Read with Me: Meaningful Conversations over Beloved Stories
Reading bedtime stories with children has so many positive benefits for both adults and children alike. But having meaningful conversations about the stories takes those benefits a step further. Engaging in deep, meaningful conversations about the stories message and what we can take away from the story can boost a child's ability to analyze and synthesize what they read and apply it to other areas of their lives. These connections help build areas in both their academic and interpersonal relationships with others, providing boosts in their confidence, self-esteem and intrinsic motivation. All from a shared story! So, enjoy the story below and then have an open dialogue using our discussion questions as a starting point to open up conversations that will build communication and engage the children in your life.
The first story in the "Read with Me" series is "The Ugly Duckling":
A Bedtime Story of Acceptance and Self-Awareness. A Mama Duck is proud when her six ducklings hatch from their eggs. But one duckling does not look like the others? Is he truly an Ugly Duckling?
Activate the child's prior knowledge by discussing if the child is familiar with the story. What do they know? What do they want to know? What comes to mind when they think of an "ugly duckling"?
Listen to the audio story while you read along or read orally. Stop every few paragraphs to engage the child...what is happening? How do you think the Ugly Duckling is feeling? What do you think will happen next? Always ask open-ended questions rather than yes or no or right/wrong questions to engage the child in thoughtful responses and problem solving.
After listening to the story audio or reading aloud together, engage in meaningful discussion with the following suggested questions:
Question 1: Did you ever feel like you didn’t belong with others your age? Tell about it.
Question 2: Tell about the important lesson the Ugly Duckling learns at the end. What do you think this story was trying to show you?
These questions will allow the child to internalize the story as they connect it to their own lives and share the important message they will take away from the story. Then they can read other comments from children below the comment box.