Monday, February 20, 2012

Making "deep" connections

Happy President's Day!

We actually had the day off, and I say that lightly, because I ended up spending the whole day working in my classroom anyway. Ahh..the joys of teacherhood.

I finally had the chance to go through and take a few pictures of some of the activities my students did this week focused on the reading strategy - "making connections".

To preface these ideas, it would be beneficial for all of you to know the anchor lesson that lead into them. This was another great lesson I picked up in my district class based on Tanny McGregor's, "Comprehension Connections". All you need is a glass of water and a golf ball that sinks, and one that floats (use a kids play set one or even a ping pong ball). Share with the students as you place the first ball that floats into the water that some connections are "surface" connections. This type of connection does not help us to better understand the story and sits on the surface of the text. Then, put in the real golf ball, and relay to them that this ball represents "deep" connections. These are the type we want to make as they help us to connect to the story and the author's message to better our understanding of it.

This week we focused on deciphering between the two. Here are two quick activities we did in order to practice this:

1. We read the story of Ruby Bridges to tie in to our Black History unit. I gave each of the students two post-its and told them to label one CP (Conexión profunda/Deep Connection) and one CS (Conexión superficial/Surface Connection). They had to write down an example of each as I read the story. After reading, they stuck them to this activity sheet and then had to reflect upon why the deep connection helped them to better understand the story, and why the surface one did not.


Click here to download this activity in English/Spanish.
2. On Friday, I gave each of the students a pair of the cards below (one "superficial/surface", one "profunda/deep"). As I read a story, I shared my connections and they held up the card reflecting type of connection they believed I was sharing. They did a really great job with this, and it was a wonderful quick assessment too to see who was getting it!

Click here to download the cards (available in English and Spanish).

Before I sign off I also want to give a quick shout out to Candis over at iteachduallanguage. She is having a giveaway which some of you dual/bilingual folk may be interested in, in which you can win a copy of the item below: 

Looks like a great resource, so be sure to check it out!

Tomorrow is Mardis Gras, and it is my 26th birthday! So be sure to check out my post as I will have pictures from the day as well as even may attempt to try out this linky party deal to celebrate!


  1. That is a great way to illustrate surface thinking and deeper thinking! Thank you for sharing that.
    Conversations in Literacy

    1. Glad it was helpful :)! Thanks for the feedback!

  2. Krista, I wanted to let you know that I used your idea at school and wrote a post about it. The post is going up on Sunday. I gave you credit for the great idea and linked back to you! Hope you like it!!
    Conversations in Literacy