School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 7

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. Analyze important ideas and messages in literary texts

Objective d. Reflect on and explain personal connections to the text


After reading a literary text, students will discuss its characters with the teacher. During the discussion the teacher should model making a connection with a character. For example the teacher would state that he/she knows how a particular character feels when a certain event occurs because of a like situation the teacher had experienced. Once the thought processes have been modeled students should be encouraged to make their own connections patterning their responses on the model.


Have students read or read to them a literary text like Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. After reading is complete, students should be asked to relate their very bad days as Alexander did thereby connecting with the character. Teacher Note: While intended for younger audiences, this text holds much appeal for older students as well.


Students should read a piece of realistic fiction. After reading is complete and a brief discussion of its major points has been conducted, the teacher should provide students with a series of real-life situations most of which should be represented in the text. An example follows.

Real-life situation Text connection Self connection
Child disobeys parents    
Individual assists another in need    
Individual wins award or recognition    
Individual overcomes a challenge    

Working in small groups, students should determine an example of the situation in the text and those in the group to whom a self connection to the situation is possible should record that connection. Group members should share their information with other members of the class.


After reading a literary text, students will organize their thoughts about that text using a 3-2-1 pattern. This activity can be completed by the entire class, small groups, or individuals. First, students should record three important ideas or events that occurred within the text. Next, students should list the names of two memorable characters, and finally, students should record one personal connection they were able to make with a character, event, or idea in the text. Students should share their information with others in the classroom or group.