One of the most effective ways that students can learn is to make connections. We also call this SCHEMA. In Balanced Literacy we have been working on identifying our connections to the books we’ve been reading; it’s an excellent comprehension strategy!
One type of schema is Text to Self Schema; students can understand the books they read better when they can internalize similarities between events, situations and emotions from a story that they themselves have experienced. Identifying their schema to the books they are reading is a strategy Grade 2J students have been working on at school, and it is also something that students and parents can be discussing during reading time at home as well.
Another type of schema is Text to Text Schema, where students can make connections between different books they’ve read. In our Fairy Tales unit we’ve been able to read several different versions of “Little Pig” stories, and it’s fun to pick out the similarities and differences between them, while at the same time deepening our understanding of the texts. Below are the 3 stories that we read, as well as an example of a beginning draft of a Venn diagram showing the connections between them.