Reading Comprehension Questions
Questions to Ask To Improve Reading Comprehension for Kids
by: Freda J. Glatt, MS
This article will focus on Bloom's Taxonomy of Questions...in other words, kinds of questions to ask in order to improve reading comprehension and foster higher-level thinking in kids.
In 1956, Benjamin Bloom identified six levels of intellectual behavior important in learning. Students should be asked questions from EACH level. Think of a six-level pyramid with knowledge at the lowest level and evaluation at the highest level.
1. Knowledge - This is the recall of specific information whether it be dates, events, places, ideas, or any subject matter. Use words such as these to ask for this kind of information: list, define, tell, describe, who, what, and where.
Example Reading Comprehension Questions - Who was Goldilocks? Define the Olympic Motto. Make a timeline of events.
Example Reading Comprehension Questions - What is the story about?(Main Idea) How does drug use affect competition? Write a summary report of an event.
3. Application - This is the use of information, methods, concepts, and theories in new situations. Use words such as these to ask for this kind of information: apply, demonstrate, illustrate, solve, modify, and change.
Example Reading Comprehension Questions - How were the bears in Goldilocks like real people? Modify an Olympic sport for the Paralympics. Dress a doll in a national costume.
4. Analysis - This is the comparison of the content to your own personal experiences and includes seeing patterns, identifying components, and recognizing hidden meanings. Use words such as these to ask for this kind of information: analyze, separate, order, classify, divide, and explain.
Example Reading Comprehension Questions - How did each bear react to what Goldilocks did? Contrast Olympic athletes of today with those of the past. Make a family tree showing relationships.
5. Synthesis - This is the creative level - using old ideas to create new ones - and consists of generalizing from given facts, relating knowledge from several areas, and drawing conclusions. Use words such as these to ask for this kind of information: combine, integrate, substitute, create, invent, and compose.
Example Reading Comprehension Questions - Make a diorama of the bears' house and the forest. When does sport become a business? Compose a rhythm or write a parody.
6. Evaluation - This is the judgement of characters, actions, and outcomes for personal reflection and understanding and includes recognizing subjectivity, verifying the value of evidence, and making choices based upon logic. Use words such as these to ask for this kind of information: grade, convince, support, recommend, measure, and conclude.
Example Reading Comprehension Questions - Do you think Goldilocks will listen to her mother's warnings from now on? Why? Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the Olympics and recommend changes. Form a panel to discuss views on an important issue.
To review, then, ask questions incorporating all levels of thinking to insure understanding and encourage a high level of thinking.
I hope these ideas are useful and inspire your own creative thinking.
And remember...Reading is FUNdamental!
1. Learning Skills Program - Bloom's Taxonomy; http://www.coun.uvic.ca/learn/program/hndouts/bloom.html
2. Comprehension: Bloom's Taxonomy; http://www.ops.org/reading/blooms_taxonomy.html
About The Author
Freda J. Glatt, MS, retired from teaching after a 34-year career in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. Her focus, now, is to reach out and help others reinforce reading comprehension and develop a love for reading. Visit her site at http://www.sandralreading.com. Reading is FUNdamental! Copyright © 2003-2006 Sandral Sensations, Inc., Fort Lauderdale, Florida All Rights Reserved
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