Making Connections is an interesting reading comprehension strategy. It seems so straight forward and it seems to be easy to explain. It is also over-used in comprehension discussions with students on the knowledge level. In spite of these things, making connections seems to be more tricky than suspected.
Making Connections Anchor Charts
You know I believe in anchor charts and I think this is one we should change the way we present this anchor chart to our students. Let’s build the anchor chart with the students several times.
What if we had an anchor chart with four books labeled “text” and four arrows. As you read a story, mark the connections in the story with post-it notes.
In this post, I’m using Bear Wants More by Karma Wilson.
It’s a charming book in the Bear series about Bear waking up from his annual hibernation. Bear is hungry and wants more and more and his friends help him find food, finally celebrating with him.
Making Connections: text-to-self
I have added post-its with 4 connections in this book. Page 2 – text to self…I am hungry in the morning, so I know he must be hungry after the whole winter.
Making Connections: text-to-text
Page 6 – text to text…Mouse offers to help Bear find strawberries.
This reminds me of the book, “The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big, Hungry Bear. Page 14 – text to world…I notice there is a forest and a pond in the book.
I tell the students we have both forests and ponds in Chesapeake, Virginia, where we live. And finally,
Making Connections: text-to-media
Page 25 – text to media…I tell the students how funny this part of the book is to me. I remember seeing a video about Winnie the Pooh being stuck in his den. As I share my connections with the story, I will add the icon for text, self, world, and media. Throughout the next few weeks, take the pictures off the anchor chart and replace them as the connection is made.
I have created Making Connection bookmarks for student use. As they are reading the book, they can use the bookmarks as a reminder or as a check list. Not every book will have all 4 connections, but most of them can, if we try. If you would like the Making Connections Bookmark, click the link.