Every Ask Arizona feature offers an abundance of themes—as does any good story. The more children observe, interpret, question, and discuss stories like these, the more they will enjoy reading.
To get the most out of these stories, use them, along with the prompts and the reading comprehension boosters below, to connect with your kids and help build their reading and analytical skills. You can find a recap of this month’s feature here, but you also can read the entire Ask Arizona story in the June 2016 issue, or visit HighlightsKids.com to hear the tale read aloud.
Recap: A child who signs her letter Keeping a Distance in Keene asks Arizona how to deal with a rude campmate.
Arizona responds with a story about Elizabeth, a girl at camp who was infamous for her rude comments and avoidance of other campers. Arizona had planned to steer clear of her. But when the two were assigned to buddy up on a nature hike, Arizona discovers the reason for Elizabeth’s off-putting behavior: she is deeply concerned about her grandpa who is in the hospital, and worrying about his health makes it hard for her to meet friends and join activities. Arizona reminds Keeping a Distance that there may be a logical explanation for her classmate’s behavior, adding that sometimes, understanding—and giving a person a second chance—may be the best course of action.
- Have you ever been less friendly to someone than you really intended? Why did you act that way? How could you have acted differently?
- Arizona and her friends invited Elizabeth to eat lunch and play volleyball with them. When have you invited someone new to join you and your friends in an activity? How does it make you feel when others make an effort to include you?
- What have been your favorite—and least favorite—parts of going to camp?
- Have you ever been partnered with someone you didn’t know well at school, in the neighborhood, or at camp? Did you feel unsure of yourself or unsure of what to say? What did you learn from working together?
- Do you prefer to work and play alone or as part of a group? Why is it important to be able to do both?
- Elizabeth was upset because her grandfather wasn’t feeling well and was in the hospital. Have you ever experienced something similar? What helped you cope with your feelings and the situation?
Reading Comprehension Boosters:
- According to Arizona, Elizabeth initially “seemed determined to ruin a fantastic time.” Why did she say this? What makes you think her judgment was hasty?
- Despite Elizabeth’s attitude, Arizona made an effort to get to know her. What did Arizona do or say to let you know that?
- Do you think Elizabeth cares a lot about her grandfather? How does she express or show this?
- What did Arizona say that might make you think that Elizabeth is actually a caring and compassionate person?
- Did Elizabeth feel better after she talked to Arizona? Why do you think that?