I like to build on my Text to self connection lesson with the book Leon the Chameleon by Melanie Watt and adding in the book ELMER by David McKee

I make a T -chart on chart paper. On one side, I title it Leon on the other side of the t-chart I title it Elmer.We summarize the story of Leon in point form as a class. I make sure that the point is made that Leon was lonely because he felt left out ,and that in the end Leon realized that it was ok to be different.I have never had to tell a class either of these points. Children come up with a variety of other points that they think are important. I list them on the chart paper.

Next I read the book Elmer to the class. While I read I am modeling through my think aloud the text -to -self connections I am making. We then summarize the Elmer book on the other side of the t-chart.

As a group, we look at the t-chart. I have the children come up and circle any event s that happen in both stories. I read the Elmer story again, but this time in my think aloud I am modeling the text-to text-connections between the two books.
“This reminds me of when Leon…that text-to-text connection helps me to understand this book better, because I remember what Leon did.”
This reminds me of how Leon felt when…that text-to-text connection helps me to understand this book better, because I remember how Leon felt when he…”

I am trying to help students understand how their connections intertwine and build on each other.

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