School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 5

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 1.0 General Reading Processes

Topic E. General Reading Comprehension

Indicator 3. Use strategies to make meaning from text (during reading)

Objective j. Explain personal connections to the ideas or information in the text


Prior to this activity, the students should have received instruction in characterization. When students are assigned to read a selection that features a strong group of characters, they can connect to the text by observing how certain characters are like them, their friends, or like another character they have already read about. As students read the newly assigned text, they should note the outstanding characteristics of a selected character. Once reading is concluded, the reader should decide if that character is more like himself/herself, a friend, or another character in another text. To extend the activity, groups of students should be formed based upon their chosen characters. When grouped together, these students can discuss the characteristics and those people or characters that they are most like.


To assist students in responding personally to a text, the teacher should ask questions that allow a student to engage on a different level with the assigned text. These questions should address reaction to the text. For example, students could be asked how reading a particular portion of literary text had made them feel. Or students could be asked whether reading an informational text had made them feel about trying the same activity detailed in the text. These questions should be sources of discussion and not written responses. Students should have allotted time to discuss not only with the teacher but also with other students in smaller group settings. An engagement on this level often leads to an engagement on an intellectual level.