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Inside Highlights® Magazine December 2017

Ask Arizona™—a letter writer confides that her dad sings in front of all her friends and she’s totally embarrassed.

Highlights 4Cs

Curious, Creative, Caring, and Confident™
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To see how Arizona responds, read the recap here, or turn to the story on pages 40—41 of the December 2017 issue. Then use the conversation starters and reading comprehension questions that follow to continue the conversation.

A letter writer who calls herself Mortified in Montana says her dad loves to sing in the car when her friends are there and she feels, well, mortified. What’s a kid to do?

Arizona confesses that her own mother recently did a solo song-and-dance act in front of Arizona’s class so she completely understands feeling mortified. But it turns out that her classmates loved her mom’s routine, and Arizona eventually realized how much fun her mom was having. Arizona’s experience left her with some great advice for Mortified in Montana. She said that while Mortified could talk to her dad about how embarrassed she feels when he starts crooning, it may be even better to let go of her own worries and focus instead on being glad her dad is so happy.

Conversation Starters:
  • What funny or silly things does your family do that can sometimes be embarrassing? What is it about those funny or silly things that embarrasses you? Would it hurt your family members’ feelings if you asked them to stop?
  • If you had a chance to perform in front of your classmates, would you sing, dance, do something else, or do nothing? Are you comfortable performing?
  • Do you think it takes courage to perform in front of a group of people? Why do you think Arizona’s mom wanted to do it?
  • Is it easier to perform in front of complete strangers or in front of people you know? Explain your answer.
  • Arizona mentioned that “volunteering is important.” Do you agree with her? How would you like to spend your time volunteering?
Reading Comprehension Boosters:
  • Why was Arizona hoping there would be a fire drill or an assembly?
  • How could you tell that Arizona was embarrassed by her mother’s performance at first?
  • Name some of the things Arizona did that revealed how she felt, even though she didn’t actually discuss her feelings.
  • What happened that made Arizona feel less embarrassed—and even start smiling?
  • Was Arizona’s mother’s performance a success? What clues in the story give you that impression?
  • What are the two different ideas Arizona suggested to Mortified to help her deal with her dad’s singing? Which option did Arizona believe would be nicer (and easier)?