Ask Questions
Before, During, and After Reading

Readers generate questions before, during, and after reading. The questions pertain to text content, structure, and language. Readers ask questions for different purposes including those that help them clarify their own developing understanding. They also wonder about choices the author made: specific words and phrases, plot structure, character development, story leads and endings, and more.

Guiding Questions for BEFORE reading:

  • 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?

Guiding Questions for DURING reading:

  • 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 main ideas of the article?

Guiding Questions for AFTER reading:

  • 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?