Three questions to start conversations with kids about books:
Start a conversation before reading the book. Ask kids what they think the book or story will be about. Then after the story, let them share what they liked about the book and what happened in the story.
Books are not lesson plans. There is a trend in publishing to provide books to support common core or subjects like science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM.) That is a worthy trend. However, keep mind that book publishers want to sell books to schools and libraries. It is up to teachers and parents, leaders of children, to select and share interesting stories that kids can relate to and enjoy. Kids will be more likely to keep reading on their own if adults model the love of reading and share interesting books.
Lesson plans and enrichment activities can come from books. First teachers and parents are effective when they pay attention to how the child or children respond to each book. If they are just not interested, try another approach to teach the concept and come back to the book later. Here are some sample questions that can help the conversation unfold. These are some that usually work as a place to start:
Once you get the conversation going and you see that the kids are curious, you can introduce the lessons that are part of this Picture Book Stem ever growing list.
Generally children appreciate hearing a book again and again, you can pick up the same book and share something new each time.