Making Connections, our 2017 Summer Program, focused on getting students to read and respond to a text making text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world connections. Studies have shown that making these sorts of connections strengthens reading comprehension and increases reader engagement. Students selected a book from this list or chose their own. For the final project, tutors worked with students on a creative interpretation of their book: some wrote epilogues, some created shoebox projects, and some drew illustrations.
In the slideshow above, you will see the wide variety of wonderful projects our students put together. Here are descriptions of some the projects in the words of our tutors and their students.
Amos, Grade 11: “Amos read The Hate U Give and wrote an epilogue to it. He has a personal connection to someone who was shot and killed in what sounded like a hate crime. We have been very open in talking about prejudices, ignorance, and what he faces in life as a young man of color.”
Jazlyn, Grade 2. Book: A Bad Case of Stripes. In her own words: “Camilla Cream won’t eat lima beans even though she loves them, because kids at school will laugh at her. So she got covered in stripes, until a lady told her she should eat lima beans. So she did, and her stripes disappeared. Something like this happened to me, when my friends at school laughed at me for drinking a CapriSun. They said “that’s for little kids!” I told them, “I don’t care I love them, so so what?!” And I still drink them, because I like them!”
Jackie, Grade 2. “We read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, followed by If You Give a Pig a Party and If You Give a Dog a Donut. We also read about mice in one of the books in the series of Getting to Know Nature’s Children. In accordance with the theme of text – text-to-world, text-to-text, and text-to-self – Jackie completed colored index cards with sentences to address these various connections in the books. The project is over five feet in length.”
Caleb, Grade 7. “Caleb read Diary of A Wimpy Kid, written by Jeff Kinney. For the final project, he made text-to-self connections by drawing comic panels.”
Jadyn, Grade 5: “The book we read is Grace for President. We are working on catching up to grade level. She really responded to the book and she is really knowledgeable about history.”
Humberto, Grade 11. Book: Wonder: “Humberto wrote a letter to the main character.”‘
Jenna, Grade 3: “This summer, we read Jamaica and Brianna. For her making connections summer project, she made a comic story based on a personal experience.”
Jewelz, Grade 3: “Jewelz and I read A Bad Case of Stripes. For her final project, she sewed a Camilla Bean pillowcase.”
Krystyna, Grade 6. Book: Serafina’s Promise: “Krystyna wrote a letter to the book’s main character, Serafina.”
Ifrika, Grade 1. “Ifrika read Grace for President during the summer. Based on this book she did a project summarizing 5 important elections around the world. This helped her understand the concept of elections, candidates, campaigns, slogans and promises. She also learned about various countries. I hope to instill in her the love of learning and acceptance of other countries – which I hope she will use to learn the best from every culture and bring back for local and global contribution.”