Friday, 6 January 2012

Original Lesson 5: Connection Cards

'Connection Cards' are a great way to encourage children to actively listen and engage with literacy both when you are reading books aloud to the whole class and when students are taking part in guided or independent reading sessions. As the name suggests, they are especially useful for starting to encourage a younger years class to make connections with texts.

In modelled/whole-class reading sessions, give each student these cards:

When a student thinks of a connection, they raise their card and can be called upon to share it with the class. For scaffolding, you could start with blue, work up to yellow by looking at two texts in a short time-frame and then add green into the mix.

The first time you use these, you'll probably need to model it yourself by providing examples as you read.
Eg Goldilocks and the Three Little Bears, connections could be:
- I often like to nap after I eat.
- I like to eat porridge when it's really hot.
- This is similar to the story of the Three Little Pigs. Like that, there are three bears, except with this story the main character (Goldilocks) is trying to escape from the house after sneaking in, while the wolf in the Three Little Pigs was trying to get into the houses by blowing them over.
- Bears can be very dangerous animals.
- I don't know why she screamed 'Help!' In the forest, there's often no one nearby to help you.

For guided or independent sessions, you can laminate the cards and have the children write their connections on the white backside of the cards. Alternatively, you can use a sheet like this for students to record connections:
What other methods do you use to encourage students to make connections with a text?

How well (or not) do you think connection cards/sheets would work in your classroom?


Anonymous said...

Hi Anna,
I really like that you are encouraging students to think metacognitively about their response to texts.
I was wondering if you would consider using them as a peer-response to each others writing as well? I was musing on it and thought it would encourage the student/writer to consider their audience purposefully, and provide a genuine context for connection between students - what do you think?

Anna Kapnoullas said...

Hi Carolyn,

I hadn't thought about that at all but that would be a fantastic method of peer-assessment/review and could also be a great way to encourage young writers to plan prior to writing as well. Connecting the reading and writing process by using the cards in both would be a useful way to scaffold confident readers into writing, and confident writers into responding to texts.

Thanks so much. Now I have double the uses for my one idea/resource!