January 24, 2011

Text to Self Connections

My students are working on a huge immigration project this year--they are writing stories about their journey to America. Because of this, we have a number of books featuring their native countries. We've been reading them together to help prepare the students to write their own stories.

I discovered an added bonus to this project last week...

It was the perfect opportunity to teach text to self connections! The stories lend themselves naturally to anecdotes about the students' countries, so I knew this was a great way to teach this type of connection. I decided to make these stories part of our Reader's Workshop for the next couple of weeks.

One of the first books we read was Silent Music, by James Rumford. I have several Iraqi students, as well as a number of other students who speak Arabic. They loved seeing their native language woven throughout the story! Images of soccer and school made them chatter away, telling each other about their experiences. They joyfully translated for the rest of us throughout the reading...it was one of those wonderful moments you cherish as a teacher. :)

Even my students who are from different countries were reminded of their past, through this book. The stories and connections were flowing quickly...memories of friends, past-times, school, family now living far away...

We usually write our responses to text in our Reader's Response Journals. This time, however, I did ask the students to write and decorate their responses to display in the hallway.

We are going to continue working on text to self connections using these books. Next story: I See the Sun in Nepal--I can't wait!

Do you have any favorite books to teach text to self connections?

8 comments:

  1. No, but I have a friend from Nepal! :)

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  2. I've used The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant. Most can relate to family members coming to visit them or going to visit family members.

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  3. Mine are Alexander the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; Lily's Purple Plastic Purse; Wilford Gordon McDonald Partridge...Three Classic Stories by Three Fabulous Authors..!

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  4. I absolutely love when kids who are often left out because they're "different" have the opportunity to teach the rest of the class! I had a similar example- my young friend Yusuf, who is an ELL and has lots of difficulties reading- helped immensely during a reading activity by correctly pronouncing character names and telling us what new vocabulary meant. The other kids gained so much respect for his background, and I think it really helped improve his feelings towards school!

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  6. Awesome idea....love the student work!
    I really like to use Wemberly Worried and Sheila Rae the Brave (love Kevin Henkes)! I use these in K/1 and have the students respond about a time when they were worried and how they are brave.

    p.s. Thanks for following me! :)

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  7. Aloha, Thank you for sharing my book with your class. It is always so wonderful for an author to know that his or her book has had the intended effect. Aloha, James Rumford

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  8. Wow! Thank you so much for the comment Mr. Rumford! Your book is extremely meaningful to my students. They have been rereading it all week. It has been wonderful to have such a moving and rich story to share and discuss in class. Thank you again!!

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