School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 2

Reading/ELA | Informational | Literary | Writing | Language | Listening | Speaking

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

Indicator 6. Determine important ideas and messages in literary texts

Objective e. Identify personal connections to the text


Choose a story that has a character or theme that your students can connect with. Explain to your students that when we read, it helps us be better readers if we think about ways that the characters or situations are like ourselves or people we know. For example, you may choose the story A Weekend with Wendell by Kevin Henkes. As you read the story aloud model through “think alouds” the connections that you can make with both Sophie and Wendell or with the problem of having someone stay at your house who you don’t like or can’t get along with. Explain how you can enjoy the story more and understand how the characters feel, if you can connect to your own life. Ask students if they know anyone like Sophie or Wendell. Also ask students if they have ever been in a similar situation. Pass out an organizer like the one below. Discuss the model example and then have students complete another personal connection that they made to the text. You may want to add rows on to the organizer so children can show multiple connections.

Story Character or Event Connection to my Life
Wendell is bossy and always wants to be in charge.

My friend, Kalisha, always wants to have the best parts when we play. She never gives me a chance.
Your turn:



Give book talks on several titles of books related around a similar topic or theme. Allow students to choose the book that they would like to read and form small groups accordingly. Have students read books and mark pages that they had a connection to with a sticky note. After reading, have literature discussion groups discuss the connections that they made to text. Then have the students complete an organizer like the one above.

Suggested titles on friendship issues that would be appropriate at 2nd grade leveled from easiest to more difficult include:

  • We are Best Friends by Aliki
  • My Best Friend by Pat Hutchins
  • Matthew and Tilly by Rebecca C. Jones
  • B-E-S-T Friends by Patricia Reilly Giff
  • Chester’s Way by Kevin Henkes
  • Best Friends by Stevel Kellogg