“But… It’s Spring Break, I don’t want to READ!”

Posted by Thoughtful Literacy in Articles on Sun, Apr 8, 2012

All parents have heard it before, but can we blame them?  With state testing just finishing, and the last school vacation three months in the past, kids need a break too! I love my job; that doesn’t mean I want to do it everyday.  It is all right to give the kids a break from “learning” and “practicing” to read.  It is when we stop asking the kids to do something, magically then they want to do it.

Challenge yourself to “trick” your child into thinking critically this spring break. Critical thinking skills, outside of reading, will improve a child’s comprehension skills.  Learning is most effective when we don’t know we are doing it!

Here are some ideas of how you can challenge your children’s literary skills this spring break! (Even if you are on vacation!)

Out at a restaurant:

Writing style: Know your audience!

Authors know who their audience is. Menus are made differently for children and adults. Present both a children’s menu and an adult menu to your child.

Ask why they think the author used a different style? How does the style of the menu catch the attention of different readers?

Text Features:

Menus are full of text features! Pictures, captions, and headings, a menu has them all!  Bring some crayons and plain paper. The establishment might already have it there, to keep the kids busy. Read one menu item to your child and challenge them to make three text features to go along to help the reader better understand.  For the little ones, just ask them to draw a picture of what they think it might look like. This seems like a simple task, but they are using comprehension skills to make an image in their head of what their menu would look like!

Text Structure:

Ask your kids why the restaurant has put the food in sections. The soups and salads are together and the desert is separate? Wouldn’t it be easier in alphabetical order? A dictionary isn’t separated into word categories, why is a menu?!

A nice dinner out has turned into a critical thinking challenge. Best part is, they didn’t even know it!


About Deidre Sonner

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