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“Helping Your Child Learn”

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Parent tips from the Utah Education Association

Reading and Writing – Reading to Develop Thinking Skills
By Kathy Christiansen, sixth-grade reading, writing and social studies teacher at Cedar Ridge Middle School, Hyde Park, Utah

Simply reading text without discussion does not help children reach mastery in reading. Talking about and discussing the reading material is key in helping students reinforce comprehension skills taught in the classroom and developing high-level thinking skills. Some discussion ideas might include:

   1. Describe the setting and characters.
   2. How does reading this story make you feel?
   3. What do you think will happen next?
   4. What is a problem in the story and how do you think it will be solved?
   5. How is something in the story like real life?
   6. What did you like about the story?
   7. What is the main idea or lesson (theme) the story teaches?
   8. Summarize today’s reading.

Today’s readers will become tomorrow’s leaders—leaders with high-level thinking skills beyond surface-reading.