From the Florida Online Reading Professional Development site: http://forpd.ucf.edu/strategies/strattext.html
Story Mapping (September 2004)
(Developed by Zygouris-Coe, V. & Glass, C., 2004)
Schema theory explains how our previous experiences, knowledge, emotions, and
understandings affect what and how we learn (Harvey & Goudvis, 2000). Schema
is the background knowledge and experience readers bring to the text. Good readers
draw on prior knowledge and experience to help them understand what they are
reading and are thus able to use that knowledge to make connections. Struggling
readers often move directly through a text without stopping to consider whether
the text makes sense based on their own background knowledge, or whether their
knowledge can be used to help them understand confusing or challenging materials.
By teaching students how to connect to text they are able to better understand
what they are reading (Harvey & Goudvis, 2000). Accessing prior knowledge
and experiences is a good starting place when teaching strategies because every
student has experiences, knowledge, opinions, and emotions that they can draw
Keene and Zimmerman
(1997) concluded that students comprehend better when they make different kinds
connections 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."
reading, readers are reminded of other things that they have read, other books
by the same author, stories from a similar genre, or perhaps on the same topic.
These types of connections are text-to-text connections. Readers
gain insight during reading by thinking about how the information they are reading
connects to other familiar text. “This character has the same problem
that I read about in a story last year,” would be an example of a text-to-text
connections are the larger connections that a reader brings to a reading situation.
We all have ideas about how the world works that goes far beyond our own personal
experiences. We learn about things through television, movies, magazines, and
newspapers. Often it is the text-to-world connections that teachers are trying
to enhance when they teach lessons in science, social studies, and literature.
An example of a text-to-world connection would be when a reader says, "I
saw a program on television that talked about things described in this article."
Cris Tovani (2000)
offers reasons why connecting to text helps readers:
- 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
- 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 connected to the reading.
- It forces readers
to become actively involved.
- It helps readers
remember what they have read and ask questions about the text.
How to Use
use this strategy, teachers should spend time modeling for students how to make
meaningful connections. The easiest connection to teach is text-to-self.
Teachers should model text-to-self connections initially with selections that
are relatively close to the student's personal experiences. A key phrase that
prompts text-to-self connections is, "this reminds me of...." Next,
teachers should model how to make text-to-text connections.
Sometimes when we read, we are reminded of other texts we have read. Encourage
students to consider the variety of texts they have experienced which will help
them understand the new selection. Finally, teachers should model how to make
text-to-world connections. When teachers suspect that students
may lack the ability to make meaningful connections, classroom instruction will
be necessary to bridge the gap between reading experiences and author assumptions.
Building the necessary background knowledge is a crucial means for providing
text-to-world support and may be used to pre-empt reading failure. Harvey and
Goudvis (2000) caution that merely making connections is not sufficient. Students
may make tangential connections that can distract them from the text. Throughout
instruction, students need to be challenged to analyze how their connections
are contributing to their understanding of the text. Text connections should
lead to text comprehension.
Below are some examples of connecting statements for students
to use as a reference or teachers can use them as prompts for
This part reminds
I felt like...(character) when I....
If that happened to me I would....
This book reminds me of...(another text) because....
I can relate to...(part of text) because one time....
Something similar happened to me when....
Below are some
examples of questions that can be used to facilitate student
What does this remind me of in my life?
What is this similar to in my life?
How is this different from my life?
Has something like this ever happened to me?
How does this relate to my life?
What were my feelings when I read this?
What does this remind me of in another book I’ve read?
How is this text similar to other things I’ve read?
How is this different from other books I’ve read?
Have I read about something like this before?
What does this remind me of in the real world?
How is this text similar to things that happen in the real world?
How is this different from things that happen in the real world?
How did that part relate to the world around me?
Ideas for Assessment:
The Making Connections strategy will help teachers assess how
students use prior knowledge to understand text. In terms of informal assessment,
teachers can use the organizers to gain insights into students’ connections
as they are reading. The use of this simple strategy on an ongoing basis will
allow teachers to provide additional (differentiated) instruction and support
to students who need additional instruction. In addition, teachers will able
to plan for further instruction. This strategy can be used with varied texts.
for assessing this strategy is the Major Point Interview found in Mosaic
of Thought (Keene & Zimmerman, 1997). This assessment can be given
as an interview or in written response form. The Major Point Interview assesses
the student’s ability to use the strategy through a series of questions.
The students’ answers are scored using a rubric.
Buehl, D. Comprehension Teaching Learning Activity Articles: "Yeah, that
reminds me of...." Retrieved October 6, 2004 from http://wilearns.state.wi.us/apps/default.asp?cid=710
Reading Professional Development (2004). Lesson 8: Scaffolding Students’
Comprehension and Guiding Students Toward Independence in Reading. University
of Central Florida, Orlando, FL.
Harvey, S. &
Goudvis, A. (2000). Strategies that work: Teaching comprehension to enhance
understanding. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.
Keene, E. &
Zimmerman, S. (1997). Mosaic of Thought. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Tovani, C. (2000).
I read it, but I don’t get it: Comprehension strategies for adolescent
readers. Portland, ME: Steinhouse.