Have you ever had the experience of listening to a child read quite well, but, at the end of it he was unable to answer higher order questions? As you look at his face you see a completely blank expression, almost as if he was in no way connected with what he just read. In most cases, he probably really wasn't! There are many kids who pretend to read by simply modeling the behaviors of a successful reader. Those kids 'call out' the words successively and successfully, however they are unable to complete the reading act which is understanding those words on the page. In order to get them to make connections as they read we need to give them much needed support and guidance.
Helping children to make connections as they read can be done by teaching them how it is done. The 'schema' theory explains that we make connections with text through our experiences. The things that we know, the things that we experience and the things that we understand can all help in bringing meaning to the printed word. Keene and Zimmerman (1997) identified three such connections that helps students comprehend better. They are text-to-self, text-to-text and text-to-world. Get your students to relate what they read to their own lives. Get them to relate what they read to other books that they have read, and get them to relate to the general world. When we guide our students in the right direction theY would be able to use this framework to analyze any text.
For more ideas on how to make connections click HERE!
For my Making Connections Resource Set click the picture below: