When you are reading Charlotte's Web and students make the connection to pigs and pork.

Student 1: You know you're eating Wilbur!!

Student 2: Huh?!

Student 1: Ya, Wilbur was the pig in Charlotte's Web and you're eating him.

 (some kids begin to laugh)

Student 2: You wanna see a magic trick?! (he begins to take off the pepperoni) Wilbur is gone!

Story continues:

Student: Miss Duff do you eat gelatin? because if you do you're eating Wilbur...actually Wilbur's friends.

#makingconnections #schema

Finding meaning in text through various comprehension strategies is essential to reading; however, these strategies, such as making connections, is a skill that will be used throughout life – not just during reading. Making connections invites students, and adults alike, to build their schema.  According to Cross, schema is “a cognitive structure that consists of facts, ideas, and associations organized into a meaningful system of relationships.”  The denser a child’s schema the more connections he/she can make.  Therefore, it’s important to teach from different angles so students can capture the variability of the topic. In this example, we can see that their schema was deepening.  The association of Wilbur (the pig) to food (pork) that they were currently eating is schema building at its finest. Amazing!  

What connections have your students or children made that made you laugh or think deeply?


Patricia Cross

Article By

Stephanie Duff

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