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Reading Resources Homepage - You are herefree reading games Comprehension Strategies - Three Level Guides - Head Questions - Focus on Character

Summary: A collection of 'head' question stems designed to enable students and teachers to produce a wide variety of comprehension questions. Ideal for guided reading, comprehension guides, question generation, question modelling etc

'Head' Comprehension Question Stems

reading comprehension strategy

'Head Questions' are those that the answers can be found in your head by thinking about them.

Here are two pages of question stems that I use in my reading sessions.

How to use this guide:

- when running a Guided Reading Session have these question stems next to you and formulate appropriate questions as you see a context.

- hand these question stems to your group and ask them to, 'Pretend that you are a nasty, nasty teacher who lives only to make children suffer. Using these question stems, what questions would you ask about the text to try and trick the students?' - You might be surprised how well they rise to this challenge :)

- Have other groups answer the questions.

Focus on Character

- Why do you think (character acted... in this situation)?
- Why do you think (event happened)?
- List five ways (character) and (character) are alike?
- List five ways (character) and (character) are different?
- How is (character) similar to (character)?
- How are (character) & (character) dissimilar to each other?
- What do you think would have happened differently if (change a character's thought or reaction)?
- If (change a character's personality) how might the story have developed differently?
- What might have prevented (problem from text) happening?
- What are the strengths of (character)?

- What are the weaknesses of (character)?
- What vulnerabilities does (character) have?
- Would you rather be (character) or (character)? Why?

- What do you think (character) meant where he/she said ('...phrase...')
- What would your parents say to you if you came home raving about (character from story) who (characteristic of character)?
- Do you agree with (positive or negative statement about a character)? Why? Be prepared to share your reasons.
- Is (character) a hero? Read (passage from text). - How could this section of text change a person's mind?
- Was (character) a villain? Read (passage from text). How could this text change a person's mind?
- What were (character's) motives (at point in text)?
- What do you think motivates (character) in (situation)?
- Did (character's) motives change throughout the text? How?
- Do you think (character) should have...? Why or why not?
- You are a TV reporter, what questions will you ask (character)?
- What did (character) mean by the expression ('..........................')
- (Character) believes ..................... What is the counter argument to this view?
- If you were (character) what would you have said to (other character) when (incident occurred)?
- What can you learn from this author about character development?
- If I where (character) I would have (describe your action) when (action from story)
- I wonder if (character) (felt emotion) when (action or event)? - Students fill this one in.
- What caused (character) to (behaviour)?
- What else could (character) have tried to (solve or avoid complication)?
- Just suppose (character) had not done (action). What would have happened differently in the story?
- At (position in story) how do you think the character feels - (rise above the mundane) - 'sad' = heart broken = devastated
- (character) said ('...........................') do you agree or disagree? Why or why not?

NB This vocabulary building lesson has had a MAJOR remake.
Click below to grab it.
Head Questions Reading Comprehension
Reading Comprehension
- 'Head Questions' - Character Focus

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