Some suggested questions to encourage reflective reading

These are suggestions of questions to ask pupils from Primary 3 – Junior High School 3 to ensure that children are thinking when they are reading books.  These questions encourage pupils to go beyond summarising the content of a book. These questions are mostly to ask after reading, although some can be asked before or during reading the book.

We hope to distribute these questions in a laminated form to our libraries in Ghana to help parents, teachers, and libraries engage with their children’s reading  – do send us any other suggestions! contact@readingspots.org 

Basic

  • From the book cover, what do you think the book will be about?
  • What do you think the title tells us about the book?
  • What do you think is going to happen next? (can be asked at various points throughout the book).
  • Who is your favourite/least favourite character in the book? Why do you like/not like them?
  • What have you learnt from the book?
  • Did you find any words difficult in the book? If so, which ones?
  • Did the pictures help you to understand the story better?
  • Which picture was your favourite? Why?

Intermediate

  • What made you choose this book from the shelf?
  • How would you feel if that happened to you? (After a particular event).
  • Was there a particular problem in the book? How was it solved?
  • What was the setting of the book? Did the author make it vivid? How did he/she achieve this?
  • Did the book end as your expected?
  • What is the ‘moral’ of the story?
  • Which character interested you most? Why was their character interesting?
  • Does the title of the story give a good indication of the novel? How would you rename it?
  • Would you recommend this story to another child? Why?

Advanced

  • Are there any literacy devices used in the book (e.g. metaphors, similies, personification, onomatopoeia).
  • Are there any themes in the book that relate to current society? If so, what can we learn from the book with respect to the issue?
  • Can you think of an alternative ending?
  • Whose perspective is the novel given from?
  • Can you think of how the story might be told from a different perspective?
  • Look back to the first page of the book. Did it captivate your attention? How? Could it be improved?
  • Does the start of the book give you any indication about how it might end?
  • Which character do you identify with most? (Who is most like yourself?) Explain!
  • Is there anything in the book that you disagree with?

Possible Written/Dramatic Activities

  • Pupils could look up all words that they do not know in a dictionary and keep a ‘vocab list’ in a special books.
  • They could act out parts of a book with their friends.
  • They could practice reading a section of the book expressively to family and friends.
  • They could write your own ‘Part 2’ sequel or a prequel to a book.
  • They could write an alternative ending or beginning to a book.
  • They could create a different front cover or title for the book.
  • They could write the story from the perspective of a particular character.
  • They could make a list of different characters in the book and their qualities and behaviour – you could then act in the behaviour of those characters with your friends.
  • They could make a spider chart of the key themes discussed in the book.
  • Pupils could summarise the book in 100 words. (Perhaps emphasise that summarising involves highlighting key points, not repeating various sentences).
  • Pupils could create their own record of the all the books they have read and summarised.

Email contact:

contact@readingspots.org for any more suggestions – this is very much a work in progress!

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