Sunday, 26 October 2014

Comprehension - Part #4. Making Connections

Making Connections is a great strategy to get students thinking about the text and how it is similar to themselves, another text or the world in which they live in. Making connections helps develop a deeper understanding of the text and the characters.

The easiest one to start with is Text-To-Self Connections.

To introduce this, I would pick a basic book that is about a situation that pretty much anyone can relate to. For the younger grades, any Charlie & Lola book is perfect. Before reading, tell students that you want them to listen to find a part of the book that is similar to their life. Read through the book and then have students talk with a partner about how they are similar to book/character.

Put up the prompt "This reminds me of..." on the board and have students use this to guide their answer for reporting back to the class.

In terms of bookwork, have students draw a picture and then write a sentence/paragraph about their connection. You can use the following sentence starters;

* This reminds me of...
* The character is like me because...
* I remember when...

Once students are comfortable with Text-To-Self connections, move onto Text-To-Text. Make the connection (ha!) between what they have just done and what they will be doing now (listening to connect). Good texts to use for this;

* The Gruffao and The Gruffalo's Child
* The Three Little Pigs and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
*  The Stinky Cheeseman & Other Fairly Stupid Tales and any fairytale covered in the book
* Little Red Riding Hood and The Wolf's Story

Once again have students discuss and then write. This time use the sentence starters;

* The character _______ reminds me of ____________ in ________ because...
* The text ____________ reminds me of ___________ because...
* This story is like _______ because...

Teaching Text-To-Text connections provides a great starting block for comparing texts.

The last connection to teach is Text-To-World. Any text that is about a global issue would be fine. One of my favourites is George Saves the World by Lunchtime. This text is also great for reminding students about recycling and disposing of rubbish thoughtfully :D

Use these sentence starters to guide student responses;

* This reminds me of _________ because...
* This is like when....
* Something similar happened....

Once you have introduced these strategies, you can then use them as reading response activities. A great way to practice writing and encourage deeper thinking about what students have been reading!

I have a pack of posters and thinking stems in my TPT store that would be a perfect companion for teaching this strategy;

Next up: Questioning!


  1. HI Natalie, Nice post. I need to remember to put up the prompts for all the connections. I nominated you for a Liebster Award! Check out the post here: See you around! Kathleen
    Kidpeople Classroom

  2. Thank you for the nomination! :D