As we head into Book Week I would like to highlight with parents how we can support the development of higher order thinking with our children through their nightly reading. As a mum I love being home to read with my children each night. As we are reading, I am being intentional about the questions I am asking my children to help them develop as learners and as independent thinkers.
Parents are often asking teachers what they can do at home to assist with developing their child's comprehension and higher order thinking skills. I have taken the following information from the Raising Children Network website to help provide some strategies for those special 'reading' moments.
Families and out-of-school educators can play a significant role in encouraging higher order thinking with their kids and teens, even when having a casual conversation. Asking open-ended questions that don't have one "right" answer gives children confidence to respond in creative ways without being afraid of being "wrong." After reading a book together, a parent might ask their child a question such as: "If you were that character, how would you have persuaded Timothy to turn himself in?" rather than something like "What was the main character's name in the book?"
Below are more examples of questions to ask your child to spark discussion, make them think critically, and encourage higher order thinking.
When reading a book:
"What do you think might happen next?"
"Does this remind you of anything from your life?"
"Can you tell me about what you read today?"
"Why did he/she act that way?"
When visiting an unfamiliar place:
"How is __________ similar to/different from __________?"
"Can you explain/show me that in another way?"
When making an important decision:
"How would you rank __________?"
"How do you imagine __________ would look?"
"What do you think a solution might be?"
"Why did you decide to choose __________ over __________?"
Try asking children and teens these questions in a variety of settings. Rather than just having a conversation, you can also ask your child to respond to these questions in writing. Be prepared to respond to your child's answers with even more thought-provoking questions to continue to encourage higher levels of thinking, also opening up the lines of communication between parent and child! (raisingchildren.net.au)