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Teaching Students to Connect to What They Read

To start Reading off this year we are focusing on learning the Reading Power strategies.If you haven’t heard about Reading Power by Adrienne Gear (Note: All book links are aff. links) it is a must for anyone teaching reading. 

We have started by learning about how to make connections to what is being read. The beginning is very teacher directed with lots of modeling. 

I read a story and model how to make connections. Then students start making connections to what I am reading. See below for a graphic organizer to help with this.

The books I have read to the class so far are:

Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard

Rotten Teeth by Laura Simms (My all time FAVORITE book for making connections)

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes


Reading Power goes into great detail on how to help your students make deeper level connections. This is fantastic because I have found students are good at making very basic connections like “I have a dog just like the main character.” but they struggle to make deeper connections.

 Eventually, they will pick books and make their own connections. I want my students to have a variety of books to pick from so I have ordered some that are on Adrienne Gear’s recommended list.  

Here is what I ordered: 

Bibi and the Bull by Carol Vaage (My favorite!)

Sisters by David McPhail

I’ll Always Love You by Hans Wilhelm 

 The Polar Bear Son: An Inuit Tale by Lydia Dabcovich

The Secret Shortcut by Mark Teague

I Like Me by Nancy Carlson

Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs by Tomie dePaola

Claire’s Gift by Maxine Trottier & Rajka Kupesic

King of the Playground by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Two Pairs of Shoes by Esther Sanderson

My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother by Patricia Polacco

Time Flies by Eric Rohmann 

It’s Okay To Be Different by Todd Parr

What Are You So Grumpy About? by Tom Lichtenheld 

Matthew and Tilly by Rebecca C. Jones

Now it’s time for a freebie. The Reading Power book has many, many graphic organizers to choose from but I also created this one to go along with it. 

I have used this particular page with students in Grades 1-6. The higher the grade, the higher my expectations. 


Click on the picture or here to get your FREE copy. Please remember to leave some feedback once you have tried it out. I love to hear your thoughts. 



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