The first reading strategy I teach in September is the easiest one...making connections. Children find this easy, natural and enjoyable. I love the book: Up North at the Cabin. Most children have gone on a vacation or stayed with family members so they can make some connection with this book. I usually have them write about a connection they made with the book and label it T-T (text to text), T-S (text to self), T-W (text to world). For more practice with making connections I might read Earrings! by Judith Viorst or Slower Than The Rest. Another favorite is When the Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant. It is very easy to find a book that can be used to make connections. Directly after teaching/modeling this strategy I expect it to be applied whenever we are reading whether its the Trophies anthology (basal reader) or a paperback. If fact, for the rest of the year, the words I made a text to self connection or I used my background knowledge need to be internalized and spoken often. The idea that critical readers NOTICE when they have connected with text is extremely important. Do not teach it and put it on a shelf. Apply, apply, apply.
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