Making Connections: Text to Self and Text to Text

Sylvia Franklin
REED 663
The project completed was teaching the
strategy making connections. I used this
strategy with my first grade class and allowed
them to make connections to their own lives and
across texts. During the read aloud block, my
class worked on text to self connections across
four days and we worked on text to text
connections over three days.
 The purpose of this project was to allow
students to see the connections they can make
with texts to themselves and how texts can have
similar themes and ideas. This allowed for
students to be actively engaged to better
comprehend texts.
 Making
connections is the capability to think
about and engage in an interaction with the
text in relation to ourselves, other text and
the world.
 There are three different types of
connections that readers can make when
reading text: text to self, text to text and
text to world.
 By making connections, students are able to
be actively engaged in text to further
increase their ability to comprehend.
I first discussed with the students that good readers make
connections with texts to get a better understanding of
what they are reading. I explicitly told my students that
there are three types of connections readers can make to
better understand the text and we would be working on
two of those connections: text to self and text to text.
The first set of connections taught were text to self
connections. While reading the book Chrysanthemum by
Kevin Henkes, I thought aloud about connections I could
make with the text to model this process for the students.
This allowed students to see how connections can be made
from the text to their own lives.
I began with the connection: “I know that Chrysanthemum
is very excited to go to school; when I was starting school
for the first time I was also very excited.”
On the second day of working on making
connections, we reviewed what text to self
connections were. Students then had the
opportunity to state connections they made with
the text. We reread the text Chrysanthemum so
they could practice making connections with my
 Here are some of the connections my students
were able to make to the text:
“My mom makes me my favorite food when I am
upset.” ~ Paris
 “I was excited for the first day of school and I got to
wear my new clothes.” ~ Ja’Nasia
 “Someone laughed at me before. I didn’t like that.”
Students worked on orally making connections
independently to texts after they were read
aloud. We used the text:
Students also worked on writing self to text
connections they could make to a text after it
was read aloud. We used the text:
Koala Lou by Mem Fox
Franklin Goes to the Hospital by Paulette Bourgeois
and Brenda Clark
Students were also encouraged to make
connections to texts we read during shared
reading and while independently reading.
This chart was created during
independent practice. These
are a few of the connections
students were able to
independently make to
personally connect themselves
with the text Koala Lou by Mem
I got bit by a pitbull and I
went to the hospital.
One group hard at work on
making connections.
I went to the hospital because I
had an ear infection because I
wore a fake earring and I had
crust on my ears.
I am like Franklin because I had
to go to the hospital. I had to
get a shot.
I am brave like Franklin because
I got my x-ray.
I went to the hospital because I
fell off the monkey bars and
had to get stitches.
I went to the hospital to get my
tonsils out.
Chart created using students
independent work samples on
text to self connections.
I explicitly discussed text to text connections with my
class, explaining to them that texts can be similar and
have similar themes. Being good readers, we look for
relations across similar texts to understand them even
more. Making text to text connections was taught using
modeling and think alouds. I demonstrated how to make
connections across texts using Kevin Henkes’s
Chrysanthemum and Wemberly Worried.
Since the class was familiar with the text Chrysanthemum,
Wemberly Worried was used because of the familiar theme
and author. While reading the book Wemberly Worried, I
thought aloud about connections across both books.
“I know that Chrysanthemum was excited about going to
school until she went for the first day, then she did not
want to go anymore because of the children laughing at
her name. Wemberly is like Chrysanthemum because she
is worried about school and what others will think of her
and what her first day will be like. In both books, the
characters are nervous about going to school.”
On day two of making text to text connections,
we reviewed how texts can be related. Students
were then asked to make connections between
the two texts Chrysanthemum and Wemberly
Worried with my guidance. Only half of
Wemberly Worried was read the previous day so
the rest of the book was read on day two.
 Students showed an understanding of making
text to text connections based on the
connections they orally stated throughout the
read aloud.
 These connections were written on a chart for
students to use for help during independent
practice if needed.
On the third day of making text to text connections,
students were asked to relate the books Curious
George Goes Camping by Margaret & H.A. Rey with
Just Me and My Dad by Mercer Mayer. We previously
read the text Just Me and My Dad so this text was
reviewed before Curious George Goes Camping was
After reading Curious George Goes Camping, students
were given paper to draw and write about the
connections they could make across the two texts.
I gave the sentence starter Curious George Goes
Camping was like Just Me and My Dad ….
Students were able to use the starter to help them
connect the texts.
Evidence of text to text connections students were
able to make are shown in their work samples.
Curious George Goes Camping
was like Just Me and My Dad
because they love camping.
Curious George Goes Camping
was like Just Me and My Dad
because they both drove in a
car to get camping.
Curious George Goes Camping
was like Just Me and My Dad
because they both went fishing
and went camping.
Curious George Goes Camping
was like Just Me and My Dad
because they had the same
thing to eat.
Curious George Goes Camping
was like Just Me and My Dad
because George broke the tent
like the little boy broke the
I shared my lessons, books used and ideas with the second grade
teacher Mrs. Hubick.
She used my ideas for teaching the strategy to complete a lesson
on making text to self connections with her second grade class.
“I used a book I felt my students would be able to relate to and
that they would be interested in. I feel that by thinking aloud
and modeling how to make connections, my students were able
to think deeper about their connections to relate the characters
in a Junie B. Jones book to their own lives.” Mrs. Hubick
Mrs. Hubick also stated that she would like to use the ideas for
text to text connections for her next author study.
“I think that making connections is a great way to show
comprehension. Students in all grades would be able to make
connections to books on their level if they are interested and
engaged in the book.”
“ Text to text connections would be a great way to show
comprehension of specific ideas. I think as students get older
this would be a great strategy to use with nonfiction texts.”
Making connections text to
My friend had got grounded
for one day because her
friend pushed her when she
was going home.
This connection shows
evidence of understanding of
the strategy because the
book that was read told
about a girl getting in
trouble. Dashae was able to
relate that to her own life
and an incident her friend
Making connections text to
I had got in trouble before.
I threw lunch before.
People lied on me before. I
tattled before.
This connections shows
evidence of understanding
the strategy because Nicole
was able to relate multiple
occurrences in her life to the
girl getting in trouble in the
All grade levels should work with their students on making
connections. Connections should get more in depth as students
get older and more complex texts should be used. I only worked
with my students on text to self and text to text connections
however text to world connections should be used in all grade
levels also.
Primary Grades- Primary grade teachers can use this strategy to
help their students make connections to texts. Students can
draw, write or both to show self to text or text to text
Intermediate Grades- As students get older, they can code texts
as they read it to show what kind of connection they are making.
TS- Text to self or TT- Text to Text
Students in these grades may also want to still draw and write
about their connections.
Middle and High School- Students at these grades should still
make connections to and across texts. They can code the text
they read with the connections made. They may also write
papers to discuss how they can relate to a text or how two or
more texts are similar.
Both my students and I learned from this project. I
learned new ways to teach the strategy to use in
future years and my students learned how to use the
strategy to better comprehend texts.
My students enjoyed working on making connections.
They were excited to be able to tell how the
characters and events in the books were like things
that have happened in their own lives. They also
enjoyed seeing connections across texts when they
could pick out how texts can be similar.
Evidence that the students were able to make both
types of connections correctly was proven with their
oral responses as well as their written responses.
Making connections is a strategy that my students will
now be able to use effectively to better comprehend
texts they read or listen to.

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