Analyzing books, articles, and media for reading comprehension in the classroom is an important skill for students to master in order to develop critical thinking, understand what they’re learning in every class, and to build subject-specific vocabulary.
Asking the right reading comprehension questions about what you’re analyzing in the classroom can help improve students' overall comprehension and activate these critical thinking skills.
No matter what you’re teaching, you can bring your favorite informational text, stories, videos, and other media to analyze into Quizizz.
We want to make it easy to get started on comprehension skills practice. Here are our favorite ways (and 50+ sample questions!) for any grade level or subject to help your students understand and analyze both fiction and nonfiction texts.
Reading comprehension questions to make connections
Help students make connections between a text and other books, articles, media or pieces of writing.
- Does this remind you of anything in your life? How is this similar or different?
- Has something like this ever happened to you?
- What does this remind you of in another book you’ve read?
- How is this the same or different from other texts you’ve read?
- What does this remind you of in the real world?
- Does this remind you of any other historical or current events? Which ones?
- How is this similar or different from events that have happened in the past?
- How is this similar or different from events that happen in the real world?
- Where does the story take place? Have you ever been to a place like this?
- How did you feel while reading this story? Why did you feel that way?
- Would this book or information be different if it were written 10, 50, or even 100 years ago? How would that have impacted the world around us?
- Is this like any other text you’ve read? How is it alike or different? Which one do you like better and why?
Reading questions to clarify and deepen understanding of a text
Help students deepen understanding after reading, and help them summarize what they learned.
- Summarize what you just read or watched.
- Why did _____? How do you think _____?
- Is this fiction or nonfiction? Which text features help you know?
- If you reread the text, does it change your view of what happened?
- Why did the author write this? Was their purpose to entertain, inform, or persuade, and why do you think that?
- Compare and contrast _____ (characters, events, settings, etc.). Explain how these are similar or different.
- Analyze the main character. What are their main traits or emotions? Why do you think that?
- Do you like or dislike the main characters? Why?
- Identify the point of view of the text or media. Who is narrating the story? Is this told in first, second, or third person
- What do you visualize when you read this?
- What is happening in the image?
- What does the image tell you about the story?
- What was the main problem, conflict, challenge, or obstacle in this text? How was that problem solved?
- What was the sequence of events happening in this text?
- Identify what happened in the beginning, middle, or end of the story.
- What was the setting of this story? How do you know?
- Can you figure out what the author didn’t say here that you inferred?
- What were the clues that helped you figure out what the author wasn’t saying?
- What words does the author use to help you see, hear, smell, taste and imagine things happening in the story?
- Are there any new words you learned? What are they and what do you think they mean?
- What pictures did the author leave in your mind?
Comprehension questions to draw conclusions and create a point of view
Help students piece together prior knowledge about what they’re analyzing, consider textual evidence, and develop a point of view about the reading.
- What is the main idea of the text?
- What is your opinion of the main idea?
- What happened in the text or story and what caused that?
- What do you think is going to happen next and why?
- How do you think this will impact the story?
- What are the supporting details that helped you identify the main idea?
- Was this true information, or the feelings and beliefs of the author? How do you know?
- What was the author’s overall theme or message in this story?
- Why do you think the narrator chose to tell the story from this point of view?
- What do you think were the key events in this text?
- Has your thinking or mindset changed after reading this? Why or why not?
- Are there parts of this story you would change? Why or why not?
- What is the main problem or obstacle to be solved in this text? How might you have done it differently?
- Do you think the title fits the main idea of the text? Why or why not? What might you change it to?
- What questions do you have now after reading or watching this?
- Can you think of another way this story could have ended?
- What would have happened if a certain action had not taken place?
- What were the results of this study or article? What did the author find out that they didn’t know before?
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Next Steps: 5 strategies for reading comprehension
Understanding and processing written text is core to developing 21st century skills: critical thinking, creative thinking, communicating, and collaborating. So far, we listed key reading comprehension questions you can use with your students. In addition to these, here are some strategies you can teach your students on how to comprehend a passage step by step.
1. Previewing or using prior knowledge
Before looking at the questions and reading through the text, a quick preview of the passage helps students get a sense of the overall topic. This involves looking at the headings, subheadings, and skimming through the content.
Asking questions about the passage helps students understand the content, purpose and implications of the content as they advance their level of comprehension.
3. Predicting or connecting
While students are working on comprehension skills, they can relate to or connect the text to something they read before, some personal experiences, or real world events. This way, the content becomes easier to comprehend and understand, and they can make predictions while reading the text.
4. Visualizing and summarizing
Encourage students to visualize the content and make mental notes while reading the text. Visualization will then lead to summarizing whatever they read. Taking pauses to visualize and summarize will really help the students develop comprehension skills, understand the content, and retain the knowledge.
This involves drawing inferences and conclusions based on what is implicitly mentioned in the text. In order to infer, students need to read between the lines and form an opinion based on past experiences or knowledge.
Create your own comprehension questions in Quizizz today! Here are a few teacher-created reading comprehension activities to help get you started:
- Passage Reading Comprehension by Yulia Golovina
- Reading Comprehension Quiz by Katie Vance
- Daily Reading Comprehension Lesson by Claudia Hernandez