Make Connections While Reading a Story
A good reader can usually make connections while reading a story. This means that he will be able to relate the story to either his own ideas, other stories he has read, or events that have happened to him. You can help your child make connections by encouraging him to not just read words, but to also think about what those words mean to him.
Connecting to Himself
Asking your child opinion questions is one of the best ways to help him connect with the story. Let him tell you what he thinks about a character’s actions or what he would have done in that situation. You could then follow up with a why question. “Why do you think that?” or “Why would you do that?”
Connecting to Other Stories
Many children like to read books in a series (like the Hardy boys books or the Berenstain bears books). Reading through a series allows you the opportunity to show relationships between books. Ask your child what a certain character did in a previous book. Then ask if that gives them any clues as to how they might act in the situation they are facing in your current story. Even books that are not in a series often have similarities. Point out the things that are similar as you think of them, and soon your child will be noticing things in common between books as well.
Connecting to Events
Simple questions such as “has this ever happened to you?” or have you ever been to a place like this?” give your child an opening to remember a time when he has been in the same position as the book character. Just make sure that you take the time to listen as your child tells you about his experience. This lets your child make the connection between the book and his own life.
Asking questions while your child reads not only helps them make connections within the story, but it reassures you as a parent that your child is understanding and relating to the story he is reading.
How do you help your child connect to the stories they read?