Promoting reading at home is an important way that parents can help their child. We recommend reading at home five times a week in all year groups using the school-provided book.
Below are some tips on helping your child enjoy reading which you may also like to try:
- when reading with your child, make the experience interactive – ask questions about the story, the pictures and what they think of the character.
- expose your child to a range of texts, i.e. fact books, comics and newspapers. This is in addition to their reading book provided by the school.
- use dictionaries together for difficult words – a picture dictionary can make exploring language more interesting for younger children.
- keep an eye out for the themes that catch your child’s imagination, and help follow it up with more reading.
- when you come across an unusual or funny-sounding word, help your child find out what it means.
- encourage them to pick up other books around the house to boost familiarity with ‘grown-up’ language.
- encourage your child to write down thoughts on the books they have read by keeping a reading journal.
- look for words in everyday life – read newspaper headlines, shop signs or menus in cafes.
- let them see adults reading.
- listen to story tapes.
Questions about locating and retrieving information
- Where/when does the story take place?
- Who was the character that…?
- Show me in the text where you found…?
- What is happening at this point/in this part of the story/play?
- Find one/two things that the main character did in this part of the story/play.
- Where can you find an important piece of information about …?
- Find two pieces of information that tell you about …?
- What does this part of the text tell us about ….?
- Which part of the text tells us about …?
Questions about inference and deduction
- Why was…important in this story/play?
- Did any characters help each other in this story/play? How did they do this?
- Tell me about what sort of character/person they are from the things they did/said in the story/play.
- What do you think…thoughts were at this point in the story/play? Use the text to help you think through your answer.
- If you were going to interview one of the characters, which questions would you ask and why?
- Which is the most interesting/exciting/funniest/scariest/your favourite part of the story/play? Why? Which part of the text shows this?
- How did one of the characters change their ideas/attitudes during the story/play? What was it that brought about this change?
- In this part of the play/story, what do you think the character feels about…? How can you tell?
- What do you think would have happened if…?
- Write/tell me about one important event that happened that could not be left out. Say why it was so important.
- Did any of the characters show their feelings? How/why did they show this/these feeling(s)
- Why was (a character) angry/upset/pleased/puzzled in this part of the story/play?
- If…had not done…, how might this have changed other events in the story/play?
- What you think is going to happen next. Why do you think this?
- Which part of this poem did you like best? Why?
- How did you think this story/play/poem will end/should have ended?
- Can you tell me what word the poet might have used here? (delete significant word(s)) Why?
- How do you know that …? Can you explain why………….?
- How do you know that this text is trying to tell you more about…?
- Do you agree with this/the author’s opinion? Explain your own opinion using the texts to help you?
- How do you feel about this topic? Why?
- What do you think about/is your opinion of…? Can you support your view with evidence from the text?
- What do you think are the important points the author is trying to get over to you as the reader?
- What was it that made…want to…? (biographies, autobiographies, history texts)
- Which do you think are the most important issues and why? (environmental/health)
Questions about the layout and organisation of a text
- How has the author organised the writing?
- Why does the author begin a new paragraph here?
- How does the layout of this playscript help actors to read and perform the play?
- Why are brackets used in this playscript?
- How does the punctuation help you as the reader of this poem/playscript?
- What is/are the main event(s) that happen(s) in this/each paragraph?
- Can you find any repeated patterns in this poem?
- Why are particular words/sections within a text in bold/italics/larger print?
- Why have bullet points/numbers been used in this text?
- How does this text layout help the reader?
- Why has this text been highlighted?
- How does (a diagram/picture/caption) help you to understand the information on this/these pages?
- What is the purpose of the list/diagram/caption/sub-headings in this text?
- Why has some of the information been presented in a table?
- What is the main idea of this/each section/paragraph?
- What would be a good heading for this section? Why?
Questions about the author’s choice of words and phrases
- How has the author used words/phrases to make this character funny/sad/adventurous/clever/frightening/ excited/disappointed/ etc?
- What does/do this/these words tell you about (a character)?
- Which part of the story best describes the setting/characters/action? Which words and /or phrases do this?
- Find and copy some words or phrases that show us that this character is special/helpful/adventurous/unsure/worried etc.
- Why is … a good title for this story/book/chapter/play?
- Do you notice anything special or unusual about the words the poet has used here?
- What do these words tell you about…?
- Which word(s)/phrases/types of sentences are used well in this text…?
- Is this writer an expert on …? How do you know?
- Why do you think the writer chose to use the word(s)/phrase(s)…to describe…?
- Why do you think the author chose…as the title//headline/heading…? (and AF3)
- Find something that is not a fact but the author’s opinion.
Questions about the writer’s intent and the reader’s point of view
- Did you enjoy reading the story/play/poem or not? Explain your answer by referring to the characters, events and how it made you feel.
- How did the story make you feel? Why did it make you feel like this?
- Why do you think the author chose this particular setting for this poem/story/play?
- How has the author started this in an interesting way. How does this make the reader want to read on?
- How do you feel when you read this poem? Which parts make you feel like this?
- What does the writer think about/is the writer’s opinion on/is the writer’s viewpoint on …… in this part of the text?
- Why do you think the writer produced this article/leaflet/flyer/brochure etc?
- How does the writer try to persuade you to…?
- Which information/facts does the writer include to make you believe that…?
- Which words/points do you think are the strongest/most powerful in persuading the reader to…?
- Why do you think the writer says/writes…?
- Why do you think the writer included details about …?
- Which advert/text would most persuade you to buy/take part in…? Why?
- If … was alive today he/she would he be arguing for …?
Questions about origin and cultural influences in a piece of text
- Read these two poems? What do they have in common? How are they different?
- When do you think this story/poem was written? How do you know?
- In which country do you think this story takes place? Why?
- Does the setting remind you of a setting you know from another story/poem?
- Do you know any more stories like this? Tell me why they are alike.
- Do you know another story with similar characters in? Tell me how they are similar.
- Many traditional tales have messages. What do you think this story is trying to tell us?
- What kind of a text is this? How do you know?
- When you have read these two texts, what can you find that is the same about them and what is different?
- Do you know of any other texts with similar issues or themes?