One of the challenges of teaching is fostering the communication between parents and kids. Teachers know that students who are exposed to more conversation learn more academic vocabulary, develop skills of persuasive argument, improve oral communication, and do better in school. But a teacher’s opportunities to engage in individual conversations with a student are limited. We hope for and try to encourage those conversations between parents and kids. But sometimes, when parents ask their children, “How was school today?” the answer will be “OK”. Even parents who prompt with “What did you do in school today?” will often hear “Nothing.” And that’s where the conversation ends.
As a parent myself, I spent a lot of time in the car with my kids. I found myself searching for ways to have good meaningful conversations with them. I was a science teacher so it’s probably obvious what topics I started with. But what I found was that we might start with science, but we ended up on much deeper topics.
In “Science Car Talk” I have tried to give you a start on encouraging those kinds of conversations. Each of the 30 conversation starter cards begins with a science topic, but asks a question that will open a door to meaningful dialogue.
Teachers may want to use them to help parents make a connection to a topic currently being studied in science class. Teachers could also use them for bell work or as a discussion starter or writing prompt. I hope that however you use them, they’ll be a rewarding and effective way for an adult to start a conversation with children they care about.
There are 7-8 cards (30 total) on each of these topics:
Earth/Space - Color Coded Red
Biology - Color Coded Green
General Science (e.g. scientists, scientific method) - Color Coded Blue
Technology/Engineering - Color Coded Purple
For more higher order thinking prompts, be sure to take a look at my Exit Cards for Higher Order Thinking
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