One of the easiest ways to make more of your reading time is to use the reading strategy of Making Connections. This is a strategy used in many classrooms across the country and it is very simple to do. Basically there are three types of connections a child could make while reading any book; text to self, text to text, or text to world. It is easy to make these connections! The following are examples I have made with my girls while reading some books from the Be There Bedtime Bookstore.
Text to Self connection: In the book Blackberry Banquet by Terry Pierce, there are many animals enjoying the tasty treat of blackberries. One of my daughters LOVES blackberries, a passion she does not share with myself. I said “Wow, these animals sure love those blackberries just like you do! Do you remember how much you love to eat blackberries in the summer?”
Text to Text Connection: In the book Penelope and the Humongous Burp by Sheri Radford, I compared two characters from two different books when I said to my daughters, “Penelope reminds me of Junie B. Jones. She is a hilarious character, isn’t she!”
Text to World Connection: In the book A Day in the Salt Marsh by Kevin Kurtz, the crabs running in the sand reminded me a a recent vacation we took. I said, “Seeing those fiddler crabs reminds me of when we saw that crab crawling across the beach in Galveston last year! Do you remember that?”
Making connections helps readers to comprehend text more fully. The reward lies in the fact that soon your young reader will be making their own connections naturally and easily. This will make reading more engaging and entertaining for them. If your young reader is making connections, their reading comprehension will be stronger for it!
I have no doubt that you have already made connections many times before with your child. Now you know how valuable it is for their reading comprehension! Model this powerful reading strategy often for your young reader and be on the lookout for them doing it back for you!