Deepening Literacy: Text to Self; Text to Text; Text to World
Reading comes alive when we make connections beyond the text itself. This is a skill that can be practiced and learned.
In this strategy students will:
- Strengthen their literacy skills
- Make connections between the reading an themselves
- Make connections between the reading and other texts
- Make connections between the reading and the larger world
Step One: Building Background Knowledge
After reading a piece of text, ask students questions that draw out the factual information of the reading.
Step Two: Understanding Main Idea and Cause and Effect
Ask students about the central purpose, meaning and outcomes involved in the reading.
Step Three: Text to Self
After reading ask students to write and then discuss questions that relate to themselves. Example prompts include:
- What I just read reminds me of the time when I...
- I agree with/understand what I just read because in my own life...
- I don't agree with what I just read because in my own life...
Step Four: Text to Text
After reading, ask students to write and discuss about how the text reminds them of another piece of text. For example, "What I just read reminds me of another story/book/poem I read because..."
Step Four: Text to World
After reading ask student to write and then discuss how the reading relates to the larger world: Example prompts include:
- What I just read reminds me of this thing that happened in history because...
- What I just read reminds me of what's going on in the world now because...
View how this strategy can be applied to a reading in the Holocaust and Human Behavior Resource Book titled "Did you take the Oath?" on pp. 198-201:
Building Background Knowledge
- What is an "oath"?
- Give two examples of when people are asked to take an oath?
- What are the purposes of those oaths?
- Are there any consequences for not taking the oaths?
Understanding Main Idea and Cause & Effect
Have students read "Pledging Allegiance" on pp. 197-198 in Holocaust and Human Behavior:
- Look up any words you don't know
- Put it into your own words. The person who takes that oath is swearing to...
Have students read "Do You Take the Oath?" on pp. 198-201:
- What were the main reasons the first writer agreed to take the oath and the main reasons the second refused?
- How does the first person feel about his decision to comply now?
- What consequences did the second person experience for refusing to comply?
Text to Self: Have students write about an experience in their own lives related to having to make a promise or oath to a person in authority. How was their situation like/unlike the ones described in "Do You Take the Oath?"
Text to Text: Have students write about any other story, novel or poem they have read of which "Do You Take the Oath?" reminds them.
Some other examples from Holocaust and Human Behavior include "No Time to Think" or "The Hangman".
Many pieces of great literature hinge on the protagonist being challenged to follow the law or pledge allegiance to someone in authority.
Some examples include Antigone, The Crucible, and The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail.
Text to World: Students write about how the issue of pledging allegiance is currently being played out in the news or about other historical examples.