Reading to your keiki is one of the most important daily activities that you can do to help develop early literacy skills. Reading aloud to your keiki has been shown to support children’s language development, comprehension, vocabulary, and overall literacy development (Shedd & Duke, 2008). Not only is reading important, but asking questions during and after the story helps to build and deepen understanding.
Types of Questions to Ask during Read-Alouds
No matter which types of questions you ask, be on the lookout for opportunities for questions that maximize interactions with children and increase talk about the book.
Factual questions ask for details about the text: “When does this story take place?” or “What kind of bird is this?”
Inferential questions encourage children to read between the lines of the text: “Why do hockey players wear skates?”
Opinion questions invite children to tell you what they think: “What do you think about that?” or “What did you think of the book?”
Text-to-self questions bridge the text to the child’s own experience: “How did you feel when that happened to you?”
Text-to-text questions bridge the text to another text the child has read: “Is this like another book we’ve read?”
Prediction questions ask children to tell you what might happen next: “What do you think the bird is going to do with the twig?” or “What do you think the author will teach us about next?”
Authorship questions ask children to think like the author: “What would you have David do if you wrote the story?”
Vocabulary questions ask children what they know about a word: “What do you think the word glare means?”
By Jamie Goya, based on information in V. Bennett-Armistead, N.K. Duke, & A.M. Moses, Literacy and the youngest learner: Best practices for educators of children from birth to 5 (New York: Scholastic, 2005).