The goal of reading is to have fun and engage with the material, not always to finish as quickly as possible. So whether your child is reading independently or with you, or if you are reading on your own, we encourage you to take the next step and enhance your literacy experience with some critical thinking questions.
Critical thinking questions are those that encourage us to go beyond surface level and truly engaged with what we're reading. Critical thinking questions go beyond basic recall (what just happened? what is the main problem in this story?) and ask us to use our opinions, experiences, and thoughts. Critical thinking questions ask us to form judgements and perspectives.
Here are some critical thinking questions to get you started, which may need to be altered depending on the reader's level:
- What is the main conflict in this story? Have you been in a similar situation?
- What do you think this character is thinking right now?
- If you were in this situation, what would you do?
- What are this character's strengths and weaknesses? Do you share any of them?
- Come up with your own alternate ending. What did you change from what you originally read? Why?
- Do you agree with the character's actions? Why or why not?
- Who might be affected by this character's decisions?
- How would you tell this story from the perspective of a different character?
- What is this story teaching you about your own life?
- What is the best and worst case scenario in this story?
- Why do you think that character made that choice?
- How did the actions of others influence the main character's decisions?
As you ask yourself or your child these questions, allow for plenty of time to think and answer. It's also okay for your answers to change over time as you read more of the book, reflect back, and apply more of your own experiences to the story.
As you and your child continue to pause and ask critical thinking questions, we hope you find the material more relatable and that deeper engagement becomes second nature for you both!
Families from across our state have joined our Summer Reading Campaign to read 10,000 pages this summer. Click here to join the campaign - every page you read is an entry into our drawing for $100 worth of books donated in your name to your community.