7 Comprehension Questions After Reading a Book

Asking comprehension questions are very important for both young and old readers. Advanced readers may not have too much difficulty answering these kinds of questions, but budding readers still need to be taught less complicated comprehension questions as a start. This is because the goal of any reading activity should be to develop a child’s ability to understand more about the written world. It is not enough that children are speed readers. They may know the words well and pronounce each of them correctly, but it is not a guarantee that they can completely understand the passage. Thus the need to ask comprehension questions and make the reading activity truly a learning experience for budding and advanced readers. Below are examples of comprehension questions that you may ask your students or child after reading a book. Feel free as well to modify some questions to make it more understandable depending on the level of your student or child.

1. What can you say about the theme of the story?

This question allows readers to ponder on the most dominant theme of the story. Whether it is about love, adversity, about relationships, etc. Giving them this question will help them dig deeper into the story and examine what is really the overall theme of what they are reading about. It is also best to ask the reader to cite a specific paragraph or sentences that will serve as proof that the story is about a certain theme.

2. What do you think is the author’s position regarding the issue presented in the story?

If this question does not seem to elicit the right answer, you may follow it up with a question- Do you think the author agrees or disagrees to the issue being presented in the story? Then, ask them to provide a paragraph or a line from the story that will support their answer. The reading experts from Literati state that by asking them this question develops their ability to infer information from the text they have just read. In most cases, the issue being discussed by the characters in the story will pertain to social relevance. Regularly asking the readers about this question will help them think like an author instead of just a mere reader.

If the reader is in grade four level who is a highly motivated reader, it will become easier for him to make assumptions or determine the implications of the characters, words, and actions in the story that will lead to show the author’s position about the issue in the reading material.

3. Which character in the story do you think you can connect with and why?

While reading the book, there will be characters that the reader will be able to connect with. Ask the reader or the student if he could see himself in any of the characters. Ask him what specific characteristics that the person from the story has which he could connect with. Does the character connect with you in a major or minor way? How? Does this affect your reading at all?

4. What serves to motivate the main characters of the story?

In every story, there will always be a goal that motivates the antagonist and the protagonist in the story. Their words and actions will serve as a manifestation of that certain thing that motivates them deep inside. Whether it is their love for someone, for money, power, position or fame. There are many things that could motivate the characters which also goes to say that this question may also elicit one or more varied answers from the readers. But, it would also be good if you will ask about the “major” thing that motivates them. Once they are able to identify the source of motivation, ask the reader if he or she could relate to the character based on such motivation.

5. How is the entire story organized?

This question should only be asked once the reader has prior knowledge about the different ways a story can be organized. For example, stories are organized based on the chronological order, compare and contrast, cause and effect or question and answer. Once the student gives out an answer about the specific manner of organization, you should follow it up with a question that will allow them to defend their answer. Their answer must be coupled with specific examples.

6. Is there any part of the story that you want to change? Why?

You may expound the question by asking them that if they will be given the chance to make changes in the story what part of it will they choose to change? The parts of the story that can be changed could be its structure, audience, the sequence of events and characterization of the antagonist or protagonist of the story. They may also change how the story will end. However, make sure to ask the student more details about how they are going to change a specific part of the story.  This kind of question develops their ability to tell a story, organize their thoughts and come up with a satisfying outcome by telling it whether in written or oral form.

7. What is the significance of the story to what is happening in the present times?

This question elicits a higher-order thinking skill of the student as they relate some of the parts of the story to what is currently happening in their environment. The best thing about this question is that it encourages the student or the reader to be more aware of the current events.  It also improves their ability to relate the story to the present times, making them realize that good literature is indeed one that transcends through time.

Asking students comprehension questions will develop their ability to answer questions better. The more often they answer questions like these, the greater chances they will have of being able to enjoy every reading activity as well. This is because complete comprehension also comes to a full appreciation of the text. Add in the fact that they will also learn a lot of life lessons from every book they read.


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