQ: What is a text to text connection?

Review with students the connections we have learned about.  Review the text frame.  

Show student the text frame worksheet.
Read aloud the story Chicken Sunday by Polacco. Tell students to make some connections in their heads, but we are not going to share them aloud just yet.  After reading it, dismiss students to their seats where they will write the most important connection they made to this story using the text frame worksheet. Encourage them to illustrate their connections.  Then bring children back for share time to share connections.

Have students be marking any connections on post it notes in their books from book boxes and then taping in readerís notebooks when they are done.

7

EQ: Why are connections important?


Review the anchor chart with studentís responses from yesterday.  Introduce how some connections help us understand the story better than others.  As a class number the response 1- it helped me understand the story better or 2- it didn't help us. 

The whole reason we do WOW pages or connections is because it make us understand the book better.  Reading is thinking- if our WOW or connection does not help us think about the BOOK (not our friend who also has a red shirt).  Usually these help us when it helps us with what we think will happen next (prediction), why the character did something (this can actually be the beginning of inference) or how a character is feeling.

 Have students be marking any connections on post it notes in their books from book boxes and then taping in readerís notebooks when they are done.

8

EQ:  What are text to world connections?

Review text to self and text to text  connections.  Ask students if they found any t2s connections when they did their WOW pages.  Students can share. 

  Read aloud the story Aunt Chip and the Triple Creek Dam Affair by Polacco.  Model a connection about adult illiteracy and the book.

Quick Facts:

http://www.writeexpress.com/LearnToRead/research/literacystatistics.html

 Explain to students that a text to world connection is a connection to something that is happening in the world around us.  It could be something on the news like the flooding we had.

 Ask student to share orally t2w connections and add to chart.  Expect surface connections.

 Have students be marking any connections on post it notes in their books from book boxes and then taping in readerís notebooks when they are done.

8

EQ:  What are text to world connections?

Review text to world and text to text connections.  Ask students if they found any t2s connections when they did their WOW pages.  Students can share. 

  Read aloud the story Mr. Lincolnís Way by Polacco.  Model a connection between bullying, racism and segregation.

 Remind students that a text to world connection is a connection to something that is happing in the world around us. 

 Ask student to share orally t2w connections and add to chart.  Expect surface connections.

 Have students be marking any connections on post it notes in their books from book boxes and then taping in readerís notebooks when they are done.

9

 EQ: How can I make connections?

Review connections and how they help us as readers Add making connections to the CAFE menu.

Model for students how to complete the connections worksheet. Show and explain rubric.   Have students choose their three best connections (must show at least two different kinds of connections) from their readers notebooks.  Turn in for a grade.

 

 

Printable Copy of Secondary Mini Lessons

Printables for this Unit

Making Connections Text Frame

Making Connections Assessment (Graphic Organizer based on one created by Jaime Bailey - BER presenter)

Making Connections Assessment Rubric

Click here for a  poster I created of the different kinds of connections in PDF.

 

Secondary Extension Ideas

In fourth grade I taught a similar unit and  I also used this unit as a great introduction to understanding plot.  Click to see my mini lessons about plot and how I incorporated Patricia Polacco books.

 Patricia Polacco has an excellent website with lost of things for students to read and click on.  Here is a link!

Writing Activity:

Model Writing of How to Create a Pysansky Egg

 

 

Time and Order Pictures 1 in PDF

Time and Order Pictures 2 in PDF

Time and Order Pictures 3 in PDF

 

 

Other Links and Resources

http://www.itrc.ucf.edu/forpd/strategies/stratText.html- Excellent resource with printables for each kind of connection

Reading Workshop Unit- This is a curriculum map for questioning.  I believe it is for the very upper elementary or middle school.  I can't tell, but it is good guidance.

Mosaic ListServ- This place has TONS of ideas and printables.  A must see!

 

All Graphics on This Page are From