Parent Tip Sheet by bjn735


									   How to encourage your child to
   become a critical thinker
   For parents of students in primary, junior and middle grades

   What is critical literacy?
   "Literacy is about more than reading and writing        Visit historical sites, read markers, monuments
   – it is about how we communicate in society. It          and plaques and discuss the perspectives -
   is about social practices and relationships, about       which perspectives/facts are missing from these
   knowledge, language and culture. Literacy finds          historical sites
   its place in our lives alongside other ways of          When your child raises an issue with you,
   communicating. Indeed, literacy itself takes             analyze it together from different perspectives:
   many forms: on paper, on the computer screen,            raise questions about fairness and equity
   on TV, on posters and signs. Those who use              When reading with your child, discuss how the
   literacy take it for granted – but those who             author uses language and images to influence
   cannot use it are excluded from much                     the reader
   communication in today’s world. Indeed, it is           Take your child to diverse communities to
   the excluded who can best appreciate the notion          experience different cultures and talk about
   of 'literacy as freedom'."                               what you see, hear, smell, taste and touch
   (UNESCO, Statement for the United Nations
   Literacy Decade, 2003–2012)                          What are some problem-posing questions
                                                        for discussion?
   Why is critical literacy important?
                                                           What gender is represented in the text?
   We live in a rapidly changing, high-tech global         What gender is missing?
   village. Children are inundated with the                What gender is marginalized?
   marketing of ideas and products in the media            Who is doing all the talking?
   and on the internet. They need to be able to            How might the story/advertisement change if
   critically analyze these messages and make               another gender was inserted?
   meaning from all that they read hear and see.           How is the family portrayed? Are these families
   How can you support your child in                       What point of view is presented by the
   becoming critically literate?                            author/characters/photographer/illustrator?
                                                           What ethnic group or race is most common?
                                                           What ethnic group or race is least common?
      Engage in conversations with your child
                                                           Are people with particular body types, clothes,
       when watching television
                                                            skin colour represented?
      Listen to popular music and discuss the
                                                           What images are not apparent?
                                                           Are any people with disabilities represented?
      Watch music videos and talk about the
       images that are portrayed
      Look through newspapers, magazines and
       catalogues and discuss the images that are
       represented and those that are not
                                                         Tip sheet prepared by Beth Gunding, Instructional
      Discuss advertisements in the media and ask      Co-ordinator (ESL/ELD) and Marta Mulhern,
       'problem-posing questions'                       Instructional Co-ordinator (Literacy).

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