Here is an idea you can use to stimulate discussion at the dinner table. After your child finishes a novel, have him report to the family about one of the characters in the book. He can describe what the character looks like, what he acts like, and if this character would make a good friend. Have your child explain why this character would make a good friend or not. What is this character's personality like? Would he help you if you needed help. Then, have your child ask anyone at the table, for example, DAD, if he knows somebody like this character. Have Dad describe how this character reminds him of someone he might know of. This may lead the family into a discussion about what type of person makes a good friend.
Teaching with the Take a Stand! series helps me get to know my children and students better and it helps them how to think critically, form historical judgement, and express themselves in speech and in writing.