When a teacher is formulating a lesson plan for his/her class there is a lot that they have to keep in mind. If they are planning a language arts lesson plan they might want to post questions they might want to follow. So for my lesson I wanted to choose something I knew my students will have a deeper connection to. Harvey and Goudvis (2000), in Strategies That Work state that, “when we begin strategy instruction with children, stories close to their own lives and experiences are helpful for introducing new ways of thinking about reading” (68). When working with children in order for them to be engaged in the reading it should relate to the students interest. I feel making connections are an important learning process because this helps students to have a better understanding of the stories moral lesson. Making connections are “books that contain common themes universal to childhood, such as friendship, fear, jealousy, family, relationships, feeling different, and other issues of growing up” (197).
For my lesson, I want my students to obtain the knowledge of making personal connections to a text. They will be able to produce their own connection from the text in individual and group work as well. I chose to center my lesson on a fiction text call, “Jamaica’s Find”, by: Juanita Havill. Just like any ordinary youngster likeJamaica, when they find something they usually want to keep it. This is when I knew my students would enjoy working with this book. However, I do not want my students to just read this book for enjoyment; I want them to be able to pull out connections from the book. These connections can range from text-to-self, text-to-text, or even text-to-world. My students should also make at least two personal connections from the text that can reflect to their personal lives. In my education class, Teaching Elementary Reading I and II, I often did learning logs; my professor would always tell us to make connections to the quote that we have selected. Not only are we responding to the quote but we are also tying in personal connections to the quote. This is not only adding length to your response but it shows a deeper understanding one might have when pulling in personal connections. For me I always liked making connections to the stories I have to read. This indicates to me how much of the story I have actually understood.
In order for my students to fully be aware of the text they are reading it should be a text that they will able to explain both orally and written. The students I have this year, some have Down syndrome. So I thought to myself, how I can modify this lesson to match the needs of my general/special needs students. I knew from prior experience that students who are classified wit Down syndrome often need the instructions repeated for them. Also for students with special needs I will practice scaffolding with them as well. I will model for them pulling out my own personal connections so they will have a clear understanding as to what is required of them to perform. I will pair the students in groups of four; so my students with special needs will not feel out of place, the students who understand the work will be to provide further assistance to the ones that needs help as I walk around and help the others. As part to making connections to the text this will allow either small group or whole-class discussion about various types of connections that they have made when they read.
Coming up with the idea of this lesson plan had me thinking of endless comprehension strategies that I could of done. Then it came to me; making connections. I was always told to connect my work to other information. So I thought what better way to do it with a book that my students will enjoy. My students love books with a lot of pictures. Also, I have to keep in mind the level of the text, so I know that my students will be able to read the text that is just right for them. In addition to my lesson plan, the rubric I am using will assess my students on how well they clarify their connection. I want my students to fully explain how their connections help them to better comprehend the text. Furthermore, I want my students to make a number of connections to the text. I want my students to love to read and if making connections is the way they will love to read then so be it.
Harvey, S., & Goudvis, A. (2000). Strategies that work: teaching comprehension to enhance
understanding. York, Me.: Stenhouse Publishers.
LESSON PLAN MODEL (Grade 3) – Making Connections
Components Questions to Guide Your Planning___________________________
I. Standard(s) Being Addressed RL 11. Recognize and make connections in narratives, poetry, and
drama to other texts, ideas, cultural perspectives, personal
events, and situations.
a. Self-select text based upon personal preferences.
COMMON CORE (ELA)
II. Essential Question
- Have you ever found something that did not belong to you before?
III. Teaching Point/Performance
- Students will be able to make connections using a fictional story, “Jamaica’s Find.”
- Students will be able to make their own personal connections to a text.
IV. Learning Activities
- Mini Lesson We have been discussing personal items for the past week. Mr. Johnson has been reading stories about honesty, making good choices
and social responsibility.
Before I share a story, think about a time when you or someone you might know found something that belonged to someone else. Make sure it is a time when you found something that you really enjoyed; you were unsure what to do with this item either keep it or return it to the lost and found.
Tell me how you would feel if someone found something you found of theirs and you did not return it. (Give students time to process and answer the question).
What happen if another student has the same response as you? What can we say has happened? (Give students a moment to answer). A connection has been made. Who can tell me what making connections mean?
Before I read the story I want you to focus on the main character, Jamaica and based on Jamaica’s actions was it the right or wrong thing to do?
Throughout the story you will see that Jamaica is troubled by the decision she has made. Will she correct her action by doing what is right?
(Now I will read the story).
- Accountable Talk During the read aloud, I will point out connections I can relate to from
I will ask three – four students what they thought of my connections.
After, I will send the students onto their guided practice assignment.
C. Guided Practice Students will be in groups of 4. The groups are mixed with two readers that are on the same reading level.
They are to list the possible connections that can be made to the text.
I will walk around to administer any assistance needed to anyone.
A chart on connections that were made in the story that was either
text-to-text, text-to-world, or text-to-self will be completed by groups.
D. Independent Practice Students will work in write in their journals their own personal connection to the story.
E. Summary We will have a whole class discussion. Also I will ask questions.
Eg. What connections can you relate to that’s similar to Jamaica.
V. Modifications The students in this class are classified with Down Syndrome. For my students to fully grasp the lesson I will repeat the instructions. I will have them work in groups to share out their own personal connections. I will provide the students with my own connection so they will have a clear understanding of what is expected of them.
IV. Assessment/Evaluation of
Clarification of Connections
Barely explains how the connections help to understand the text
Sometimes explains how connections help to understand the text
Usually explains how connections help to understand the text
Fully explains how connections help to comprehend the text
Amount of Connections
Barely makes a number of connections
Only made one connection
Shows two or more connections
Fully makes a number of connections