Tag Archives: Text-to-text connections

Goat’s Coat by Tom Percival

Schema: sharing

Text-to-Self: seeing others who need your help, deciding how to help others

Characterization: This is an excellent text to discuss empathy and compassion with young readers. Goat is very generous and shows empathy to the other animals that he meets along his walk.

Text-to-Text: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Cause and Effect: Because the goat gave his coat to the animals that he could help, the effect is that he is without a coat. Because the goat helped others, the effect is that he has many caring friends.

Rhyming text captures young listeners interest. The large and detailed illustrations are very easy to share with a group. All of the animals’ expressions are delightful. I think this is a wonderful book to share with young readers to illustrate how to be caring to others.

Eric Carle and Friends: What’s Your Favorite Animal? by 14 children’s artists

Schema: Think about what is your favorite animals and why.

Text-to-Self Connections: Which animals in the book would be your favorite?

Making Mental Images: Try to imagine Eric Carle’s cat running up and down the hall with a green bean.

Idioms: “How’s the weather up there?” Have you ever heard this said to a person who is very tall?

Inferences: On the Mo Willems’ page do you infer that the snake has eaten the Amazonian Neotropical Lower River Tink-Tink?

Text-to-Text Connections: On the Peter Sis page he talks about in how people plan to eat carp every Christmas. I have read Merry Christmas, Strega Nona, by Tomie DePaola many, many times and did not realize that this was a widely practiced tradition in Italy and well as the Czech Republic.

Text-to-Text: Duck by Jon Klassen, Can you think of a book about a duck who likes to trick somebody? (Mo Willems’ Duckling books The Duckling Gets a Cookie

On Chris Raschka’s page, what other animals leave something of themselves behind? Starfish, turtles, shark’s teeth, animals we use to make clothing

Characterization: Nick Bruel’s page features his favorite animal, the Octopus, but his own character, Bad Kitty, interrupts his graphic story and gets a gift from Eric Carle. What are some of Bad Kitty’s character traits?

Writing: Write a short paragraph modeled after Peter McCarty’s paragraph about his pet bunny. Tell about your pet or a relative’s pet. What’s your favorite animal from the book?

Goldie Socks and the Three Libearians by Jackie Mims Hopkins and Goldilocks and Just One Bear by Leigh Hodgkinson

Schema: original Goldilocks and the Three Bears story

Text-to-Text Connections: Both stories have a similar plot

Compare and Contrast: What are the differences about and similarities of the Goldilocks characters?
What are the differences and similarities with the houses?

Synthesis: Can you think of another place Goldilocks could visit that would teach readers about manners or books?

Goldie Socks is a great book for librarians to use with library orientation in elementary school.  I love the part where the books were returned to the shelf upside down and backwards.  If anything could help students learn to put the books back where they go, oh the joy!


Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad by David Soman & Tony Baloney by Pam Munoz Ryan

Schema: bossy friends or siblings

Text-to-Text Connections: In both books the main character has to deal with being bossy and the consequences

Compare and Contrast: Compare the bossy action in each story. In Ladybug girl, Lulu apologizes and KiKi accepts. In Tony Baloney, when given the opportunity to be in charge, Tony begins to boss his younger siblings as he was treated.

Synthesis: I wonder if the readers of these two stories would follow KiKi’s model or Tony’s model after being bossed. Do you think kids that are bossy, have been bossed around by big sisters or brothers? What could you say to your friends who act bossy toward you?

House Held Up By Trees by Ted Kooser

Schema: tree houses, seed dispersion, yard work

In a way, this book is a very sad book for adults. A single father grows old, his children grow up and move far away. He finally moves to be near them in hopes of seeing them occasionally. No one buys the house. It begins to deteriorate, is vandalized, and abandoned.

Conflict: Man Vs. Environment: When the house is left alone, nature takes over.

Text-to-Self Connection: playing outside around neighborhood

Text-to-Text Connection: The Good Brown Earth by Kathy Henderson

Cause and Effect: Because the man worked to keep his lawn and house in good repair, the effect is that the lawn and house stayed weed and tree free and in good shape

Because the man moved away and the house was left with nature, the effect is that nature took over the house.

Synthesis: When left alone, a piece of land is changed by nature. The wind and seeds do what nature does as time passes. The earth renews itself.

Scaredy-Cat, Splat by Rob Scotton and Pumpkin Trouble by Jan Thomas

Schema: Pumpkins, Halloween

Text-to-Self connections: pumpkin is in our schema

Point of View: In Pumpkin Trouble, Duck, Mouse, and Pig view the Pumpkin Monster from their own points of view never realizing that they are talking about the same “monster” who is duck with a pumpkin stuck on his head.

Text-to-Text Connections: both books feature pumpkins and animals who get their head stuck inside their Jack-o-lanterns.

Nubs The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle

nubsSchema: Marines, miracles

Text-to-Text Connection: Heroic Afghan Dog Reunited With a U.S. Soldier

Author’s purpose: The author is sharing his journey with Nubs because it is a miracle that he was able to get the dog from there back to his home in San Diego.

Because Nubs did not give up on finding Major Dennis, the effect is that Major Dennis did not give up on him.

Characterization: Make a graphic organizer and write all of the traits that would describe Major Dennis from the text evidence.

Drawing Conclusions: We can conclude that Nubs is a smart dog with the text evidence that he learned new tricks in five minutes. Nubs was the leader of his pack.

We can conclude that Major Dennis grew to love Nubs from the text evidence that he took care of his wound, waked up to check on him,  prayed for him, and eventually adopted him.

We can conclude that Major Dennis is a compassionate man from the text evidence of how he worked to get Nubs to his home and kept checking on him until he knew he had made it.

We can conclude that Nubs was determined to stay with Major Dennis from the text evidence that Nubs walked 70 miles go to Major Dennis.

Point of View: This story is told from Major Dennis’s POV using his e-mails and narrative to tell us the story.

Reading Comprehension Strategies

Making Thinking Visible: The terms I am explaining below work together to create connections that will help young children to increase their reading comprehension.  For years we have taught reading in abstract terms and many children do become great readers by being exposed to books and reading.  Some of us need something more concrete to which we can attach our learning.  The terms mentioned below and in many of my posts give children the vocabulary with which to talk about their reading experiences.  I use these terms when I read aloud to children during their short library times once a week.  I am teaching them to use these terms when they are sharing with me about what we are reading.  I have witnessed students who do not like to sit and listen become engaged as they are allowed to raise their hand and share a connection they have with what I am reading to them.  Passive listeners are now active ones.  By showing kids what I am thinking when I am reading, I am modeling what being a good reader is like.  Good readers think when they are reading.  Good readers make connections.  Good readers make inferences and predictions.  My students have learned to respond when I ask them if anyone wants to make an inference or a prediction with, “I am predicting that…, or I am inferring that.”  By giving students the vocabulary and modeling the strategies for them, I am helping them to make their own thinking visible.

Schema:  Schema is our background knowledge.  I tell my students that schema is everything in our brains that we have learned from the time we were a baby to now.  I have made up some hand movements to go with it to help them to remember.  We point to our brains,  move our arms in an open circle for “everything,”  hold our arms like we are rocking a baby, then point down to mean “now.” Please ask your student what schema is and what they have in their schema about books that you are reading to and with them.  Research is showing that when we make connections with what we are reading to something we already have in our schema, we will be able to better remember it.

Text-to-Self Connections: When this type of connection is made a student is able to tell you things they have experienced  themselves that are like what they are reading about in their book.  When I am reading a book about frogs, I might have a text-to-self connection with seeing a frog in my backyard, picking up a frog, or seeing my dog chasing a frog.  By reinforcing these types of thinking activities, you will be helping your student’s comprehension skills.

Text-to-Text Connections: When one book connects in your schema (everything you already know) with another book that you have read, you are making a text-to-text connection.   All new learning must be connected with something we already know  if we are to comprehend and remember it.

Predicting:  When reading with your child, stop and ask them to predict what will happen next in the story.  In the library students are expected to preface their prediction with the words: “I am predicting that….”  By asking your child to predict, you are helping them to make a connection with the text which will help them to comprehend and remember what is being read.  Sometimes our predictions are even better than the the actual outcome of the story!  Predicting engages young readers as you are reading with them.

Comparing and Contrasting: When reading with your student, ask how characters, places, or possible outcomes in the story are alike and different.  Students use graphic organizers to show the similarities and differences by writing them in circles that overlap.  The similarities are in the overlapping parts of the circles, and the differences are in the parts that do not overlap.  Please ask your student to show you how they make thinking visible by using a graphic organizer with them such as a Venn Diagram.

The Three Little Tamales by Eric A. Kimmel

tamalesSchema: Three Little other stories, food

Text-to-text connection: The Three Little Pigs, Texas town of Laredo, the Spanish terms, Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto.

Sequencing: In both stories, the events follow a similar sequence, with the third house in each one being the strongest

Compare and Contrast: How is the ending of this story different from that of the traditional Three Little Pig story?  The Lobo gets away in this one.

Did you ever think of the wolf climbing back up the chimney in the other story?

Inference: What inference can we make about which house will be the strongest one?

Point of View: Retell the story from the wolf’s point of view like in The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka.

Synthesis: Create your own version of The Three Little______________” using foods or animals that you are familiar with.

Carmine: a Little More Red by Melissa Sweet

carmineSchema: Little Red Riding

Synonyms: Each page has a focus word printed large at the top of each page, and the word is used in context.  Ask students to give you a synonym for some of the words as you read.

Carmine writes a haiku about her grandmother.  Students may connect with writing their own haiku.

Inferences: the illustrations provide inferences to the Three Blind Mice and the Little Boy Blue nursery rhymes.

Map skills: A map from Carmine’s house to her Granny’s is provided.  Students could measure and set up a key to determine the distance from one to the other.

Compare and Contrast: How is this story similar and different from the original Little Red Riding Hood?

Cause and Effect: Because Carmine dilly-dallied, the effect is that the wolf got there before she did and stole the bones.

Sequencing: How did the events in the story occur?

Synthesis: I am synthesizing that the wolf never intended to eat Granny; he just wanted the soup bones for his pups.

Text-to-Text Connection: Martha Speaks by Susan Meddaugh; Tortuga in Trouble by Ann Whitford Paul