My almost kindergartner has just started writing anytime she has a few minutes to herself. Just a few months ago she wasn’t too interested in coloring or in doing any paper-pencil activities. Now that she shows such a strong interest, I have been focusing on making her writing and drawing experiences meaningful and fun.
We read and reread books all the time. I noticed that D was asking me to read some parts of the weekly favorite over and over again. This happens usually when something in the illustration or a particular word in the text catches her attention. She will try to say the word aloud, clapping the syllables and look at me to see if she said it right. I know for sure that she will use that word or role play the ‘favorite part’ in the days to come.
I decided to tap into her enthusiasm to draw and write by working on the text to self connection.
Text to self connection is a strategy to help young readers connect what they read to events in their own lives. What is the purpose behind teaching children to make text to self connections?
Text to self connection helps beginning readers connect the text to something they already know (background knowledge). It is a very personal relationship. Have you ever had a bunch of kids in your house for a birthday party and suddenly all of them talking about their birthday parties? They are making personal connections there.
When making text to self connection, these personal connections are about something in the book. As children make these personal connections they think about what they read and become active readers.
We had been reading the book “When the Goblins Came Knocking” all of last week. D identified with the little boy in the story because she had been too scared to wear the costume last year. This year is a different story altogether. She is very excited about dressing up as a witch this year and she asks me daily if everyone will be scared of her.
I decided to get her to draw and share her excitement on paper. After reading the book once more D began to talk about her costume for Halloween. I said, “When I saw the mom give out candy to the trick or treaters it reminded me of last Halloween when I gave out candy.” I gave D the sheet and asked her to think about what she remembered from last Halloween and what she thinks will happen this Halloween.
Here is her artwork: