Saturday, July 8, 2023

Free Text to Self Student Response Unit - Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day

 Free Text to Self Student Response Unit 
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day

Making text connections. When you think about this important concept we are supposed to teach our kids and classes, it's actually something we do all the time. We might watch a movie and compare it to the book we read (that's text-to-world connection!), we might compare a book we read to another book we read about a similar topic (text-to-text), or we may compare ourselves to a character in book, either feeling what they feel or criticizing their actions (text-to-self). There are many other examples and ways we can make text connections too!

As my own child prepares for sixth-grade English exams for next spring, I realized this is a skill we would need to work on. Although we always talk about these sorts of things in our everyday lives, would she know what to actually do if someone asked her to put that on paper? So here we are with my first text-to-self FULL teaching unit for homeschool or classroom! And with one of my favourite books from my own childhood!

Text-to-self Question Cards
The first part of this unit is all about making your students think of how they connect to the text. In this unit, we'll use a read-aloud version of this story on youtube (you may also just read the book if you'd like!) While you're listening to the story I've made some question cards you can use to get your students thinking and preparing to write their responses. You could use all of the questions or just a few.

These questions all pull your students into the story by trying to connect them to the way the main character, ALexander, feels. Can they relate to him, or not? (If not, don't worry - we've got plans for that later in the unit!). As you ask these questions, your students or yourself can take notes about their responses. You can have them write them down, or discuss them out loud depending on their abilities and how you'd like your lesson to go.

Lesson Plan & Writing Guide
After you've taken the time to dig deeper into how the book might relate to your students feelings, it will be time to write their response. This is included in the lesson plan and includes posters or anchor charts to guide your students through the writing process. It also includes sentence stems that they can use to get started on each part of their paper.

These plans take into account that you'll have students who will feel that they CAN relate to the character, as well as students who feel that they CANNOT relate to the character. There are options for both and they get to choose their own path in their personal response.

Different Options & Independent Work

I've also made sure to include a few different options you can use in your class or homeschool. If you'd prefer to have students write the essay on their own, you can use the personal-sized posters or the one-page response option depending on their response type. This way, if you don't have time to do everything together, kids in grades 5-6 can still easily do this on their own.

I've also included regular-sized and personal-sized posters with strong vocabulary suggestions for some of the emotions they might be expressing in their writing. It's always great to squeeze in some stronger words!

Download the free unit below
You can download this free unit by clicking on the link below. If you do use it I'd love to hear about your experience! Feel free to e-mail me ( or send me a message on Instagram!

**TERMS OF USE: This FREE unit is meant to be free and kept free! You may NOT distribute it for profit or sell it for profit. You MAY use it in classrooms (in-person or digital), homeschools, co-ops, tutoring, or pods. You MUST keep my website address ( on each page as it is. Thank you!!**

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