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David and Mean Jean Teach Connections

We have been on a run of David and beginning of the year books!  These are our Davids that we learned how to draw.  

I have a habit of choosing books that you might not think go together in a unit.  We have been working on making connections.  And not text to self connections.  Common core would have us go deeper than that, so I chose so books that might not seem like they would connect.  

books about respect

Obviously the two David books seem to go together.  But Mean Jean and Farmer Duck don't look like they fit to the children.  I started the year with David Goes to School.  We drew Davids, discussed what he was doing- breaking the rules and why we have those rules.  Rules are mostly to help us be able to learn or to be safe at school.

David Goes to School

The students also decided on a rule they thought was important for school or that they wish we had.  It made a cute display!

Rules for School

Now, on to the other stories and how they fit!  We decided that David Goes to School was about breaking the rules and being disrespectful to his teachers. They thought we were to learn from this character to be respectful to others.

Then came The Recess Queen and some of my students couldn't believe that Mean Jean treated others that way!  Yay that that is still a shock to them!  So they decided that book was about Mean Jean being bossy and disrespectful. Again, they learned from the character that we are to be respectful.

It is so cool to see these young students catching on to the themes and making connections between the books.  I made a big deal about the books not looking like they go together, but it is the "big ideas" inside the books that made them go together.  Before reading the books, the students knew the purpose was to figure out if the new book went fit with the other books and why they thought it fit or didn't.

So of course, by the time we got to No, David they had it down.  David broke the rules at home and was disrespectful to mom.  But when I brought out Farmer Duck, they weren't sure.  But after reading it, they got it!  They were so empathetic to poor duck who was made to do all the work.  We charted our thoughts for each book to organize our thoughts.

Books on Respect

If you have been with me for very long, you know I like to create charts comparing books.  I create one chart and then use Post It notes.  I have multiple classes of the grades so this keeps me from having to create a dozen different charts.  Post It notes can come off between classes then go back on again.  Anything that helps me streamline my teaching is great for me!


  1. I just read the Dvid books today with my class - they are such good conversation springboards. I loe your ideas for making connections and promoting higher level thinking. : )
    Whimsy Workshop Teaching

    1. Susanna, those David books do promote a lot of conversations. Especially the page where he runs down the street without his clothes!! Thank you for your kind thoughts about our activities!

  2. I love love love that text to text connections chart- what a great format and easy to reuse for multiple groups-- will be creating that soon! You always provide me with the best ideas- thanks Lori! I also like that you challenged your students with the texts that don't seem similar.
    Aylin :)
    Learning to the Core

    1. Thank you, Aylin! I love doing comparison charts. We do author studies this way. But I had to find a way not to have to recreate the chart for each class- Too Much Work! Thanks so much for the compliment! You are too kind. :)

  3. I love your charts and how you use post-its so you don't have to recreate. I love your connections and deep thinking too. It's all great!
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

    1. Tammy, thank you for always being my cheering section! The post its saved me so much time!

  4. Love that chart- what a great idea to compare books in the same genre/books by the same author. I HAVE to remember to do that!

    Everyone deServes to Learn

    1. Thank you so much, Maria! We like to do a lot of charts that way. Hope it helps your students. :)

  5. Replies
    1. That is so nice of you to pin that! Thank you so much, Barbara! I appreciate that so much!


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