The White Fox / During Reading / First Encounters /
Reading to the end of the book and using a graphic organiser to make connections.
Lesson length: 1 session
Lesson from The White Fox series
Required reading: Pages 47-84
- Theme: Loss
- Comprehension: Making Connections
When readers make sense of a text, they do so by making links or connections to what they already know. Making connections when reading is vital to help readers understand how characters feel and the motivation behind their actions. It also allows readers to create a clearer picture in their heads as they read, which leads to increased engagement. Three different kinds of connections identified by Keene and Zimmerman (1997) are explored in this lesson.
- Copies of the Making Connections organiser, one per child.
- Copies of The White Fox, one per pair.
Read aloud to the end of the story. You might offer the children the choice of following the text or just listening as you read. Individual children process information in different ways. Make it explicit when you provide the option that they should think about the best way they can absorb the story.
After reading to the class, give some time for reflection on the ending of the story. This reflection can be done by drawing or writing a response. Share responses about the conclusion by asking simply if the children liked the ending.
Explain that as we read, we make connections, and this helps us to relate to the story and characters. We can make different types of connections:
- to things that have happened to us in our own lives
- to similar texts
- to things we know about in the world.
Model this to the children using an enlarged version of the Making Connections grid. For example:
The story reminds me of visiting my grandparents, who lived far away. We had a long journey to make too. It also reminded me of a stray dog we found. We weren’t allowed to keep it, which made me feel sad.
It reminds me of a story I have read called Pax, which also features a boy and a fox.
I read a news story about a white fox who had travelled from Norway to Canada (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/02/fantastic-arctic-fox-animal-walks-3500km-from-norway-to-canada
Distribute copies of the Making Connections resource and allow time for the children to complete independently.
Teacher’s note: Some children may not want to share personal connections. Explain that they do not have to write these down if they are not comfortable to share. For example, if a child in the class has experienced the death of a parent or close relative.
Once the children have completed their grid, give time to share ideas with a partner. Ask:
- Do you have any connections in common?
Did anything your partner say help you make a new connection?
Spend some time sharing connections as a class.
- Which type of connection did you find easiest to make:
- to your own life
- to other texts/stories
- to things that are happening in the world?
- Which did you find most challenging? (Different children can find different things easy and challenging).