Reading news articles at a young age is a great way for your child to engage with the world around them. We use several different news sources that are JUST for kids:
Have your child find an article that resonates with him/her. While reading, encourage critical thinking by asking these three questions:
Question 1: What’s the big idea?
In order to answer this question, can your child summarize the article into just one sentence?
For example, “The article I just read is about…”
Synthesizing and identifying the main idea are both important skills for young readers to master. Often, young readers will say, “This article is about…” and refer to the last thing they’ve just read, or an interesting fact they remember reading, instead of the overall topic. This task will let you see whether or not your child understands what the article is about, and can express this idea in his/her own words (sometimes referring to the title as a clue helps to focus in on the topic!).
Question 2: What’s one thing you might want to know more about?
Give your child the option of choosing one aspect of the article to focus on and find out more about. This could become a little “research project”, which could be presented to you, explaining what has been discovered.
TIP: This particular task could be connected to a mini-lesson on how and where to look for sources of information!
Question 3: What is your opinion of this? And why do you think this is important?
These two particular questions can be answered in many different ways based on your child’s age and level of understanding of the text, but overall, asking a child his or her opinion of an article is a great first step in promoting critical thinking!
For more information on how to support reading comprehension, or for one-to-one support with reading, contact Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space at 416.925.1225 or visit www.ruthrumack.com.