aking onnections trategy esson                          

developed and designed by Susan Moran


Making Connections While Reading

Reading is often considered passive but when students are writing responses and thinking about what they read, it naturally becomes an active process. Of the three connections, it is best to model text-to-self first. All students can easily activate prior knowledge about their lives. Next teach text-to-text and lastly text-to-world as this is more difficult for students to connect with. Explain that the purpose of connections is to help them understand comprehend] a text more effectively. Once they understand then what they read will be added to the bank of information they already know, and will make the next thing they read easier. [adding to schema]


To Do: In your reading response section make the three types of connections sometime this week using the book you have chosen. Make sure you follow the guidelines below.

Students connect with the text through personal experiences. Students relate to literature by  writing a specific experience in their life and comparing it to what happened in their novel.

The teacher could write the prompts on the board or make a chart.

 Text-to-Self Prompts:

"The text says...

This reminds me of..."

"If that happened to me...I would.."

Students fill in the blanks.

It is best for a teacher to model this and to write this prompt with a sample answer for students to view anytime.

Text to self connections are made frequently without the student knowing it. Readers naturally will begin a dialogue based on a story that relates to their family and experiences.
Outside site info


Students connect to the text in relation to another text. Students make connections from a previous book they have read.

"This book reminds me of (title of book) because..." it is a good text- to-text prompt. This prompt makes the student think of another book that has a similar element to the novel. This connection requires more thinking as students have less prior knowledge.

Teachers should model this frequently and relate to books the class has read as a whole and/or incorporate guided reading books. Teachers may stop at a specific point and begin a talk aloud about how it reminds them of a text and mark it with a sticky note.


Students connect to the text in relation to the world. They no longer connect with only personal information or experiences. Media such as television, Internet, or movies, is a great way to introduce text-to- world. Most students will have knowledge of similar media that will allow the teacher to connect with the real world.

"This reminds me of the real world because..." is a good prompt for helping students to make connections with the world. Students need a great deal of modeling because often they will make a text to self connection thinking it is a text to world connection. The key difference is text to self is only about the student while text to world is about everyone outside his small community.

Making connections is one strategy to improve reading comprehension. It is important for students to understand the concept of activating prior knowledge if they are to succeed in this strategy. Making connections is wonderful as it makes the reader active in the reading process.



An Example Mini Lesson using Read Aloud Strategy


Another way to Make Connections through graphic organizers         [From LT - Annapolis Valley]

Here and Now Writing Journal
Graphic Organizer to allow students to record the character's perspective on a daily basis.
The Conversation Round Table
Graphic Organizer to allow students to record the perspective of four characters in a narrative piece.
Admit Slip
To activate connections to concepts previously taught.


An organized record of word (meaning - used in context). Space is provided to record the root word(s), part of speech, sentence, variations of the word, picture, and defintion.