Questions You and Your Child Should Be Asking

This month, we’ve focused on increasing reading comprehension with your child. We’ve talking about why comprehension is necessary to be a successful reader, how to introduce books to your child, and today, we’ll conclude with more practical strategies you can try with your son or daughter. 

Asking questions during and after reading encourages active engagement and remembrance of important details and information. This can also help your son or daughter connect what he has learned to what he already knows. Your child is monitoring his own comprehension when he asks questions.

How It Works:

1)         Let your child know that asking questions while reading can help him focus on what he is reading, gives him a purpose for reading, and helps him check to see if he is understand what he is reading.

2)        Read a story to your child and model the questioning process (eventually, he should do this on his own). Stop during the reading and ask questions that come to your mind. You may have to model this several times – your child will not pick this up completely after just one modeling.

3)      Some questions to ask while reading could include:

  1. “What does this mean?”
  2. “Is this important?”
  3. “How do I think the story will end?”
  4. “What does this word mean?”
  5. “Do I need to read this again?”
  6. “How could that be?”

4)      Encourage him to ask himself these questions when he is reading on his own.

A Fun, Interactive Post-Reading Activity:

You’ll need: a beach ball and a permanent marker


1)      With a permanent marker, write the following questions on an inflated beach ball: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?

Beach Ball Reading Activity

2)      After reading a text, toss the ball back and forth with your child. Look to see which questioning word is closest to your right thumb and answer that question with regard to the text that was just read.

3)      Toss the ball back to your child and have her answer the question closest to her right thumb.

Teaching Reading at Home

We hope the reading strategies over the past month have been helpful for you as you’ve worked with your son or daughter on reading comprehension. If you’re an educator and have a student that’s struggling with reading comprehension, we’d invite you to share these strategies with his or her parent’s to work on at home. For more reading strategies and tips, check out Best Practices for Teaching Reading at Home.

Sandra Vroon IMGSandra Vroon has served as a general education teacher, Reading Recovery teacher, adjunct reading and literacy professor and most recently, a home educator. She received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Calvin College.

Susan Harrell IMGSusan Harrel has spent the last 30 years in a variety of educational settings including a one-room mission school in Uganda, a K-12 school for LD students, multiple elementary grades, a Reading Recovery room, private tutoring of home school students and more. She received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Calvin College. 


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