This post has a free printable for Froggy Builds a Tree House by Jonathan London, and illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz.
Froggy Builds a Tree House is one of those stories that children can relate to so well that it is perfect for a lesson on using schema or background knowledge. Reading comprehension can be improved when children first think about the things they might know about the story, so a “book walk” through the pages of can help prepare children for the read aloud. What do they predict the story will be about? Have they ever done the things they see the characters in the book doing in the pictures? Afterward, a discussion about any text-to-self connections could be held to further story understanding.
Text-to-self connections might including having a brother or sister, having built a tree house or a fort with some friends, having helped with a building project, or even eating pizza. Hopefully, the children will never eat a pizza with flies on it, though! The important thing is for children to think about how the text-to-self connection helped them understand the story. “I eat pizza, too,” is not enough of an answer. The test for a real text-to-self connection is to think if the story would need to be read to provide that answer. If a child looks at a picture of pizza and comments they like pizza too, that answer could be given without reading the story. If a child says, “We had pizza once and I didn’t like the toppings, just like the friends who didn’t want flies on their pieces,” that is a better connection. That connection shows more understanding than simply liking pizza.