Four types of questions
CLOSED A closed question implies that there is a predetermined ‘correct’ response in mind
OPEN An open question permits a range of responses
LITERAL Literal questions are concerned with the recall of facts or simple comprehension where the answer is clearly stated in the text
HIGHER ORDER Higher order questions make progressive cognitive demand on children. They encourage children to think beyond the literal. The effective use of higher order questions enables you to assess children’s understanding and thinking
Types of questions
Recall recalling or revising material that has already been covered
Comprehension understanding the main points of a story
Application transferring knowledge learned in one context to another
Analytical analysing mood, setting, characters, expressing opinions and preferences, make inference and deduction, refer to text
Synthesis developing a critical stance based on information from a range of sources
Evaluation making judgements, explaining reasons for judgements, comparing and contrasting, developing reasoning using evidence
− These questions will help children recall or revise material they have previously read.
Where does the story take place?
When did the story take place?
What did s/he/it look like?
Who was s/he/it?
Where did s/he/it live?
Who are the key characters in the book?
Where in the book would you find
Children show an understanding of the main points of a story.
− They describe what they know
− They give examples, summarise or outline key basic points in their own words
− They link stories with personal experience
Describe …, e.g. the giant
What do you think is happening here?
What happened in the story?
What might this mean? e.g. proudly
Through whose eyes is the story told?
Which part of the story best describes the setting?
Which words/phrases tell you that … e.g. the setting is spooky
Which part tells you …, e.g. they were annoyed that Goldilocks was in their house
Why do …? e.g. why do people need to look after their teeth?
− Application means that the information learned can be applied in different contexts
− Application questions require children to transfer knowledge learned in one context to another
− Application questions require children to make links with other stories
Do you know any other story which has a similar theme, e.g. good over evil, weak over strong, wise over foolish?
Can you think of another story which deals with the same issues, e.g. social, cultural, moral issues?
Can you think of another author who handles time in this way? e.g. flashbacks, dreams
Which stories have openings like this?
− Analytical questions require children to build on existing knowledge
− Analytical questions require children to identify implicit meanings, make inference and deduction and become aware of the author’s intentions
− Analytical questions ask children to demonstrate understanding of significant themes, ideas,
events and characters and refer to the text when explaining views
− Analytical questions ask children to analyse mood, setting and characters, style, structure and other significant aspects
− Analytical questions encourage children to express opinions and preferences about major events or ideas in stories or poems
− Analytical questions ask children to refer to the text when explaining views; use of direct quotes may support their view
How does the layout help …? e.g. paragraphs, sub-headings, font
Why are words misspelt in this comic?
What makes you think that?
What words give you that impression?
How did …? e.g. the ostler betray Bess and the Highwayman?
Can you explain why?
Do you agree with …’s opinion?
I wonder what the writer intended?
Explain why the writer has decided to …?
I wonder what was in the author’s mind here?
What do you think these words mean and why do you think the writer chose them?
How has the author used, e.g. adjectives, to make this character funny?
Why do you think the author chose this setting?
What evidence is there to support your view?
Does this remind you of any other books you have read and how? e.g. story structure, settings, images, layout, character
Why did …? e.g. the boy slam the door when he left the room?
What does the word, e.g. slam, imply?
How did the character react to …?
How do the pictures help you to understand, e.g. the behaviour of the characters?
Was this text trying to …? e.g. persuade you to watch the film?
Does the author like …? How do you know?
How were the purposes of the texts different?
What can you tell about the viewpoint of the author?
Could … be described as …? e.g. could ‘Malfoy’ be described as a ‘bully’?
Questions requiring synthesis
− Synthesis questions ask children to take an idea from one context and reapply it in a different context.
− Synthesis questions encourage children to restructure text:
Rewriting a narrative as a diary;
Discussing a familiar story and changing elements;
Changing an explanatory text into a diagram.
− Synthesis questions ask children to develop a critical stance
− Synthesis questions encourage children to retrieve and collate information from a range of sources and can lead to the construction of an argument, an opinion, or making predictions
− Synthesis questions ask children to select sentences, phrases and relevant information to support their views.
What ideas are we given about …? e.g. impact of weather
What does the author think about …? e.g. looking after the countryside
What is your opinion? What evidence do you have to support your view?
Using evidence from the text can you tell me what you feel about …?
Based on what you have read, what do you think about, e.g. global warming?
What would this character think about …? (possibly a present day issue)
Look at the descriptions of 3 people. Who is most likely to buy this book?
In what kind of magazine would you expect to find an article like this?
Why were …? e.g. the quotations included
In what ways is … like …? e.g. Pingu like a toddler
Which of the features of a star footballer could an ordinary person have?
Give two pieces of evidence that this is a modern/old/multicultural story?
How did you know …? e.g. The story began “Once upon a time”. How did you know there was likely to be a happy ending?
What is it about … that tells you …? e.g. what is it about the language choice that tells you it was written a long time ago?
What else might make … the character sad/angry/frustrated etc?
What other reason could there be for …? e.g. the school being deserted?
− Evaluation questions require children to make judgements about what they have analysed and explain the reasons for those judgements
− Evaluation questions encourage children to compare and contrast
− Evaluation questions require children to interrogate and evaluate the text
− Evaluation questions require the use of evidence and reasoning
What makes this a successful text? What evidence do you have to justify your opinion?
Does it work?
Could it be better? Is it as good as …?
Which is better and why?
Which text do you think is more/most effective?
Which text is giving the writer’s own opinion? How do you know?
Click here for more information.