Tips

Questions that work with any book your child is reading

By
Kavin Wadhar
March 21, 2021

We all know how important it is for kids to read. Probably your child is already an avid reader!

Some books have questions at the back of them or on the internet, but one thing I have noticed is that many of the questions are merely about comprehension, i.e. checking their understanding of what happened.

This is a missed opportunity.

What if we asked questions that got them to speculate instead? What if there were questions that sparked their creativity, got them thinking critically about what happened and become empathetic to the main characters?

Our kids are already really passionate about the books they are reading, so let's use this to get them thinking in new ways that build important skills.

Here is how! 👇

Creativity

Books create wonderful worlds where imaginations can run wild. So let's encourage this. Think of questions which help your child dream something up, be it names or pictures or videos.

For example:

  1. What three other titles would have worked well for this book?
  2. If you had to write a sequel, what could it be about?
  3. What would you draw to illustrate the front cover of this book with?
  4. What would you have named the lead character and why?
  5. If you made a movie from this book, what would the opening sequence look like?

Critical Thinking

Getting kids to speculate and form opinions is crucial.  Try thinking of questions that have no right or wrong answer (an unusual premise, I know!) Any questions where there are multiple plausible responses means that it was a good question to ask.

For example:

  1. What is the most important moment in the book and why?
  2. Which is better and why - the book or the movie?
  3. What would you have done in that situation?
  4. How would the book change if it was set 100 years in the future or the past instead?
  5. How would a reader from a totally different culture to yours experience this book and why would it be different?

Empathy

Every book has plenty of characters and so brilliant opportunities to examine feelings. Have your child step inside the hearts of the characters, telling you what made them tick and why they did what they did.

For example:

  1. What are seven words to describe the main character?
  2. What different emotions did this character experience throughout the book?
  3. How did the way they feel change what they did?
  4. What are the key strengths and weaknesses of this character?
  5. Who are you most like and why?

Communication

A lot happens in every book. Your child learns about the plot, the characters, the settings etc. Simply having them explain and summarise this to you is a great way to help them be concise and clear.

For example:

  1. How would you summarise the plot in less than a minute?
  2. Who are the main characters?
  3. Where is the most important location in the book and what is it like?
  4. What sales "blurb" would you write to promote this book?
  5. What is your favourite moment in the book and why?

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Harry Potter questions

The questions above work for ANY book, but at KidCoach we have also written plenty of specific questions for the most popular books 7-11 children read.

A good example is Harry Potter!

These questions are exclusive to us and you won't find anything quite like this out there on the web 😃. But since you have taken the time to read to the end of this article, I wanted to share a few examples with you!

  1. Can you invent the next book title: Harry Potter and the _____________?
  2. Is the Philosopher's Stone a good thing to have?
  3. How would explain the game of Quidditch to a Muggle?

As you can see each "question" is actually a "conversation card". Parents tell us they find the prompts super helpful to keep discussions going and they use these to have have fun, meaningful and skill-building conversations around the world!

To see more then why not start a 2 week free trial of the KidCoachApp? We update the app every month with new fun questions for kids that will get them "talking, thinking and feeling." Each discussion just takes 5 minutes to do and is perfect for car rides, school runs or dinner time!

It really does just take a few seconds and there no credit card details needed! Get started for free now!

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Written by
Kavin Wadhar

Kavin Wadhar is a parent of 2 kids and founder of www.KidCoach.app: guided conversations for parents to get their kids talking, thinking and feeling. Kavin left his corporate role in education publishing to pursue his passion to help parents develop in their kids the skills they need to thrive in tomorrow’s world. Working with a team of parents and education experts, Kavin has built an App for parents with hundreds of questions like those in this article, and with additional guidance / prompts to take conversations deeper. Check it out!

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