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Suggestions for Reading Discussions

Below are some suggestions of questions to ask your child when they are reading. Asking these questions will help children with their comprehension skills.


Before Reading

Show your child the book cover and read the description. After he or she has had some time to consider what the title and other introductory features could indicate about the story, ask your child what he or she thinks will happen and have your child explain why he or she thinks that. It is also good to ask the following:

  • What kind of characters do you expect to be in the story?
  • Where and when do you think the story takes place?
  • Do you think there will be conflict or any sort of problem in the story?
  • Do you think you will be able to relate the story to your life or our family?

Having your child consider these and other similar questions will not only encourage the development of intellectual skills; he or she will also get excited about reading the story. Making a child curious about the story will help them focus during the story.


While Reading

While you and your child are reading the story it is best to stop periodically to ask questions. This will help you monitor if your child is still paying attention and understanding the plot.  

Some good questions to ask include:

  • What can you tell me about the story and the characters so far?
  • What do you think will happen next and how do you think this story will end?
  • What would you have done if you were one of the characters in the story?
  • Why do you think they have acted the way they have?
  • What did you see in your head during that last scene?
  • What are you thinking about as you read?

If your child's answers indicate he or she does not fully understand what has happened in the story, don't be afraid to backtrack and re-read any confusing details.  Additionally, don't forget to share with your child your own thoughts. Remember though, the goal is to conduct a literary discussion, not an interrogation! It is also useful to discuss the meaning of any unfamiliar vocabulary. Children could be encouraged to keep a note of any interesting words so that they can use them in their written work.


After Reading

Now that you both know the ending of the story, you can re-examine your prior predictions and see how close you were. You can also discuss together why the author had the story end the way it did and how a different ending would have a much different impact or feeling. Other points of discussion are:

  • Do you think the title was appropriate or would you have named it something different?
  • What was the story's problem and how was it solved?
  • Are there other ways it could have been solved?
  • Who do you think was the main character? If you were them, how would you feel throughout the story?
  • Why do you think the author wrote this book? What was the point of the story?


Taken from website: http://math-and-reading-help-for-kids.org

Stepgates Community School
  • Stepgates Community School
  • Stepgates, Chertsey,
  • Surrey, KT16 8HT,
  • United Kingdom
  • If you have any queries please contact Mrs Kemp
  • Our SENDCo is Mrs Diana Muller who can be contacted via the school email address
  • Telephone: 01932 563022
  • Email: info@stepgates.surrey.sch.uk
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