Making Connections During Read Aloud

Responding to the Read-Aloud Text
Grade Level


Students make connections to read-aloud texts by relating the text to themselves (lived experiences), to other texts (read in any setting) and to the world (current and historical events)


During and after reading


Making connections allows students to monitor their understanding and relate learning to their own lived experiences. The strategy enhances meta-cognitive skills and deeply engages students in the reading experience, improving comprehension.


  1. Select a Student Text or passage to read aloud. Display it in a visible location.
  2. Create a list of personal connections you will model while reading the text.
  3. Introduce the three types of connections: text-to-self, text-to-text and text-to-world.
  4. Read the text aloud. Use the Think Aloud strategy to model one of the three types of connections. Emphasize connections that add to the understanding of this particular text. Explain why some of those connections aid understanding of the text better than others.
  5. Prompt students to make their own connections through the use of guiding questions:
    Text-to-Self: A connection between the text and something in your own life experience
    • What does this story remind you of?
    • Can you relate to the characters in the story?
    • Does anything in this story remind you of anything in your own life?
    Text-to-Text: A connection between the text and another story or text that you have read previously.
    • What does this remind you of in another book you have read?
    • How is this text similar to other things you have read?
    • How is this text different from other things you have read?
    Text-to-World: A connection between the text and something that is occurring or has occurred in the world.
    • What does this remind you of in the real world?
    • How are the events in this story similar to things that happen in the real world?
    • How are events in this story different from things that happen in the read world?
  6. Provide a three-column chart to record all three types of text connections. Display sample connections in the classroom for students to reference.

English language learners

Making connections allows English language learners to comprehend texts using information that is already familiar. Consider allowing English language learners to make connections to texts in their first language to assist them in compartmentalizing what they know and what they learn.

Connections to anti-bias education

Making connections gives students space to share their own experiences and hear about the experiences of others in their community. Making connections also encourages students to think about their learning in the context of the larger world.

Abolitionists William Still, Sojourner Truth, William Loyd Garrison, unidentified male and female slaves, and Black Union soldiers in front of American flag

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