12, Sep 2023
Making Connections: Strategies for Comprehension in Reading
Making Connections in English
Making connections is a reading strategy that helps students make meaning of what they read. This strategy increases comprehension, improves monitoring of understanding, and enables students to relate learning to their own lives.
Introduce this strategy by watching a short video clip that catches students’ attention with fun doodles and images. Then have students practice using this strategy on their own by reading three high-interest short stories and recording them on a simple recording sheet.
Text to self
Students make text-to-self connections when they use their personal experiences to help them understand a story. For example, if a character in a book is feeling anxious, the reader might recall a time when they felt the same way. These connections allow readers to relate to characters, conflicts, settings, and themes on a deeper level. They also help readers understand other people’s perspectives and empathy, which are imperative real-world skills.
To teach students to make these connections, teachers need to model the strategy and provide plenty of opportunities for supported practice. This can be done through read aloud texts and written responses. In addition, it is important to include graphic organizers to help students organize their thoughts and build confidence in the skill.
Providing students with different color-coded rectangular paper cutouts for each type of connection can help them keep track of their thoughts and answers. They can then clip their completed connections to a three-column chart in the classroom.
Text to text
Making connections is a reading comprehension strategy that requires students to use their own knowledge and experiences to make sense of what they are reading. This is particularly important for English language learners, who must be able to connect their learning to their own culture and community.
To help students learn this strategy, model it for them by discussing your own connections as you read aloud to them. Also, give students opportunities to record their own connections in written form. This will help them feel confident and comfortable with the idea of making connections.
The first type of connection, text to self, involves a reader sharing his or her own thoughts and feelings about the text. The second type, text to text, is when a character or event in the current text reminds the reader of something in another story or book. Finally, text to world is when a reader relates the events in a book to those that occur in real life.
Text to world
Making connections to the world outside of reading is a hard skill for students to develop. It requires them to use their knowledge and experiences about current events and social issues to help them understand a new text. It is important to provide students with opportunities to make these connections through both written and oral discussion.
For example, if the story is about an athlete overcoming his fear of falling, students can discuss with their peers how they have overcome their own fears or what athletes have done to overcome theirs. It is also helpful to provide examples of news articles and videos on current events that relate to the text being read.
To introduce this strategy, consider using the text to self and text to text connection activities as a guided reading lesson. As students become proficient in the strategy, you can begin to transition them into independent reading and use the text to world connection activities.
Text to context
Developing students’ ability to make connections is a key strategy to reading comprehension. However, it’s important to note that making connections is a skill that must be isolated and taught. This is because a child’s understanding and use of this reading strategy will differ depending on their experiences and knowledge.
To make a connection, students must be able to understand the context of the text. Context is the surrounding environment in which an action takes place, including the setting and time period of the story. It also includes the language used in the text, such as idioms or colloquial speech.
Context can help readers understand unfamiliar words or phrases by providing clues to their meaning. For example, if a student encounters the word “pale,” she can use sentence and paragraph context to infer that it means white. In addition, context can help students identify pronoun referents, understand words with multiple meanings, and distinguish between fact and fiction.