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Lesson Plan

Family Ties: Making Connections to Improve Reading Comprehension

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Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Violeta L. Katsikis

Cherry Hill, New Jersey


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



How does the story connect to your own life, another text your have read, or the world around you? In this lesson, students will read books about families and make text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world connections using those books. Students gain a deeper understanding of a text when they make authentic connections. Beginning with a read-aloud of Donald Crews' Bigmama's, the instructor introduces and models the strategy of making connections. Read-alouds of The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats and The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant are followed by activities that help students learn to apply each type of text connection when responding to texts. After sharing and discussing connections in a Think-Pair-Share activity, students plan and write a piece describing a personal connection to one of the texts.

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Planning Web: Students can use this printout to record details about the text connections they have made and use those details in their own stories.

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Ketch, A. (2005). Conversation: The comprehension connection. The Reading Teacher, 59(1), 8-13.

  • As readers respond to text, they make connections. It is these connections to the text, to the world, to background information, and to experiences (schema) that make readers feel like the characters, connect to the story, or remember similar experiences.

  • Connecting to emotions and senses enhances comprehension skills because the reader can identify with the characters or situations in the text in extremely personal ways and make comparisons.


Pardo, L.S. (2004). What every teacher needs to know about comprehension. The Reading Teacher, 58, 272-280.

  • Teachers show students how to make text-to-text, text-to-self, and text-to-world connections so that readers can more easily comprehend the texts they read.

  • Teachers model for students how to activate schema and make connections that help make meaning of a text.

  • Teachers help students understand basic story grammar (including plot, characters, and setting) and expository text structures such as sequence, description, comparison, and cause and effect.


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