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How to Support the Development of Critical Thinking Skills

Through the Books You Read at Home

PTO Session - October 14, 2014 - Dr. Catherine Glaude

Below are some questions to use at home that are aligned with the new Common Core
Standards for Reading.

Standard 1 Finding Evidence in the Book to Support Opinions

1. Stop and have your child make predictions: What do you think the character
will do next? What in the story makes you think that?
2. Why do you think the character acted that way? What in the story makes you
think that?
3. Compare two stories you read: How are these two stories alike? How are they
different? What in the stories makes you say this?
4. What kind of person is this character? What in the story helped you think this?

Standard 2 Finding Main Idea , Theme or Summarizing

1. What is this story mostly about?
2. Lets retell this story. What is important in the beginning, middle and end?
3. Stop as you read: So far, what is the story about?
4. Lets retell the important parts of this story and think about what they
5. What connection can you make from this story to another one we read?
6. After reading the story: Why did the author choose this title for the story?
1. What is this book/part about?
2. What did the author teach us?

Standard 3 Analyzing how Events, Individuals or Ideas
Change Over Time

1. How does the character change from the beginning of the story to the end?
2. What is the main characters problem or goal?
3. Compare the problems or goals of two characters in two different stories:
How are the characters problems or goals the same or different?
1. What connections between information/ideas did the author make?
2. What was the cause of what happened?
3. What do the illustrations tell us about the series of events?

Standard 4 Understanding Word Choice

1. What does this word mean? Why do you think the author used this word?
2. What do you see in your mind when I read this word?
3. Find words that tell us about the characters feelings?
4. How can we figure out what this word means?

Standard 5 - Analyzing Story Structure

1. Lets look at how the author and illustrator designed this page. Why did the
author put this caption here? Why is this in bold? Why is this thought bubble or
caption here?
2. Before reading: Lets look at the information on the front cover. What does it
tell us? What does the back cover tell us?
3. Before reading: Lets look inside the book. What helps us get any ideas about
what is important in this book?

Standard 6 - Understanding Why Point of View is Important

1. What character is telling the story? How do you know this character is
telling the story?
2. How might the story have been different if another character had told the
3. What do the illustrations/pictures tell us about the characters feelings in
different parts of the story?
4. What does the character think about the problem in the story? What other
thoughts might other people have about this problem?
5. How do you think the author feels about this topic?