We know it’s important to generate rich discussions during reading time with the children. It helps them to gain a deeper understanding of the book and to develop their critical thinking skills. If you’re anything like me, you probably struggle to think up questions to ask. The following questions were on an handy cheat-sheet that G2’s teacher gave us to help us out when we’re reading with the kids.
- Can you predict what is going to happen next? Why did you make that prediction? Can you point to something in the book that helped you make that prediction? OR What do you already know that helped you make that prediction?
- Why did the character do that?
- What did the author mean by ….?
- What’s going to happen next?
- The character must be feeling *insert emotion*. Are there any clues that help us know that?
- What is the problem to be solved in this story? Is there a solution?
- What has happened so far?
- In general, what is this story about?
- What do you wonder after reading so far?
- What is the most important point in this story or passage?
- Is there anything that you understand in a new way from reading this story?
- What idea’s (concepts or feelings) are the most interesting to you? Why?
- Does (a historical event or personal experience) make more sense after reading this?
- Does this book make you think of anything that has happened to you? If so, what?
- Does this story remind you of anything you have read?
- What things would make everyone like this book?
- In what ways does the author make you feel as if you were there?
- What are some examples of rich, colourful, or great language that make this a good passage to read?
- What are the critical points in the plot? How does the story unfold?
- What is unbelievable about this text?
- Should other kids read this? Why or why not?
- What important information is missing?
- Would people in your life act this way?
- What would have made this story more interesting to read?
- What are the words or phrases that you really liked or disliked?
Basic Recall/Explicit Questioning
- Who is the main character in the story?
- Who are the other characters in the story?
- What is your favourite part of the chapter or book?
- Describe your favourite character.
- Where do you think the story takes place? Why do you think that?
- When do you think the story takes place? Why do you think that?
- What is the problem in this story?
- How is the problem solved?
- Why do you think the author wrote this story? What did he/she want you to learn?
Questions for Non-Fiction Books
Most of the questions above relate to fictional stories. What happens if your child is reading a non-fiction book? These are questions for non-fiction books that you can ask:
Questions to Engage the Reader
- Why did you choose this book?
- What could this book be about?
- Have you read others books by this author?
- What do you see on the front cover?
- What is the title of the book?
- What is happening in the pictures?
- How is the character feeling?
- What could happen next?
- How would you describe the character?
- How would you feel if this happened to you?
- What was your favourite part? Why?
- What was the most interesting/exciting part of the book?
- Who was your favourite character? Why?
- Which word would you like to find out more about?
- If you were to rewrite the story, which part would you change?
- Reciprocal Reading – How to Support Your Child with Reading
- Supporting Reading at Home
- Why children who read are smarter
- Resources for Developing Reading Comprehension
- Talk 4 Writing – Helping Children Develop their Reading and Writing Skills