Once a year, my current school has a family learning night. Parents are invited to come and try out activities they can use to support students at home in different subject areas. This year, I created a resource to support parents in talking about texts with their children.
We talk a lot about the importance of reading for enjoyment in my class. Reading self-selected texts is academically beneficial and it is important. We also want students to consider and question what they are reading. They might be able to talk about what is happening in the story, but hesitate to say what it means, or offer a judgment, or generate a question about it. Beyond these claims, students may also struggle to offer supporting evidence - how do you know this character is dishonorable? Why do you think the writing doesn't seem natural in this scene?
Many adult readers already do these things without realizing what they are doing, so it can be hard to break it down and ask their children questions. Longer texts can be packed with meaning, but they take a while for students to access and process. The pictures in the presentation below offer practice with analysis with a "text" that is immediately accessible. They also create some fun imaginative exercises! I hope families can use the questions to transfer the analytical practice to books students read this year.
Talking About Texts with Photos - link to presentation created with Adobe Spark
I've had the privilege of working with hundreds of students and families in IA, CT, NC, MO, TX, and Canada. I love being a teacher-librarian!