Educators are constantly striving to improve their students' reading comprehension by implementing various reading strategies. Making connections is a strategy that is used with struggling readers
as well as higher level readers.
TEXT TO SELF
Text to Self - Struggling readers have an easier time making personal life connections, or text to self connections, than other connections. Talking about what's happened to a character in a book and asking students if they've ever experienced anything like it is a good way for them to make these connections.
More advanced readers are usually able to make text to self connections, but often need to expand their connections by "thinking out of the box" in higher level modes. For example, if a connection is made about something that a character did in the story, the higher level reader should be able to explain WHY the character might have done it. For example, when Maniac Magee decided to teach Grayson, the elderly ex-baseball player to read, higher level students should explain why they think Maniac did that.
TEXT TO TEXT
Text to Text refers to connections between a text that students are reading and connecting it to to another text they've read. As students read a novel, remind them of other novels they've read and to think what's alike and different in both. For example, a theme of friendship could run throughout both books. It's important that the students support their connections by stating examples from the books.
TEXT TO WORLD
Text to world are connections that can made between a text and something that is happening or has happened around the world. These connections are often made with nonfiction text, but can also be made using historical fiction books, biographies or true life adventure stories.
Teachers should model making text connections as they read texts aloud to students. For example, a connection could be made between a Civil War story and one about the Revolutionary War, comparing battle strategies, the outcomes of the battles or the accomplishments of two military generals.
I created ready to print connection worksheets for my students. These sheets are generic and can be used with any text, nonfiction or fiction. Click below for more information. These can be used with grades 4 and up.