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Maria Douthat 2/18/16

Lesson: Activating and Connecting to Background Knowledge
Targeted Literacy Strategy or Skill: Making connections using background knowledge
Grade level: 4th
Objective: The students will be able to make connections between the text and their background
knowledge in order to learn new material presented to them as well as compiling “seed story”
ideas for writing activities.
Common Core State Standard: RL.4.7. Make connections between the text of a story or drama
and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific
descriptions and directions in the text.
Prior knowledge: (What students already know) Students know how to make inferences in the
text. They understand that good readers ask questions with the text. They know how to make
notes on the side of the pages and how to code their annotations.
Observations/Rationale: (Before Lesson) What did you notice in your students’ work that
let you know this lesson was necessary? (This will be an approximation this semester.) The
students were not able to ask in-depth questions about the text. They can retell what the teacher
said but are not able to make connections to their own lives and experiences from the text. They
are having trouble engaging with the text and connecting with the characters and events.
Materials Needed: Large poster board, markers, reader’s notebooks, The Noisy Paint Box, and
Lesson from (Name your source including page number): The Noisy Paint Box by Barb
Mentor Text: Strategies That Work. P. 93
Materials: The teacher will need the book Strategies That Work, the book The Noisy Paint Box,
poster board, pens, markers, and post-its.
Student Groups (whole/small group/partners): Start as a class and after you read the book,
break into neighbors. Work as a class again then do independent work.

Mini Lesson Format:
Connect (AKA~ Anticipatory Set, Engagement/Pre-reading): “Good morning my fantastic
fourth graders! How is everyone doing today?” Let them respond. “Wonderful! That’s what I like
to hear! Well today we have an exciting activity but first I have a question. How many of you
have read something and you think ‘That reminds me of...” Let children raise their hands. “This
happens to me all the time! That is exactly what good readers do. They make connections
between the text and their personal experiences.
Teach (Model/Explain) So today we are going to read The Noisy Paint Box by Barb Rosenstock.
While we are reading I want you all to think about anything it would remind you of. You can use
the text or the pictures in the book. If you will get out a sheet of paper or sticky notes, please. I

am going to write down my thoughts on this T chart. If you can see in the first column I wrote
down what the story is about. This is the part of the book that reminds you of the memory. In the
second column I wrote down “This reminds me of…”. This is where I write down, briefly, what
it reminds me of. While I am reading I am going to use sticky notes and write down an R when it
reminds me of something. So introducing The Noisy Paint Box by Barb Rosenstock.” Start
reading the book. “Now I am going to stop right here because this reminds me of when I used to
play piano. I was not very good at it. So I am going to write down an R on a sticky note then turn
to my T chart. In the first column I am going to write what is going on in the story ‘Vosya is
playing piano’. Next I am going to write down what it reminds me of ‘When I played the piano
when I was younger’.” Keep reading. “I am going to stop here because this reminds mo of when
I was learning to mix colors. I wanted to mix all the colors together to make a beautiful new
color! What happens when you mix all the colors together?” Let them respond. “Exactly, you get
brown. I was very disappointed.”

Active Engagement (AKA~ Check for Understanding: students try it out, teacher observes):
Continue reading the text. On the next page say “Now I want you all to think for a minute about
what this reminds you of. You may write it down if you like.” Continue reading. “Think about
and write down what this reminds you of. After a moment say “Now turn to your neighbor and
tell them what this reminds you of.” Let them talk for a minute and “eavesdrop” on them.
“Alright I heard some great conversations! Would anyone like to volunteer to share what they
discussed?” Let students talk and ask them why it reminds them of that experience. “Okay so
what would we put under the first column? And under the second column?” Take 3 examples.

Link (AKA~ Closing the Lesson [with accountability for the skill/process]): “That is wonderful!
You all have done a wonderful job of connecting the text to your own personal experiences! This
process will give you a better understanding of your readings and it will help you grow your
seeds for your personal narratives that we will be working on later in the year! So if you will get
out your reader’s notebooks and short stories we were working on yesterday. Copy down this T
chart. Make sure you write down both what the story is about and what it reminds you of. This
will help you make connections between your story and personal experiences.