Here is a set of three posters that help students understand the three kinds of connections - text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world. I suggest teaching each type of connection by using the questions on the posters. I've even made copies of the posters for my students to put in a binder of charts we use that they keep in their desk. Hang the posters separately in your room as a resource, or put all three together on a chart with examples you and your students can add together. The posters have questions that prompt students to think about what they're reading so that they'll be more open to look for connections as they read.
I can customize the posters to match your classroom decor as well. I can change the color of the polka dot background to whatever color you like. I also have a set with the popular chevron pattern. Enjoy!