As a teacher, you know that reading comprehension is essential for your students. But what are the best ways to help them improve their comprehension skills? These questions for reading comprehension can help! They can be used to get kids thinking more deeply about what they're reading or as a tool to help assess their understanding of texts.
Asking Questions For Reading Comprehension Strategy
Asking questions is a valuable way for children to demonstrate their understanding of what they have read. This strategy can be used in many areas, including story structure and predictions. Each section provides tips on using this skill while reading with your child or student!
This post covers seven areas to support and extend a child's understanding of what they are reading. Each section suggests a list of questions you can use with students. The different areas are:
- Story structure
- Making Predictions
- Author's Purpose
- Making Connections
- Self-Monitoring and Self-Correction
Children show comprehension by responding to what they have read in ways that make sense. Expect them to react to what they have read through discussion and questioning. Consistently asking questions helps the process become a habit, and children will read for meaning.
1. Story Structure Questions
When exploring story structure with students, focus on the sequence of events. These comprehension questions will help children understand that events happen in a particular order affecting how they affect one another and, ultimately, what happens to the characters.
- What is the title of this book?
- Who is the author and /or illustrator?
- How do you know if this book is fiction or nonfiction?
- How did the story start? How did it end? What happened in the middle?
- Can you retell the story in order of events?
- Where is the story set? How do you know?
- What is the genre of this story? How do you know this?
- Who is telling the story?
- Who are the important characters?
- How did the character's actions affect the story?
- What is the conflict or problem the characters must resolve? How did they do this?
2. Making Predictions Questions
You can ask questions before reading, during or after reading. Try to limit questions and avoid making students self-conscious about guessing or predicting words while reading. The fewer distractions, the better! Use these questions for reading comprehension to prompt those students who may struggle with this skill.
- What will happen next? How do you know?
- Do you think the characters will have to face any problems/conflicts? How do you know?
- What do you think will happen at the end of the story? What makes you think this?
- What do you think will happen if…?
- What do you think the characters are feeling or thinking?
- What is the character going to do next? How will their actions affect the story?
3. Author's Purpose Questions
Children must consider the author's purpose when reading or listening to a story. They must see stories from an objective perspective, not just their own personal one!
- Why do you think the author chose to write this story? (For example, was it to inform, entertain, persuade, etc.?)
- What message was the author trying to convey? How do you know?
- Why do you think the author chose the setting of the story?
- What is the author trying to tell us?
- What do you think of the title? Did the author make a good choice? Why?
4. Summarising Comprehension Questions
Summarising involves identifying important events in a text while ignoring all other information. Summarising could involve a verbal or written summary of the main points. Use these questions to encourage students to recall critical parts of the text and as prompts for students who need more help remembering what they read.
- What is the main idea of the story?
- What happened in the story? Can you tell me what happened in order?
- What do you think was the most important part of the story? Why?
- Did something happen that changed the outcome of the story? Did you expect this?
- What was the character's mission? How did they achieve it?
- Why did the character make this choice? Could they have made a better choice?
- Why did [event] happen?
5. Making Connections Questions
Children need to practice retelling stories in interesting and exciting ways. With practice, their connections will become more detailed. It is essential to pause when reading and give students time to think when making connections. These comprehension questions are another great strategy to help prompt children.
- Does the story to character remind you of anyone?
- Does this book remind you of any other books you have read?
- How did the story make you feel, and why?
- Did you learn anything from this story that you can use in your life?
- Does this story remind you of anything happening in the real world?
- Make a connection to other books written by this author.
6. Self-Monitoring and Self-Correction Questions
Self-monitoring is when a reader notices their own reading errors. Self-correction is the ability to go back and fix those errors. When a child realises they have made a mistake, we want them to stop so they can develop a complete understanding of what they are reading. Use these questions to develop these skills further.
- Does that sound right?
- Does it make sense?
- Do the illustrations help you understand the story?
- What parts of the story didn't you understand? Go back and reread to make sense.
- What strategies could you use to help if you don't understand something?
- Why did you stop reading?
7. Inference Comprehension Questions
Making inferences is a complex skill that takes time for students to master. It involves reading between the lines and using their knowledge to make plausible guesses about the story. They will use multiple cues to develop their inferences as they read, leading to various answers. Use these questions for reading comprehension to help students read with a critical eye and improve their understanding of the text.
- What was the message of the story?
- What was the main feeling in the story (e.g. was it happy or sad)? How do you know this?
- Why did the character choose to do _______? Why?
- Did you agree when the character chose to ______?
- Tell me about some of the emotions the characters experience.
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I hope these questions for reading comprehension will help children think about what they are reading.
Do you have any favourite comprehension questions you like to ask when reading with students?
Parents, as you accepted your child’s first spoken words with joy and praise, please do the same with their reading. Children, like adults, learn best in a stress-free, fun environment!
You may also find these related posts useful:
Strategies to Help When Children Make Reading Errors
Reasons Why it is Important To Read Aloud Books
The 5 Stages of Reading Development