Monday, February 17, 2014

Connect the Dots...La La La

connected by Lori

Welcome to week 2 of our...

Purpose, perspective, themes, topics, actions, characters, etc.--Nothing is off-limits for this activity. Connect the dots is a perfect way to shift the focus from the plot of literature that you've read to the deeper connections that can be made between those pieces. It supports the wide reading across genres and asks students to transfer what they understand from one piece and connect it to similar ideas in other texts.

Have your advanced groups attempt an 'x' across the center.
Begin by having students choose 4 pieces of literature at random. This works well if you have a genre wall that you can easily allow students pull from. Look at one of my awesome 9th grade teachers! She color codes and lists everything her kids have read according to genre. [Love!] You could also have student look for connections between four Shared Reading excerpts.  You decide how you want the activity to work. 

  • Do you want to make cross-genre connections?
  • Do you want to make connections within the same genre?
Either way is fine. Choose the literature and then let kids talk it out and connect those dots! You'll be amazed at some of the connections they are able to make!

For a great extension, provide crossover short answer question stems and have students write their own short answer questions. Take it even further (perhaps in an honors class) by having them trade and answer each other's questions. I've given you a couple of stems to consider below:

  • What message is conveyed in [title] and [title]? Support your answer with evidence from the text.
  • Do you think [character/person] and [character/person] in [title] and [title] have anything in common? Support your answer with evidence from the text.
When we were kids, connect the dots was awesome because the end result was always a surprise. The same goes with this activity. Let your kids surprise a good way!

P.S. I dated myself with today's title. If you're an 80s baby, then you've been singing PeeWee Herman's song in your head since you read it. I'm sorry or you're welcome!

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