Do you read with your child most days? Do you ever ask them questions about the story? As a teacher I find children are generally confident readers but find the comprehension of the text harder. Furthermore, parents often admit that they listen to their children read but rarely ask questions or when they do they find themselves asking the same questions over and over again. In the next section of the blog I have provided a variety of questions which could be asked at different points of the book.
Questions for Key Stage One
Before starting the new book you could ask questions about the book overall:
- Where is the title?
- What do you think will happen in this story? Why do you think that?
- Is this an information (non-fiction) or story (fiction) book? How do we know?
Once you start reading the book you could ask:
- Can you tel me what has happened so far?
- What do you think will happen next?
- What type of character is…, are they kind, rude, happy, miserable, how do we know this?
- How do you think the character feels at this point, how do you know?
- Before reading the next page ask, what can you see happening in this picture?
- What does…. word mean?
After you have finished the book you could ask:
- Did you like this book? Why/why not?
- What was the most exciting part of the book, what made it exciting?
- What sort of character was…?
- Why did the character do… (choose a part from the book)?
- What would you do if this was you?
Questions for Key Stage Two
As children get older, parents often do not ask them to read aloud. It is still vital to hear them read and ask them questions, even if it is a page or two a day. You could also have regular general discussions about the book, ensuring your child develops their own understanding by discussing it with others. Another pitfall for older children is the lack of understanding around new vocabulary. Young children ask their parents what words mean. However, when older children find a new word they do not necessarily look it up or ask the meaning. Instead they use the words around it to put the sentence into context, thus meaning they do not always understand the true meaning or concept of that word.
Before starting the book:
- What type of story is this?
- What do you think will happen, why?
- Have you read a book by this author or with this in character before?
- Why did you choose this book?
- What genre is this book, how can you tell?
During the reading of the book:
- What has happened so far?
- Who is your favourite character, why?
- Which character do you least like, why?
- What do you think will happen next, why?
- Can you find evidence in the text that shows that the character is ….?
- Can you find two sentences to describe the setting?
- What would you do in this situation?
- Why did the writer repeat this word/phrase?
- Why is this written in bold/italics?
- If you are reading non-fiction books, what facts have you read? Have you learnt anything new? What does this page tell you about? Is there anything that interests you on this page? Where would you go to find information about….?
After reading the book:
- What was your favourite/least favourite part of the story, why?
- Which part of the story was the funniest, scariest, saddest, and happiest? Find some evidence in the text to support your opinion.
- What happened in the story?
- What would you have done if you were the character?
- If you met one of the characters what would you ask them, why?
- Does your opinion of the character change in the story? What made it change?
- Does this story remind you of anything else you have read?
- Would you read another book by this author, why?
Lastly, it is important to remember that reading a book is a very personal experience. It is key that your child chooses their books and understands why they like to read them. This will help them develop a love of reading rather than seeing it as something they have to do. Moreover, evidence shows that the more children read the greater their vocabulary and imagination.
Finally, help your child adopt a love of reading today.