Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.
When you're reading, does the text ever remind you of something? It might remind you about your life, something else that you have read or something that's going on around you. These are known as text-to-self, text-to-text, or text-to-world connections. When you're making a text-to-self connection, you are comparing (determining what is similar or different) what you're reading to your own experiences. Let's try this with this excerpt from ''The Pool'':
''Alex and Karen were sitting in their backyard on a hot summer day. All they wanted to do was go swimming, but the local public pool was under construction, and all of the adults were too busy to give them a ride to the beach.
'I just want to sit in the cool water,' said Alex, imagining how nice it would feel.
The two sat quietly as they thought about how else they could cool off.
'Let's blow up that kiddie pool that we have in the garage,' suggested Karen. 'We can fill that with water, and it will help us cool off.'''
Thinking about what you just read, complete at least one of the following sentences. You can pause the video, if you'd like to think longer about your connection.
- This reminds me of something that happened to me because _____.
- This makes me think about a time that I _____.
Did you do it? If so, congratulations! You just made a text-to-self connection. Now, does this make you think of something that happened in the world? For example, there are places in the world that are very hot and don't get a lot of rain. The people that live there might feel similarly. This is a text-to-world connection.
Or does this passage remind you of another book you read? Do the characters remind you of another character you have read about? These types of connections are text-to-text.
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If This Happens, Then...
Have you ever heard of the domino effect? It basically means that if one thing happens, another event will follow, followed by another event, and another, and so on. The idea that one event can lead to another is known as cause and effect, which is a common connection readers look for in a text. Sometimes it's easy to spot a cause and effect connection by looking for the following signal words:
- As a result
- If. . . then
- Due to
An example of a cause and effect sentence with a signal word is ''The family was overjoyed because their dog, Ralphie, found his way home.'' But sometimes these connections are not so obvious. For example, read this excerpt from ''Look Who's Talking'' and see if you can identify the cause and effect:
''African elephants are endangered, or at risk of dying out. In the past, people have hunted the elephants for their ivory tusks. Today that practice is not allowed in most African countries. However, some people ignore the laws and still hunt elephants.''
In this passage, the fact that people still hunt elephants is the cause and African elephants being endangered is the effect.
Order of Texts
Can you identify the beginning, middle, and end of a text? If so, you are able to identify the sequence (or order) connection. Just like cause and effect, you can do this by looking for signal words, such as:
If you're reading a how-to text, like how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you will likely see sequence connections. For example, the instructions may tell you: ''First, you need to get two pieces of bread.'' You might also see this connection in science and social studies texts. A passage on the scientific method might say: ''In the scientific method, you first need to make a hypothesis. After that, you will test your hypothesis with an experiment.'' Sequence is everywhere!
Good readers can connect the text to other things by comparing it (or determining what is similar and different) to the world, their own lives, or other texts. They can also find cause and effect relationships when reading, which outline when one event leads to another. Sequence (or order) connections can be made in a variety of texts.
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Identifying Connections in a Text: Lesson for Kids
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