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HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

Lesson Plan

Family Ties: Making Connections to Improve Reading Comprehension

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

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


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives

Mobile Apps






  • Bigmama's by Donald Crews (HarperCollins, 1991)

  • The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant (Simon & Schuster, 1985)

  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (Viking, 1962)

  • Chart paper

  • Computers with Internet access and printing capability

  • Sticky notes

  • Writing paper

  • Writing tools such as pencils, erasers, etc.

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Stapleless Book

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Writing & Publishing Prose

Stapleless Book

The Stapleless Book can be used for taking notes while reading, making picture books, collecting facts, or creating vocabulary booklets . . . the possibilities are endless!


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RWT Stapleless Book

Grades   K – 12  |  Mobile App  |  Writing & Publishing Prose

RWT Stapleless Book

The Stapleless Book app is designed to allow users to create with ease an eight-page book simply by folding and cutting. Students can choose from several different layouts for the pages of their books.


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1. Familiarize yourself with the Making Connections strategy, which includes three types of connections: text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world. At the K-2 grade level, students can make and share their connections to stories orally or through drawing and writing.

  • Text-to-self connections are connections that readers make between the text and their own life experiences. Example: "This story reminds me of a visit to my grandmother's house." 

  • Text-to-text connections are connections that readers make to other things they have read, such as other books by the same author, or other stories related by genre or topic. Example: "This character has a similar problem to one that I read about in a story last month." 

  • Text-to-world connections are broader connections that readers make while reading. A text might remind students of something they learned through movies, television, newspapers, or magazines. Example: "I saw a movie that showed some of the ideas in this story."
Note: Other recommended teacher resources for the Making Connections strategy are Strategies that Work: Teaching Comprehension to Enhance Understanding by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis (Stenhouse, 2000) and Mosaic of Thought by Ellin Oliver Keene and Susan Zimmerman (Heinemann, 1997); and the website Making Connections.

2. Print the Making Connections posters, Text-to-Self Connection, Text-to-Text Connection, and Text-to-World Connection, and either post them in your classroom or copy them onto transparencies to present to students.

3. Make a copy for each student of the Planning Web. Also, make a display copy, either by drawing a large version on chart paper or making an overhead transparency.

4. Obtain copies of Bigmama's by Donald Crews, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, and The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant and practice reading the books aloud. Make a list of personal connections you find with these texts for use as examples when you model the Making Connections strategy.

5. Using your school or public library, gather as many titles as possible from the list of Additional Books About Families. Familiarize yourself with these books and choose several titles for use in Session 4. If you will be reading to the students, practice reading the books aloud. If students will be reading independently, you will need to obtain multiple copies of the chosen titles.

6. Familiarize yourself with the interactive Stapleless Book and decide whether it is appropriate for your students to use to publish their stories in Session 3. Younger students may need help from parent volunteers or teacher aides to use the computers and this software. If you do not have classroom computers available, reserve the school's computer lab for Session 3.

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