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Where do you guys get discussion questions for books your kids read?  We just finished Harriet the Spy and evidently I am not good at promoting a good discussion

 

Help!!

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Ummm... I wait on formal discussion until DC are 7th/8th grades and in high school.

For elementary ages (looking at your DCs' ages in your signature), it was always extremely informal, and "in the moment" as we were reading together, or while in the car, or eating lunch. And it was usually sharing about something we liked about the book, or when we were in the midst of a book, "what do you think will happen next?" ... 😉 

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A few other informal discussion starters:

- What did you like/dislike about this chapter (or event, or character's choice, or...), and why?
- What made that scene so ______ (scary, funny, vivid, exciting) to you?
- Why do you think that character said/did/chose that? and, What would you have said/done/chosen if you were that character?
- What kind of person do you think that character is, or, would you want that character as a friend? Why/why not?
- What was your favorite part of the book? Why did you like that the best?

And be prepared to share your own answers... Make it engaging conversation. And have fun! 😄 

Edited by Lori D.
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You can search almost any book and discussion questions ["Harriet The Spy and discussion"] and things will come up.

I did this for my adult book club. After several books using discussion guides, I got the hang of it and now can mostly lead them without the guides 🙂 Like anything, some people need practice and some don't. 

With the kids, we do discuss as they go through, after they narrate. It's the kind of thing that builds over several years, as I'm sure you know. My 11 year old is just now to the point where he'll recall things from books outside of school time. Lego just took up too much brain space 'til now 🙂 

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We just talk about the books. As in, having a normal conversation. The kids bring up things they find interesting; I bring up things I find interesting. If a book doesn't spark anything to talk about from anybody, we don't talk about that book. 

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I agree though that at younger ages I don’t have specific questions. 

Edited by Rachel

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At that age, I make it very casual.

Did you like the book?

Which character did you like the best?

What did you think of "names of different characters"?

Or maybe just a basic summary.

Most likely though, we wouldn't have any discussion at all.  I might have them, instead, write journal entries of a character of their choice, or something like that.  Or, have them make up a new mystery that Harriet has to solve.  Or something else that's a creative spin-off from the story.  I find that kids at that age become more engaged through creativity rather than questions.

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I mostly do oral narrations - like 'tell me what happened in your reading' when they're little.  When they're middle school/high school, I'll buy the Progeny Press guide if the book is an important one and I want to pull writing prompts from them using the comprehension questions, etc.  For example, my 12 year-old just finished Where the Red Fern Grows.  2-3 times a week, I used one of the comprehension questions or the questions from the vocabulary section in the Progeny Press guide to make a writing prompt in her writing notebook.  She gets her notebook out and writes a short paragraph or whatever answering the writing prompt.  

But, I don't do this until they're about 12...and you have to be careful not to do that with every book.  

My oldest is being told in college that she is a very good writer, so I guess my system worked for her.  lol. She does still complain that I made her write way too much when we were homeschooling.  *rolling my eyes*  (Well, yeah, but you're a good writer!)  

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