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Ask Questions:
Before, During, and After Reading

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20 Best-practices
Reading Strategies
Readers generate questions before, during and after reading. Questions pertain to the text’s content, structure and language. They ask questions for different purposes including those that clarify their own developing understanding. Readers wonder about the choices the author made when writing.

Questions to use BEFORE reading:
Activate topic specific knowledge, general world knowledge, text organization or structure knowledge, and author knowledge:

  • What clues does the title/subtitle reveal?
  • What genre of writing does this article represent? Fiction? Nonfiction? Poetry?
  • Based on the genre of writing, how will you read this selection?
  • What expectations do you have when you read nonfiction? Fiction? Poetry?
  • What information do you know about this topic?
  • What information could be researched to deepen your understanding of the text?
  • Why are you reading this article? What is your goal? (Set a purpose for reading.)
  • What information do you hope this article will include?
  • What questions do you hope this article will answer?
  • Do you know this author’s work? Have you read other pieces written by this author? What do you know about the kinds of writing this author has composed?
  • Why do you think the author wrote this article?
  • When you scan the text features (title, subtitle, headings, illustrations, captions, bold print, italicized phrases), what details can be collected to help you prepare for reading?

Questions to use DURING reading:
Monitor level of comprehension; Apply problem-solving strategies when comprehension breaks down:

  • What do you understand from the paragraph you just read?
  • Could you summarize its key ideas?
  • What three words represent key ideas? What clues in this paragraph will help you understand that unfamiliar word?
  • Do you need to reread the paragraph to understand what the author is saying?
  • Do you need to slow down your reading in order to understand the ideas? What strategies can you use to unlock the meanings in this text?
  • What images can you visualize using text details in order to build your understanding?
  • Do you need to stop and check the dictionary for an unfamiliar word? Is it essential to know its definition in order to understand the main ideas of the article? Or can you read on?

Questions to use AFTER reading:
Respond, Make Connections, Extend Comprehension, Analyze and Evaluate Ideas, Read Between and Beyond the Lines, Assess Literal and Interpretative Comprehension:

  • Which pre-reading questions did this article answer?
  • Which pre-reading predictions were confirmed?
  • Which predictions were revised?
  • What are the main ideas of this article?
  • What generalizations can be made using the details from the text?
  • What conclusions can be made from the details described in the selection?
  • What cause and effect relationships were revealed?
  • How did the author reveal descriptive information?
  • What is the overall theme of this article?
  • What connections did you make with the information in this article?
  • Would you recommend this article to other readers? Why or why not?


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