Making Connections, Making Reading Fun

One of Many Reading Comprehension Strategies

It is a proven fact that even struggling readers will do better and work longer with a text they enjoy. The key is to find a text they can connect to. If your children are interested in dinosaurs, then find a book about dinosaurs. Encourage them to connect with experiences in their own life. Did they go to a museum and see these dinosaurs? What did they look like? What did they think of them? How does this relate to the story?

Making text-to-self connections is a reading comprehension strategy. They are highly personal connections that a reader makes between a piece of reading material and the reader's own experiences or life. An example of a text-to-self connection might be, "This story reminds me of a vacation we took to my grandfather's farm."

In her book, I Read it, But I Don't Get It (2000), Cris Tovani offers reasons why connecting to text is an effective reading comprehension strategy:

  • It helps readers understand how characters feel and the motivation behind their actions.
  • It helps readers have a clearer picture in their head as they read, thus making the reader more engaged.
  • It keeps the reader from becoming bored while reading.
  • It sets a purpose for reading and keeps the reader focused.
  • Readers can see how other readers connect to the reading.
  • It forces readers to become actively involved.
  • It helps readers remember what they have read and ask questions about the text.

See more tips for reading comprehension strategies and how to help struggling readers make reading fun.