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Comprehension At Home

“Children are made readers in the laps of their parents.”

Emilie Buchwald, children’s author.

We all, parents and teachers alike, know the value of reading at home with our children.  Here at Peterbrook we think it’s important to develop independent, confident readers who choose to read for pleasure and enjoyment, as much as for the attainment of knowledge. 

The basic skills which underpin all reading take time and effort to develop, and a large part of reading is in the understanding of the words, as well as being able to decipher them.   With this in mind, the following questions are meant as a guide to help you to really develop your child’s understanding of the texts they read.  They are not meant to be asked every time your child reads a book, nor are they the only questions you can ask.  They are simply a place from which to begin and I hope they will be of some use.

Mrs Wright, Reading Leader.


Before reading

  • What might the book be about? Why do you think that?
  • Find the blurb (on the back of the book) – does it tell you any more about the story? Does it alter what you think will happen? Why?
  • What’s the title of the book?
  • Who is the author? Have you read any books by them before?
  • Who is the illustrator? What is their job? Have you seen any of their illustrations before?
  • Do you think this will be a fiction (story) or non-fiction (information) book? Why?
  • Talk generally about the parts of a book – front cover, back cover, title, author, illustrator, blurb, bar code, publisher, ISBN number. 
  • If it’s an information book, ask them to find and use the contents or index page.


During reading

  • How does the book begin?  Did you enjoy the beginning? Why/ why not?
  • Who is the main character? Do you like them? Why/ why not?
  • Have you read any other books with this character?
  • Does the character remind you of any others? Why? What’s the same?
  • What sort of character is…? (Eg. Mean, kind, a villain, etc…) What has the character done to make you think that?
  • How do you think this character feels? Why do you think that? Can you find evidence from the text?
  • How has the author used description to tell you about this character?
  • What do you think this word means? If you don’t know, can you use the other words (context) to help you to work it out?
  • Tell me about the story so far. Is this what you expected to happen? Why/ why not?
  • Was your prediction right?
  • What might happen next? Why do you think that?
  • Can you explain why…?
  • Why do you think the author chose those words?
  • What do you think of…? Can you find evidence from the text to explain your view?
  • If you were the main character, how would you have reacted to this?
  • What is the main problem in the story?
  • What would you do if that happened to you? / Has anything like this ever happened to you?
  • How do you think they’ll solve the problem?
  • What’s your opinion of the story so far? Why?
  • Talk about the layout of the book.
  • Has any special text type been used, such as bold lettering or italics? Why? What effect do they have?
  • How do you think the story might end? Why do you think that?
  • Look out for interesting words or phrases as you read the book. Try to remember them!
  • Are there any repeated phrases in the book? What are they? Why do you think the author has done that? Do you enjoy the repetitions? Why/ why not?


After reading

  • Did you enjoy the book?  Why/ why not? What was your favourite part? Why?
  • Would you read another book by this author?
  • Who was your favourite character? Why?
  • Can you tell me the story in your own words?
  • Compare texts. Which story was better, in your opinion? Why? Explain using examples from the texts.
  • Who might you recommend this book to and why?
  • What happened at the end? Did they solve their problem? How?
  • Why do you think the author wrote this book? What was their aim?

Peterbrook Primary School, High Street, Solihull Lodge, Shirley, Solihull, West Midlands, B90 1HR

Tel: +44(0)121 4302545