Making text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world connections can greatly enhance students’ understanding of a text, whether narrative or nonfiction. The problem? Students don’t often engage in such behavior automatically. Support students in learning and using this strategy with the lessons highlighted below. While most of the lessons are written with a specific text in mind, teachers can easily modify them to fit almost any book, article, or poem.
Family Ties: Making Connections to Improve Reading Comprehension (Grades K-2)
In this lesson, students will read books about families and make text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world connections using those books. Students gain a deeper understanding of a text when they make authentic connections. Teachers can modify this lesson to focus on nonfiction text, such as the titles in our virtual bookshelf. Or they may choose to conduct the lesson as it is to introduce the strategy, and then apply the strategy to nonfiction texts. This lesson meets the following NCTE/IRA Standards: 1, 3, 4, 11, 12.
Making Connections/Self-Monitoring (Grades K-3)
This unit from the Scholastic Professional web site includes seven lessons excerpted from Differentiated Literacy Centers by Margo Southall. Each lesson includes a reproducible PDF for student use. These lessons meet the following NCTE/IRA Standards: 1, 3, 4, 11, 12.
Making Connections Lessons (Grades K-5)
Five mini lessons from the Into the Book web site support students as they learn to make connections while reading. These lessons meet the following NCTE/IRA Standards: 1, 3, 4, 11, 12.
Making Connections with A Handful of Dirt (Grades 3-5)
The focus of this integrated science and literacy lesson is to connect a text (A Handful of Dirt by Raymond Bial) to students’ schemas (prior knowledge) of the real world. In this lesson, the teacher models the strategy extensively before asking students to take responsibility for the strategy. The lesson includes detailed connections and page references, but these will need to be modified to align with your particular scope and sequence. It can also be modified for use with other texts and topics. This lesson meets the following NCTE/IRA Standards: 1, 3, 4, 11, 12.
Guided Comprehension: Making Connections Using a Double Entry Journal (Grades 4-6)
Based on the Guided Comprehension Model developed by Maureen McLaughlin and Mary Beth Allen, this lesson introduces students to the comprehension strategy of making connections. Students learn the three types of connections (text-to-text, text-to-self, and text-to-world) using a double-entry journal. The lesson is written using texts about the life and work of Cesar Chavez, but the lesson could be easily modified for use with any topic. This lesson meets the following NCTE/IRA Standards: 1, 3, 4, 11, 12.
This article was written by Jessica Fries-Gaither. Jessica is an education resource specialist at The Ohio State University and project director of Beyond Weather and the Water Cycle and Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears. She has taught in elementary and middle school settings. Email Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright December 2011 – The Ohio State University. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1034922. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. This work is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons license.