Each month, our Highlights feature, Ask Arizona, responds in story form to a reader’s question about an everyday situation. The storyteller, the smart and savvy Arizona, draws on her own experience to help kids master skills, surmount obstacles, solve problems, and make good decisions.
Use the recap of this month’s story, below, along with the questions that follow, to start a conversation with your child, boost insight and understanding, and sharpen reading and reasoning skills. You can read the entire feature in the July 2016 issue of Highlights, or listen to the story at HighlightsKids.com.
Recap: A child who signs his letter Part Planner in Pennsylvania asks Arizona how to plan a perfect potluck party for his swin team.
Arizona responds with a story about a potluck party she and a friend once hosted.
From the start, Arizona and her friend do all the right things to assure a successful get-together—they ask permission to hold a party, organize a guest list, and plan the potluck theme and their own contribution: potato salad. They also take responsibility for the setup and cleanup. But the day of the party, the girls face an unexpected development: they, and five of their eight guests, arrive with potluck potato salad! Everyone makes the best of the mishap, but Arizona learns an important lesson about planning.
- Tell me about a playdate or a party you attended that didn’t go as expected. Were you able to turn the situation around? How, and how did you feel later?
- Whom would you invite to a Fourth of July party, and what would you like to be responsible for—the guest list, the menu, the decorations, or the cleanup?
- Which holidays do you like to celebrate—and what makes those holidays special?
- An article and recipe in a magazine sparked Arizona’s idea to throw a Fourth of July party. What interesting ideas have you read about in a magazine—maybe even Highlights!—that inspired you to do something?
Reading Comprehension Boosters:
- Arizona was a busy little bee preparing for the potluck party and the guests’ arrival. What was her reason for hosting a party?
- Before the day of the party, which details did Arizona spend most of her time on? Were there any other details she may have forgotten?
- Why did Arizona think her mother would not be excited about a Fourth of July celebration? Later, why did her mother think the party was a good idea?
- What did Arizona mean when she said, “It’s just not possible to plan for everything”? If you were to plan an outdoor party, what else might be out of your control?
- What do you think Arizona would say about the chances of achieving perfection?