The best way to use children's innate curiosity and to develop critical-thinking skills is to ask great questions:

Inference-using given and assumed evidence to draw a conclusion

  • What do the pictures in the book tell you about the story? Notice the characters' expressions. How do they feel? What might be happening?

Deduction-using clues to draw a conclusion

  • What might the character do next? What clues make you think this is what the character might do?

Comparison-noticing the relationships between things

  • How are the three billy goats, three pigs, and three bears similar or different?

Evaluation-interpreting and judging information, story elements, and characterization

  • Which characters in the story were kind? Where any characters mean? Which ones would you want to have as a friend?