How does the story connect to your own life, another text you have read, or the world around you? Good readers often make connections to a story to help them better understand the text.
- Text-to-self connections:
- What does this story remind you of?
- Can you relate to the characters in the story?
- Does anything in this story remind you of anything in your own life?
- Text-to-text connections:
- What does this remind you of in another book you have read?
- How is this text similar to other things you have read?
- How is this text different from other things you have read?
- Focusing on text-to-world connections:
- What does this remind you of in the real world?
- How are events in this story similar to things that happen in the real world?
- How are events in this story different from things that happen in the real world?
Example of a good connection that enhances understanding: When I was in second grade, I moved to a new school like Shirley did. I remember feeling like everyone ignored me and missing my home, so I can relate to what she’s going through.
Example of a surface-level connection: Shirley likes the Dodgers. So do I.
Assessment as Learning Activity
First, read the short story Shells, by Cynthia Rylant.
Next, examine four reading responses to this story. Each response is answering the question: What did reading this story remind you of? Explain your thinking.
You will be determining which response is a level 1, a level 2, a level 3 and a level 4 response. Provide two reasons why you believe each response deserves the level you gave it.
Level 1 Rationale
The student makes a limited connection and provides little or no explanation (e.g., “in the beach, collecting sea shells”).
Level 2 Rationale
The student makes a straightforward connection and provides some explanation (e.g., “reminded me of a movie … kids parents die … sent to live with his uncle”)
Level 3 Rationale
The student makes connections of considerable complexity and provides an effective explanation (e.g., “After my father’s mother died last summer he kind of closed himself off from everyone”).
Level 4 Rationale
The student makes complex and logical connections and provides thorough explanation (e.g., “It reminded me of the movie ‘Run Away Home’ … a girls moves in with her father, and they don’t get along”).
- Prediction Log
- KWL Chart
- Connection Web
- Double-Entry Journal (connected lesson plan)
- How to make personal connections
- S.E. Hinton-The Outsiders