A Comprehension Strategy
We have been working on the comprehension strategy of making connections. We’ve talked about how readers think and read at the same time. They make connections from what they already know to information in the text.
Thinking about what you already know is called using your schema, or using your background knowledge. Schema is all the stuff that’s already inside your head, like places you’ve been, things you’ve done, books you’ve read – all the experiences you’ve had that make up who you are and what you know and believe to be true. When you use your schema when you read it helps you use what you know to better understand and interact with the text. It makes reading more meaningful and fun.
We read the story Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes. We talked about experiences we’ve had that made us feel worried. We connected our memories and emotions of feeling worried with Wemberly and could better understand the story. We could relate to Wemberly and how she felt. Our discussions helped us connect to the story.
As adult readers we make connections all the time, perhaps without even being aware that we are doing so. Sometimes a book will remind us of a personal experience or emotion. This is called a text-to-self connection. A book may also remind us of another story we have read or a character from another book. This is a text-to-text connection. This can also include poems, scripts, songs, or anything that is written. Finally, there are text to world connections. These are connections that readers make between the text and the bigger issues, events, or concerns of society and the world at large.
You can help your child learn how to make connections! As you read with him/her become aware of your own thinking and share it out loud. Model your thinking for them and encourage them to share their thinking too. At first you may hear “I don’t know,” but keep modeling for them. They are learning from you what proficient readers do in their head as they read!
Have fun making connections together!