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Checking children understand what they are reading

Questioning Ideas


It is important to ask questions after your child has read to you to check they understand the book they are reading. You can start by asking them to tell you what has happened – some children find this very difficult. Then you can ask some questions.

Here are some ideas –


Story Books

  • Who is the main character (main person in the story)?
  • Where is the setting (where the story is taking place)?
  • Why did he/she…?
  • What is ___ (character) like?
  • How would you describe _____ (setting or character)?
  • What kind of story is this? How do you know?
  • Do you like this story? Why?
  • Where is the story set? What words describe it?
  • When is the story set? How do you know?
  • What do you think will happen next? Why?
  • Do you know another story that is like this?
  • Why do you think he/she did _____?
  • Why did he/she want to…?
  • What if he/she had/hadn’t..?
  • How did they sort it out? Was that a good idea and why?
  • How does the author get us to feel scared/excited etc?
  • What would you have done?



Non-fiction/ Information book

  • What else do you know about?
  • What else would you like to know about?
  • Do you agree with the author? Why?
  • Will this change what you thought about___?
  • Why do you think this is/is not true?
  • What made this interesting?
  • How do the headings help?
  • Can you explain how it works?
  • How do you think the author felt when he/she wrote this?
  • What text type is it? How do you know?
  • Would you have set this out differently?
  • How do you know___? How can you be sure?