This Guiding Question asks that students understand the why behind making text-to-text connections. I've been giving them opportunities to deepen their understanding of text all year, but it occurred to me that maybe I've never given them the opportunity to reflect on the purpose.
I generally begin with our read aloud, though it's probably not completely necessary. I like to do the read aloud because it gives me a chance to model whatever skill or concept I'm going to have my students do on their own for the "worktime" portion of the lesson.
For the "worktime," I have the kids write some text-to-text connections from the article to The Fourth Stall. First, of course, they have to read the article. I take just a few moments to preview some vocabulary like "entrepreneur, "culinary," and "venture." As my students are reading, I'm either circulating to read their annotations (which can tell me a lot about their comprehension), or I'm pulling a small group and reading it out loud to them, still pausing to think aloud.
When we're finished, we fill out the graphic organizer. The first one is done for them, so we analyze that. There is no "right" number of connections to make. For instance, I may have only read one book in my life that even remotely connects to this, but my table partner reads books like this all the time. There will be discrepancies in the number of connections, but as long as you know your readers, you will know if they are being genuine.