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Tool: Parents' menu--Topics for dinner conversation

The Amerman Elementary School in Northville, Michigan, uses the following document to guide parents to possible stimulating dinnertime conversations with their students. Perhaps you would like to adapt this idea to a communique to your own students' parents.*

Parents' menu--Topics for dinner conversation (Sample)


There is a body of research showing that the family that eats together achieves together. With the increase in testing and accountability, the state and national governments are expecting that students know not only the basics but also some very sophisticated concepts. What follows is a list of concepts you may find interesting for dinner conversation. You can be very helpful to us and your student by giving your interpretation of these concepts, your examples of these concepts and your everyday application of these concepts. We hope this menu provides you with some choices for great family conversations.

Writing/Reading Themes

acceptance/rejection . . . . achievement . . . . adaptation . . . . authority . . . . adversity . . . . balance . . . . censorship . . . . challenge . . . . change/transitions . . . . choice . . . . conflict . . . . connections/systems . . . . continuity . . . . cooperation/interdependence . . . . courage . . . . culture . . . . cycles . . . . defense/protection . . . . dilemmas . . . . discovery . . . . diversity . . . . empathy/caring . . . . equilibrium . . . . equal opportunity . . . . evolution . . . . fate . . . . fairness . . . . friendship/relationships . . . . good vs. evil . . . . harmony . . . . heroism . . . . honesty . . . . honor . . . . hope . . . . identity . . . . imagination . . . . interactions . . . . invention . . . . love . . . . loyalty . . . . man's inhumanity to man . . . . man vs. man . . . . man vs. nature . . . . man vs. society . . . . negotiation . . . . patience . . . . patterns . . . . peace . . . . perseverance/determination . . . . power . . . . prejudice . . . . pride . . . . production/consumption . . . . rhythm . . . . survival . . . . survival of the fittest . . . . symbols . . . . truth . . . . wellness

Science/Math

interpreting graphs . . . . ecology/recycling . . . . changes in Earth surfaces . . . . water use

Economics Concepts

abundance/scarcity . . . . service/manufacturing businesses . . . . supply/demand . . . . opportunity costs . . . . capital equipment . . . . corporations/shareholders . . . . consumer/distributer/producer . . . . charts/graphs

History/Geography/Government (including Core Democratic Values)

slavery/abolitionists . . . . using maps . . . . geopolitical effects . . . . freedom . . . . justice . . . . human rights . . . . independence . . . . interdependence . . . . balance of power . . . . role of local government . . . . means to raise revenues/taxes . . . . popular sovereignty . . . . responsibilities of citizenship . . . . individual rights . . . . life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness . . . . privacy . . . . freedom of religion . . . . freedom of speech . . . . freedom of assembly . . . . freedom of the press . . . . the right to petition . . . . common good . . . . diversity . . . . equality . . . . truth . . . . patriotism

*This document was provided by the principal of the Amerman Elementary School, Stephen A. Anderson.