Parent Tips

Reading Tip for Parents

by Lori Oczkus

Making Connections
This reminds me of...
When good readers take in text they make connections to their own lives, other books they've read, and the world around them. (Keene, Zimmerman). Children do this quite naturally before, during, and after reading a text. Once when my son was just two and we were reading for the zillionth time a Curious George book (Rey, Houghton Mifflin),he pointed to the phone book little George used as a booster seat at the dinner table and said, "Pop Pop's house." He was reminded of the phone book he regularly sat on at Grandpa's table. When reading another title in the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary my nineyear old commented that Ramona is just like Judy Moody in the Judy Moody books by Megan McDonald. Before reading about the Japanese internment camps in the sophisticated , and thought provoking picture book , Home of the Braveby Allen Say, my 12 year old son, Bryan, discusses connections to other titles they are reading in sixth grade as well his connections to what he already knows about World War II. Making connections is an important part of reading and by simply asking your child from time to time throughout a book, "What does this remind you of,?" you can encourage your child her own background knowledge and experiences with the text.

Procedure for Making Connections

  • Before reading
  • Look at the front cover of the book and think about any experiences that you have had, or other books you've read, or things you know about the topic. Invite the child to share some examples of connections and you should share some as well. If the child is silent, share yours first. That may remind the child of a connection.
    What does it remind you of and why?
    What connections are you making to your self, other books, or what you know about a topic?
    I am reminded of...
    My examples are...

  • During reading
  • occasionally bring up connections
    This reminds me of...
    What does this remind you of?

  • You may wish to call these connections by the names your child's teacher may be using in class (Keene and Zimmerman)
  • text to self connections (the child's feelings, experiences)
    text to text (other books)
    text to world. (child's knowledge of a subject, for example bull dozers, or the Revolutionary War)

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