Making Connections

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Building Comprehension:

Strategies for enhancing interaction with text

Making Connections

The reader relates prior knowledge and experience to what is being read. Connections are made to lived experience, other texts, and the world.

Look it Over – Strategies p. 152

KWL – Strategies p.89
Follow-up activities:

  • Completion of KWL

  • Written response – What connections did you make as you were reading this book? What did this book remind you of from your own life? What other books or movies did it remind you of? What current events in the world did it make you think of?


The reader makes predictions at various stages of reading in order to confirm, adjust, and make new predictions based on textual preferences.

Before, During, After – Strategies p. 146

Prediction Chart – F.I. 48
Follow-up activities:

  • Completion of BDA

  • Completion of prediction chart

  • Written response – What do you think will happen next in the story? Support your prediction by telling why you think that.

  • Create a short play based on what you think will happen next in the story.

  • Create a play which has a different ending which would still make sense in the story.

  • Compose or write a song based on this story and what you think will happen.

Forming Sensory Images

The reader uses textual references to construct sensory images from the text.
Follow-up activities:

  • Listen-Sketch-Draft - Strategies p. 205
  • Find a passage in the text which helps you form a picture in your head. Read it over twice. Draw the picture that you see. Remember to add as much detail as you can from what the author has told you.

  • Find a passage in the text which helps you form a picture in your head. Read it over at least twice. Add two additional sentences to the passage which the author could have used to add detail to the picture.


The reader develops questions during the reading, which lead to reading for deeper understanding.
Follow-up activities:

  • Question the Author – Strategies p. 162

  • Reciprocal Teaching – Strategies p. 166

  • Re-read the story stopping at the end of each page and using a sticky note to record a question that you have as a reader. If you are stuck try beginning each sentence with “I wonder……”

Self-Monitoring and Adjusting

The reader self-monitors and adjusts strategies when the meaning of text is unclear. For example, the reader rereads when the text doesn’t make sense.

(SMART Self-Monitoring Approach to Reading and Thinking – Strategies – p.174)

Follow-up activities:

  • Written response – When something doesn’t make sense a good reader tries a new strategy. List some strategies you can try when something you read is not making sense? (activating prior knowledge, re-reading, underlining difficult vocabulary, chunking text and summarizing, making a story or concept map, etc.)

Paraphrasing and Summarizing Content

The reader retells and summarizes the content of the text using personal language to confirm understanding.

Before, During, After - Strategies p. 146

Follow-up activities:

  • Completion of BDA

  • Information Pyramids – Strategies p.59

  • Reciprocal Teaching – Strategies p. 166

  • Retelling – Strategies p. 162

  • Create a play which tells what happens in the story.

  • Retell the story to a friend.

Using Story Structure

The reader uses understanding of structures, techniques and elements of a narrative story including: identifying main characters, the feelings of characters through their actions, and supporting characters, recognizing key events and beginning, middle and end of the story.
Follow-up activities:

  • Story Maps - Strategies p. 53

  • Fill in a story or character map or web

  • Choose a character from the story you would like to be and tell a partner how you feel at the end of the story

Locating and Recalling Relevant Information

The reader, through question and answer relationships, locates and recalls relevant information in the text to confirm understanding.
Follow-up activities:

  • Written response: Pretend you are the author of the book. Make up three questions the author might ask someone to see if they read the book. Share your questions with a partner and see if your partner can answer them.

Recognizing Distinguishing Features

The reader recognizes distinguishing forms of text and genres of literature and uses these known patterns to construct and enhance understanding.

Follow-up activities:

  • Informational Text Frames - Strategies p. 58

  • Written response – What genre would this book fit into? (Give a list if necessary) Why do you think the author chose this genre to write in? What makes this genre different than ….? What genres do you most like to read. Tell why.


The reader makes viable inferences based on specific textual references and support. This connects thinking to reading by requiring the reader to synthesize the information to form opinions and exchange ideas.
Follow-up activities:

  • Reciprocal Teaching – Strategies p. 166

  • Written response – Direct the student to a specific passage in the text. Reread the passage at least twice. What clues is the author giving you that … has happened in the past? … will try to help others in the story?

Drawing conclusions

The reader clearly and accurately explains opinions and reasoning.
Follow-up activities:

  • Reciprocal Teaching – Strategies p. 166

  • Think of something you would have done differently if you were the author. Tell a partner and explain why you would have done that. Have your partner use a rubric to indicate how well you supported your choice. Switch roles.

Developing Vocabulary

The reader uses knowledge of word patterns, and uses context to determine meaning for new words.

Follow-up activities:
  • Cloze activities – Strategies p. 54

  • Choose four new words from the text. Re-read the paragraph the word is from and guess what it means. Look it up in the dictionary to see if you were right.

  • Give a specific reference and have the student use a link to a word they know – prefer to understand preference, hard to understand hardship, etc.

  • With a partner see how many interesting words you can find in chapter …

Textual Cues

The reader uses cues such as titles, covers, headings, illustrations and paragraphs to construct and confirm meaning

Follow-up activities:

  • With a partner talk about how headings can help you as a reader. Make a combined list of your thoughts

  • Written response - Tell why you think the author chose the title for this text. What title would you have chosen? Why?

  • Read the … paragraph over at least twice and create an illustration that the author could have used instead of writing the text.

  • Use the title and headings of the text to create a rap.

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