St. Patrick's Catholic Primary School

Together we are growing in God's love

Todholes Road, Cleator Moor, Cumbria, CA25 5DG

01946 810 513

Questions to ask your child to develop their comprehension


All of the questions below will help your child to think more deeply about their reading and will build their understanding of texts. Questions are split into categories depending on what you wish to focus on. 

If you want your child to retrieve information from what they have just read you can ask questions such as: 

  • What did the boy do…?
  • What happened when…?
  • What does the picture show…?
  • How did the character…?
  • When did…?
  • Where was/did …?
  • Where in the picture…?
  • Where can you find…?


To get your child to infer or interpret information you could ask them: 

  • What do you think might happen …?
  • What do you think they should do?
  • What do you think will happen next?
  • How do you know…?
  • Why do you think…?
  • Why did the character decide to…?


You may want your child to predict what will happen next in the story. Questions you could ask are:

  • What can you tell from the beginning of this story?
  • How do you know what kind of story this is?
  • What do you think will happen next?
  • How do you think this story might end?


If you want to discuss the layout of a text you could ask: 

  • What helps us to find information?
  • What information do you think will be included in this section/chapter?
  • How do you know where to find…?
  • How do the different sections help…?
  • Why does the book have headings…?
  • What does the layout add to the effect of…?


Sometimes your child may be able to comment on the author’s use of language. They might be able to identify where the author has used:

  • Rhyming words
  • Onomatopoeia
  • Metaphors, similes or personification
  • Different types of punctuation
  • Organisational features such as sub headings, paragraphs etc 


If they do this you could ask questions such as: 

  • Why do you think the author used …?
  • Why do you think the author repeats…?
  • Why has the author only used short words here?


There will be times when your child could evaluate how good a text is. Questions you could ask in this instance are: 

  • Which sections gave you the most interesting information?
  • Do you know anyone like the character in the story?
  • Do you like the book? Explain.
  • How did the character change as the story went on?
  • Could … really have happened?                        
  • What was the author trying to tell us about…?


If your child is reading a text from different a different time or culture questions you could ask are: 

  • What other stories do you know that…?
  • How do you know that this isn’t a story about this country?
  • Would you have liked to live then/there?
  • Are there any words/expression that you don’t know? How could we find out what they mean?
  • How do the illustrations tell us that this isn’t about modern times?
  • What other characters do you know that are like this?