Coloring Outside of the Lines!

Cynthia Rylant

The Relatives Came is a book about a family that waits all year for summer to come because that is when all the relatives come to visit.  The relatives’ arrival creates hours of hugs and a huge family dinner.  After a huge family dinner, all family members are faced with sleeping quarter.  Family members are sprawled all over the bed and floor.  After weeks of family time, the relatives must leave to go back home to Virginia.  While the relatives are sad to leave, they know they will back the following summer.

I chose this book because it was the book my Master Teacher wanted me to use to teach the students about schema.  Along with The Relatives Came, I used Debbie Miller’s Reading with Meaning: Teaching Comprehension in the Primary Grades to help guide my read aloud and introduce the students to schema.  Debbie Miller recommended the use of The Relatives Came to allow students to be able to make a personal connection to a book; this is referred to as a text-to-self connection.  Debbie Miller, my master teacher, and I all found this book to be great when considering students’ experiences.  We thought about how the students would be able to make a connection to their own lives.  This book also has shorter text which allows the reader to be able to stop and engage the students in a meaningful discussion.  There are spots to stop and have the students make predictions and there are spots where I was able to stop and make a text-to-self connection.  I was able to stop reading and show the students an example of what I was teaching them.