Back To School

Yes, it’s that time again as buses begin to roll through the neighborhood and the school doors open to welcome eager (?) students back to the classroom. Teachers will do their best in making sure reading is a big part of the classroom experience. Some will do better than others.

I remember a teaching colleague who used the same set of comprehension questions for every story her students had read. There were only three: 1) What was the story about? 2)Describe the main character? 3) How did the story end?

It made me cringe that these fact based questions were all that students had to worry about. I made some different ones for my students. There were usually 8-10 and a student could choose their own three. So in honor of the start of the school year, here is a set of generic comprehension questions/activities for all those teachers and parents who strive to make their young readers dig a little deeper.

1. Create a dialog between yourself and the main character helping them solve the problem they have in the story.

2. Write a song, rap, poem, or advertisement jingle summarizing the main plot points.

3. What three birthday gifts would you buy for the main character and why are they good choices?

4. If the story ended in the exact opposite way, with the main character not solving their problem, how would it effect them in the future?

5. Think of a situation that happened to a person in the story and decide whether you would have done the same thing she/he did or something different.

6. The main character is going to visit our class. Write 5-10 questions for them to answer.

7. What evidence is given in the story that support the main character as being a good and/or bad person?

8. Choose five character traits that would describe the main character. Defend your choices with examples.

9. Create a T-Chart with the good and bad choices the main character made.

10. Describe your favorite chapter starter and ending. Why did it hook you into reading more?

Have a great school year everybody!

About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...writing middle grade novels.
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