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Finding connections between ideas within a passage | Reading

David talks about how to understand stories better by finding connections between ideas. He uses a story about building ships to show three ways ideas can be connected: finding similarities and differences, understanding why something happens, and figuring out the order of events. This helps us become better readers.

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Video transcript

- [David] Hello, Readers! Today we are going to talk about making connections. So I don't mean to brag, but I have at least one friend. (I'm kind of a big deal.) I have friends at work, friends from the school I attended, friends in my apartment building and my neighborhood, friends from places I used to live. Each friend is connected to me in some way. May be we met in an elevator or on the train, or at the community garden. In some cases, I introduced my friends and now they're friends with each other and even hang out without me. Each friend is connected to me or to each other in a different way and for a different reason. And just in a way the people can be friends with each other ideas can be friends with each other too. Understanding how ideas that tends to connect with each other and the topic of text will help me understand what I'm reading. Good readers make connections between ideas in the text. When I look at a passage, I ask myself what do all these sentences have in common. How are they connected? Let's explain with a brief passage about building ships. Long ago, shipbuilders used iron nails and bolts because iron was easy to find. They soon learned the disadvantages of using this metal on a boat! Iron quickly rusts and decays, especially near the salty ocean. They switched to using brass, which lasts longer. I wanna use this paragraph to describe three common ways authors show connections. Comparison, cause-and-effect and sequence. Comparison; what's the same or different between two ideas? So what's similar between brass and iron is one example. We can say okay, both of these are metals and both were used in shipbuilding. Now what's different between them? Well, iron rusts quickly in the ocean and it does so faster than brass. Brass lasts longer. Now let's talk about cause and effect. How does one event or idea cause another event or idea. Well what happens when you put a ship with iron bolts into salt water? It rusts and decays. The ocean causes the iron to corrode and rust. So what did shipbuilders do as a result, they switch to using brass. And finally sequence. What order did things happen in? Now the paragraph begins with long ago and talks about iron before it talks about brass. It then describes how shipbuilders switched to brass. So iron came first in the sequence. So when I read this passage on shipbuilding even though it is very short, I'm able to make a lot of connections between ideas. Doing this deepened my understanding and helps me to become a better reader. Now not every sentence or idea is connected to every other sentence or idea. Just like not every single one of my friends is friends with all of my other friends. And that's okay too. Our goal is to think about how those sentences connect to the topic overall. Think about the big picture. Understanding the connections between sentences is one of many ways you can strengthen your skills as a reader. You can learn anything. Dave it out!