Making Connections

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.

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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”).

 

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