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Discuss What You Watched, Read or Saw


^21st Century Skills ^Extra-curricular/At-Home All Ages Strategy


Expressive Language Verbal Reasoning Abstract Reasoning

Discuss What You Watched, Read or Saw

If you want to strengthen your child's critical thinking and problem solving skills

How To Apply It!

  1. Parents can help students improve their verbal skills without it feeling like work or teaching by discussing what you watched, read or saw. Here are a few examples of how to get started and families can think of many more.
  2. When reading a book together, parents can comment on the main idea, ask the child to guess what will happen next, and discuss the details and themes. Students will naturally begin to think more closely about what they have read or heard.
  3. While watching a TV show or movie together, take turns making predictions about what will happen and why. At the end of the show or movie, discuss what you liked and why. Have the child summarize the plot for someone who wasn't watching with you.
  4. If your child asks to play a game, have him provide a good rationale about why he likes the game, what he will learn or why you should let him play.
  5. During family conversations, take turns sharing what each person did that day or have each person summarize his or her favorite part of the day.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

All these daily activities provide good opportunity for students to analyze and explain topics where they have a vested interest. They will develop and improve their reasoning skills without even realizing it. Avoid a lot of direct questioning, as this often limits what the child will share and promotes more one-word answers. Instead use open-ended starters that are in areas of interest, such as, "Tell me about something funny that happened at school today." Research shows that the more students feel accountable to accurate knowledge, rigorous reasoning, and a community that values discussion the more robust learning. (Michaels et al., 2008).