Activating and creating schema 
 What does it mean to make connections?
It helps readers recognize author’s style and purpose


It helps readers recognize important ideas and themes


It helps readers recognize the impact of text types and formats


It helps the reader connect the reading with things they’ve learned before


What are some key points for activating and creating schema?

  • Proficient learners spontaneously and purposefully recall their relevant, prior knowledge (schema) before, during, and after they read and learn (text to self connections).  They use their schema to make sense of new information they read and learn to store new information with related information in memory. 
  • Proficient learners assimilate information from text and other learning experiences into their relevant, prior knowledge and make changes in that schema to accommodate the new information.  
  • A proficient learner adapts his/her schema as he/she reads, converses with others and learns, deleting inaccurate information (naïve conceptions), adding to existing schema, and connecting chunks of knowledge to other related knowledge, opinions, and ideas.
  • Proficient learners purposefully use schema to enhance their comprehension in all forms of text and in all learning situations.
  • Proficient learners connect information from text and other learning experiences to schemata in long term memory.  Information is learned, remembered and reapplied because it is linked to other learned information.
  • Proficient learners capitalize on four types of schema when comprehending text and learning new materials:
    • Specific knowledge about the topic; general world knowledge (text to world connections)
    • Specific knowledge about text structures, organization (text to text connections)
    • Potential barriers to comprehension and knowledge about one’s own reading tendencies and styles
    • Specific knowledge about the author/illustrator
  • Each type of schema permits students to monitor for meaning, pose questions, make predictions, draw conclusions, create mental images, synthesize, and determine importance as they read and learn.
  • Teachers assist readers in activating (giving students the necessary tools to recall relevant, prior knowledge) and building (actually creating background knowledge on a given topic, author, text structures, etc.) schema.
  • Students should articulate ways in which using schema enhances their comprehension.