We are excited to keep adding to Colorful Pages at Home! With this new series, we are hoping to help out families during the COVID-19 school closures by providing articles featuring a diverse book list and discussion questions/activities to target specific reading skills. If you still have questions about Colorful Pages at Home, please check out my detailed explanation here

In this post, we are going to give support in how to develop the reading skill of Making Text-to-Self Connections in your K-12 students at home. Connecting is an important skill for all readers to develop because it helps students build a great joy for reading and think critically about what is happening in the book and why authors do certain things. We have included books and questions/activities for ALL ages, Kindergarten to 12th Grade! 

Diving Into The Skill: Making Text-to-Self Connections

Reading SkillDefinitionExampleCommon Core State Standards
Making Text-to-Self ConnectionsTelling what happens in the book and how it reminds you of something from your own lifeIn the book, Lucía gets teased for being a girl. This reminds me of my life because I was teased one time for being a girl, too. Technically there are no standards about this specific skill, but Text-to-Self connections lead into every grade’s Reading: Literature Common Core State Standards (Grades K-12)

Diverse Books to Practice Text-to-Self Connections

Here are some diverse books that lend themselves to making Text-to-Self Connections: 

Picture Books:

Early Chapter Books: 

Middle Grade Books:

YA Lit Books:

Elementary School Discussion Questions to Practice Text-to-Self Connections

While you and your child read a picture book or early chapter book together, ask them:

  • What happens in the book that reminds you of your life? 
  • What is a text-to-self connection you can make?
  • Have you ever ___[specific event that happened in the book]__? Tell me about it.
  • Have you ever felt _[feeling]_ like _[Character Name]_ does? Tell me about it.
  • Does anything on this page/chapter remind you of your own life? What?
  • Why does this remind you of your own life?

Middle School and High School Reading Activities to Practice Text-to-Self Connections

For OLDER kids (middle school and beyond), consider having students read the book and do the following activities: 

  • Keep a log of all their text-to-self connections on a seperate piece of paper
  • Use sticky notes and jot down any connections they have while reading the book
  • Write a reading response answering one of the following questions:
    • What happens in the book that reminds you of your own life?
    • How did you see yourself and/or your peers in this book? What was the author’s  purpose behind that? 
    • Oftentimes, Young Adult authors will craft books that are relatable to their audiences. How did the author of this book do that? Why do you think they did that?
    • Based on your text-to-self connections and what happened in the book, what do you think the author was trying to teach the reader about life? Why that lesson?

Try to encourage your older kids to use specific details from the text to support their ideas. If your students are really digging their reading response, ask them to change it into an essay or even type it up!

We hope this helps! If you try out this Colorful Pages at Home program, please take pictures and tag us on social media with @ColorfulPagesOrg (Instagram) or @ColorfulPages (Twitter) or use the hashtag #ColorfulPagesAtHome. Stay safe and stay healthy ❤️

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