26 of the Best Picture Books for Making Connections

26 Picture Books for Making Connections

Expecting your students to make connections helps them engage with books and use prior knowledge and experiences to make sense of the text. These books are great suggestions for the classroom.

26 Picture Books for Making Connections

Making Connections Comprehension Skill

Making text connections to text is an important comprehension skill. Students need time and practice to master the skill of digging deeper into what they are reading. Its benefits include:

  • Improving their understanding of the text
  • Having a better chance of retaining information from the text.
  • Becoming more engaged with the text by drawing on their own experiences and knowledge
  • Critically think about the text as they make connections
  • Making links to other comprehension strategies

Making Connections: Text-to-Self

Making Text to Self connections helps your students personally relate to a book or text. This could be through an experience or prior knowledge. Students with varied experiences will find it easier to make more meaningful connections than students with more limited experiences. Their connections will be more general and will need more practice in developing their connections to a text. When you first teach your students to make connections choose books they can relate to. Topics could include school, families, friendships, and emotions.

These prompts and statements will help students think about their own connections to a book or text:

  • What does this remind me of? / This reminds me of when…
  • How is my life similar/different?
  • Has something like this ever happened to me?
  • How does this relate to my life? / I relate to this character because…
  • What were my feelings when I read this? / As I read this story, I felt…
  • How do I relate to the characters? / If I was [character], I would…

Making Connections: Text-to-Text

Text to text connections takes more practice than text to self connections. As they read more, they can use their prior knowledge about books to find similarities and differences with other texts they have read.

To make text to text connections they can look at the similarities and differences of author/illustrator, genre, main idea, theme, characters, plot, message/lesson, vocabulary and others. To show an understanding of text to text connections, they should be able to verbalise or write what the connection is, using evidence.

Plan out connections ahead of sharing two books so you can guide your students in making a text to text connection. Fairy tales work well when making text to text connections, as most will have a fractured version of the story making the connections more obvious.

These statements will help students think about text to text connections:

  • This reminds me of [book/movie] because…
  • This is different/same as [book] because…
  • The text/illustrations remind me of [book] because…
  • The text/illustrations remind me [author/illustrator] because…

Making Connections: Text-to-World

Text to world connections are more challenging than the other two and is better left until students have mastered Text to Self and Text to Text connections. Text to World involves connecting what they have read or listened to with real events, past or present. This includes historical or current, local or international events, something they have seen on TV, in a magazine or newspaper. It is useful to connect to previous topics studied in the classroom. Using the knowledge they gain through these channels will help them develop a deeper understanding of the text.

These statements will help students think about text to text connections:

  • This reminds me of [topic] studied in class…
  • This reminds me of [event] in history…
  • This reminds me of [current event, global issue]…
  • This is similar/different to [word event] in the news…

Related Posts

Making Connections Picture Book List

Most of the recommended books are good choices for at least type of the connection types, some will work for all three.

Visit Picture Books for Making Connections and Comparisons to find specific examples of Text to Self, Text to Text and Text to World book companions.

Further Reading

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26 Picture Books for Making Connections

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