Dive In To Read Deeply!

November 04, 2016

“Deep reading” includes paying attention to details, noticing characters’ motivations, and making connections with what you read. Your child can dig beneath the surface with these suggestions.

Find the “big idea”
Small details often add up to a bigger theme. On the surface, sentences like “It’s no fun to get sprayed by a skunk” and “Hummingbirds hover in midair while they drink nectar” may seem unrelated. But encourage your youngster to look for a link. He might realize, “Skunks spray to protect them- selves, and hummingbirds hover to reach their food—this article is about animal survival.”

Uncover the motive
One way to dig deeper is to consider a character’s or an author’s purpose. For example, why does Willy Wonka hold a contest in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Roald Dahl)? (He needs to find out who he can trust to take over his factory.) Or maybe a movie critic wants to convince people to see a film. What clues can your child find in the review that point to the writer’s motivation? (“Don’t miss this gem!”)

Dare to compare
Making comparisons to his own life helps your youngster analyze reading material. If he reads a textbook chapter about the Dust Bowl, he could compare it to a natural disaster that happened in his lifetime. How did each disaster affect people and the environment?

For more great ways you can work together with your child for learning success, be sure to check out this month’s Reading Connection Newsletters for grades K-2 and grades 3-5.

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