You are currently viewing Making Connections: Enhancing Reading Comprehension Skills Series #1

Making Connections: Enhancing Reading Comprehension Skills Series #1

Introduction

One powerful strategy to bolster reading comprehension is making connections. In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of making connections when reading and provide a list of engaging books for third graders to use as read-alouds to model this strategy. We’ll also delve into the three types of connections: text to self, text to text, and text to world.

Why Making Connections Matters with Reading Comprehension

Making connections is like building bridges between a reader’s prior knowledge and the text they’re exploring. It helps students engage with the material on a personal level, making it more meaningful and memorable. Here’s why it’s so important:

  • Enhanced Comprehension: When students connect what they’re reading to their own lives, other books they’ve read, or the world around them, they’re more likely to understand and remember the content.
  • Increased Engagement: Making connections brings reading to life. It turns a passive activity into an active exploration where students can relate to the characters, events, and ideas presented in the text.
  • Improved Critical Thinking: Encouraging connections encourages critical thinking. It prompts students to question, reflect, and analyze the text, fostering a deeper understanding of the material.

Types of Connections

  • Text to Self: This is when students connect what they’re reading to their personal experiences, thoughts, or feelings. For example, a student might relate a character’s fear of spiders to their own fear of insects.
  • Text to Text: Here, students draw connections between the book they’re currently reading and other books they’ve read. They might notice similarities in themes, characters, or settings, allowing for a richer understanding of both texts.
  • Text to World: This connection expands beyond the book, linking the text to real-world events, issues, or situations. For instance, students might connect a story about teamwork to a recent news article about a sports team’s success.

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Books for Modeling Making Connections

Now, let’s explore a selection of captivating books that are perfect for modeling the making connections strategy in your classroom:

  • “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats
    • Great for text-to-self connections as students can relate to the excitement of playing in the snow.
  • “Last Stop on Market Street” by Matt de la Peña
    • Encourages text-to-self and text-to-world connections by exploring the beauty of everyday life and the diversity of our communities.
  • “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle
    • Ideal for text-to-self connections as students can connect their experiences of growth and transformation to the story.
  • “A Bad Case of Stripes” by David Shannon
    • A wonderful choice for text-to-self connections as it explores themes of self-identity and being true to oneself.
  • “The Day You Begin” by Jacqueline Woodson
    • Encourages text-to-self and text-to-world connections by addressing themes of diversity, belonging, and the courage to be oneself.
  • “Stellaluna” by Janell Cannon
    • Perfect for text-to-text connections as students can compare and contrast the experiences of different characters, including a bat and birds.
  • “The Dot” by Peter H. Reynolds
    • Encourages text-to-self connections by inspiring creativity and self-expression.
  • “Enemy Pie” by Derek Munson
    • A great choice for text-to-self connections as it explores themes of friendship, empathy, and problem-solving.
  • “The Relatives Came” by Cynthia Rylant
    • Ideal for text-to-world connections as students can relate the story to their own experiences with family gatherings and reunions.
  • “Each Kindness” by Jacqueline Woodson
    • Encourages text-to-self and text-to-world connections by addressing themes of kindness, empathy, and the impact of our actions on others.
  • “The Most Magnificent Thing” by Ashley Spires
    • A wonderful choice for text-to-self connections as it explores perseverance, problem-solving, and the creative process.
  • “Thunder Boy Jr.” by Sherman Alexie
    • Great for text-to-self and text-to-world connections as students can relate to the theme of identity and the significance of names.

Short on time? I have a making connections resource in my TPT store:

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By introducing these books into your curriculum and encouraging your students to make connections while reading, you’ll be fostering a love of reading and improving their reading comprehension skills. Reading will become more than a task; it will be a journey of discovery and understanding. Happy reading!

Need more strategies for teaching reading comprehension? Check out these other posts:

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