It's important to begin by setting the context. This blog post provides a clear overview of what reading comprehension actually is, the central strategies readers use to understand texts, sample tactics for using those strategies, and actual lesson plans as examples. When we understand this overview of the "big picture" of reading comprehension in general, it becomes easier to focus in on the strategy at hand here, which is "making connections."
Good readers make connections to three different kinds of things when they read: to themselves, to another text, and to the world. This article begins by providing the theoretical background for how making connections contribute to comprehension and goes on to explain how these three types of connections work. It also provides question beginnings that teachers can use to help students make these connections naturally and ideas for how to assess students' use of this strategy.
This instructional video begins with background on the 3 types of connections good readers need to make when reading. Then, it provides clear, easy-to-apply examples of how students can be asked to make connections in all three ways. It also illustrates a table teachers can use in their own classrooms to achieve the same results.
Designed for young learners, this interactive online game helps students identify the type of connections being made through various comprehension examples. By using clever graphics and keeping score, students are easily engaged. The website also provides additional resources as well as detailed information on which college and career standards and common core state standards are at work when using this game.
This lesson plan for grades 3-8, as well as others for different grade levels linked here too, provides detailed instructions for teaching students how to make the three different kinds of connections in order to better understand the reading assignment. It also provides links to printables that can help students remember the three types, questions teachers can use to encourage these connections, and information on the research basis for the lesson.
This unit plan provides seven complete, differentiated lesson plans for teaching students how to make connections in the three key ways. All lessons can be taught together, or individual lessons can be pulled out and used with other content. Links to several different reproducibles are provided, and each calls on students to be highly engaged through the use of literacy centers.