ALEX Lesson Plan


The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant - A comprehension lesson to teach text-to-self connections in reading

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Lisa Clayton
System: College/University
School: University of North Alabama
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 5545


The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant - A comprehension lesson to teach text-to-self connections in reading


This is a first grade reading comprehension lesson to teach students how to make text-to-self connections while reading.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 1
31 ) Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about Grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups. [SL.1.1]

a. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion). [SL.1.1a]

b. Build on others' talk in conversations by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges. [SL.1.1b]

c. Ask questions to clear up any confusion about the topics and texts under discussion. [SL.1.1c]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 1
32 ) Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media. [SL.1.2]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 1
33 ) Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to gather additional information or clarify something that is not understood. [SL.1.3]

English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 1
34 ) Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly. [SL.1.4]

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will listen with comprehension and make text-to-self connections with material read aloud.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Students will use conversational skills while participating in class discussion.

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

31 to 60 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

The book The Relatives Came, by Cynthia Rylant, sticky notes, chart paper to display student responses written on sticky notes

Technology Resources Needed:



1.)Gather children into a group. Tell them that you are going to read the story, The Relatives Came, to them. Ask them if they know what the word "relative" means.

2.)Explain that a text-to-self connection is made when something in the story reminds you of something in your life.

3.)Model for the students text-to-self connections. For example after reading the first page, the teacher could say, "Boys and girls, I have made a text-to-self connection in this story. The family in the story is awaiting a visit of their relatives from Virginia. That reminds me of how excited I was when my relatives from out of town came to see me. I used to stand by the window and wait for them to come."

4.)Teacher continues reading the rest of the book, stopping on every page to allow students to tell the class the text-to-self connections they made.

5.)After reading the book, have the students return to their desks, where they have 2 sticky notes and a pencil available.

6.)Tell students that you are going to read the book one more time to them. While reading have students write 2 text-to-self connections that they make from the story (one on each sticky note). Tell students to write on their sticky notes what happened in the story and then to write "It reminds me of when...." (complete the sentence).

7.)Let the students share what they wrote on their sticky notes and post them on chart paper.

8.)Finally, divide the class into two groups. Let members of one group pretend they are the family in the story. Let members of the other group pretend they are the relatives that came to visit. Let the students debate on how they would feel if they were in this situation (making text-to-self connections). For example, a child who is pretending he was in the family might say that he was glad for the relatives to leave so he did not have to share his bedroom or toys anymore. Someone who was on the relative side might say that she enjoyed going to visit the family because she did not have to do the chores she would have had to do at home.


Assessment Strategies

The teacher could review the text-to-self connections that students wrote on their sticky notes and score responses with a rubric. In addition the teacher would observe class participation and responses to questioning during the final group activity.


This lesson could be extended by having students as a group writing and performing their own readers' theater based on this story but adapting it with some of their own connections.



Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.