This is a guest blog post by Marcy Godesa, a first-grade teacher from Oregon who blogs over at Searching for Teacher Balance. If you like what you read here, check her blog out, and be sure to check back here for more of her guest blog posts!
When teaching students the importance of understanding their reading, lessons on making connections must take place. As adult readers, we constantly connect what we are reading to real-life events and topics. These connections are what allow our brains to store the newly read information for immediate and future use. How do we get young readers to do they same thing?
First off, as parents and educators, we need to make sure that these readers are exposed to rich text, meaningful stories, and all around interesting topics. You can find wide range of books that cover these three needs in the Fables and the Real World series. My students and I love that their books contain real photographs and cover interesting topics.
Second, we need a variety of books to support the strategy of making connections. By reading nonfiction text and comparing it to the author's message/moral of the story in fables, young readers are able to grow their reading minds. The connections that they are able to make between nonfiction and fiction helps to build the bridge to successful comprehension. I feel that too often young readers focus only on text-to-self connections and the text-to-world connections fall to the wayside. It is these text-to-world connections that strengthen our language skills and understanding of the world.
Paired texts such as Fables and the Real World and Story World Real World are an incredible resource to use when teaching students about text-to-world, as well as text-to-text connections. My kiddos not only love the nonfiction component, but they thoroughly enjoy discussing the morals of the fables.
What is your favorite resource for teaching connections? Leave a comment below letting us know!
Want to learn more about the paired texts shown in this post? Click the image below to read about the Fables and the Real World series.