When students connect to text, they build deeper meaning both with the text, and with what they connect it to. By teaching how to make Text-to-Text, Text-to-Self, and Text-to-World Connections we empower our students to take the messages and meanings of the text beyond the cover, linking it to meaningful experiences. Through connecting, students develop empathetic relationships both to the content in the text, and those around them in their lives.
English Course Pack: Unit One – Literacy Skills
This assignment is part of the The Full English Course Park. This piece is part of Unit One: Literacy Skills, which focuses on creating a strong foundational understanding of literacy skills, PEE paragraph writing, and embedding quotations as textual support.
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1.11 – Connecting: Slide Deck
Step One: Introduce Connecting
Prior to revealing the definition on Slide Four, ask students what type of connections exist. Some might not know any, while others might start to figure it out when prompted with “Text-to-…”
Take a moment to allow students to copy down the definition, and the three main connection types:
- Text to Self (Yourself)
- Text to World (Society and Pop Culture)
- Text to Text (Another Text
Once, complete, you can move on to looking more specifically at each type.
Step Two: Delving Deeper into each Connection Type
Slides five, six, and seven, each present students with an opportunity to better understand the three connection types. By including prompting questions, they will be able to gain a better understanding of how to begin making each connection, while also understanding what the differences between each type are.
Students can be presenting with a source text (an image, or a short story, or a paragraph, or even a simple sentence) and discuss responses to the prompts during these slides.
Once all three slides have been shown, students can debrief the three types of connections, highlighting the similarities and differences between them to ensure there is a class-wide understanding of the concept.
Step Three: There’s always a Video
Slide nine’s video presents a one minute overview of connection, while also highlighting some successful strategies that can be used for demonstrating student learning.
Step Four: Putting it Into Practice with Super Heroics
Focusing on the Venn diagram on Slide ten, students can suggest what similarities and differences they feel exist between Batman and Iron Man, before writing a short connection of their own.
You may wish to provide the paragraph outline on slide twelve, if you think that will help students best demonstrate their understanding. Once they have written their piece, you should provide time for them to share their responses in small groups, before asking each group to nominate one student to share their response with the class.
Alternatively, you can have each group write a combined response on chart paper, and hang them around the room, allowing for a gallery walk, and future anchor charts.
Connecting is one of the most important literacy skills. Through this class, students will gain a full understanding of the three main connection types, become familiar with the language so they can recognize and use it in a classroom setting, and become proficient in writing short connection paragraphs that fully explain and explore their ideas.
English – Unit One: Literacy Skills
1.17 – RICH Reading Log (English Lesson)
RICH Reading Log honours Personal Choice Reading. Reading Indenpendent CHallenges is a form a Personal Choice Reading that students engage in during almost every class.…
1.16 – The Movie Poster Assignment (English Lesson)
Designing a movie poster requires attention to detail, use of symbols and symbolism, an understanding of how to merge text with visuals, and how to…
1.15 – Movie Posters: Slide Deck (English Lesson)
Movie posters are incredible media texts, because they combine both art theory, and advertising. They can be appreciated as pure visual texts, but also as…
1.14 – Teaching the Media Triangle (English Lesson)
The Media Triangle is an important tool that students will use to discover the messages and meaning of any text. Rather than simply looking at…
1.13 – In-Class Writing: Topic Journals (English Lesson)
Topic Journals are an excellent way to gauge students’ Reading and Writing skills, through in-class writing opportunities. Topic Journals will focus on text-to-theme, as well…
1.12 – The Swan as a Metaphor for Love: Short Story – Connecting (English Lesson)
The Swan as a Metaphor for Love is a short story written by Amelia Gray and can be found online at Joyland Magazine. It is…
1.10 – Determining Importance & Summarizing: Slide Deck (English Lesson)
Building students’ literacy skills by focusing on Determining Importance and Summarizing allows them to read for meaning, and decode in an effective way that leads…
1.09 – Taylor Swift: Short Story – Questioning (English Lesson)
Taylor Swift is a short story written by Hugh Behm-Steinberg and can be found online at Gulf Coast Magazine. It is a strange story about…
1.08 – Questioning: Slide Deck (English Lesson)
The Questioning slide deck follows the same framework that all the literacy skills slide decks do. It starts by asking students what the skill entails,…
1.07 – Made out of Meat – Short Story Visualizing and Inferring (English Lesson)
Terry Bisson’s story, They’re Made Out of Meat, is a perfect way to put inferring into practice. After reading the story aloud, students are asked…
1.06 – Inferring: Slide Deck (English Lesson)
This slide deck introduces students to the literacy skill, Inferring. It is designed to be moved through slowly, scaffolding an understanding of Inferring for students…
1.05 – The Drawbridge: Character Monologues (English Lesson)
The Drawbridge Character Monologue assignment builds upon the now-familiar text that was explored in 1.04 – The Drawbridge: PEE Paragraphs, asking students to consider the…
1.04: The Drawbridge: PEE Paragraphs (English Lesson)
The Drawbridge PEE Paragraph activity brings together all of the learning that has taken place so far. The beginning of the lesson should be run…
1.03: Embedding Quotations: Slide Deck (English Lesson)
Embedding Quotations is a necessary skill that students will use throughout their years in secondary and post-secondary education. This slide deck introduces the idea of…
1.02: Alligator River (English Lesson)
Alligator River is a short story that will have your class yelling at each other, screaming at each other, becoming enraged at each other. And…
1.01: The Nametag Project (English Lesson)
The Nametag project begins the school year with students creating a piece that visually represents who they are and presents the challenge for them to…
English Course Packs: Full Units
Unit One: Literacy Skills
Unit Two: Poetry
Unit Three: Literature Circles
Unit Four: Creative Writing & Choose Our Way Tales (In Progress)
Unit Five: Essay Writing (In Progress)
Unit Six: Culminating Tasks (In Progress)
Michael Barltrop has been teaching since 2006, integrating comics, video games, and TTRPGs into his classroom. He has been the head of English, Literacy, Special Education, and Assessment & Evaluation and Universal Design. Feel free to reach out through Twitter @MrBarltrop!
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