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Progressive questions to be used with fiction books


Where does the story take place?

When did the story take place?

What did the character look like?

Where did the character live?

Who are the key characters in the book?

What happened in the story?

What kinds of people are in the story?

Explain something that happened at a specific point in the story?


If you were going to interview this character / author which questions would you ask?

Which is your favourite part? Why?

Who would you like to meet most in the story? Why?

What do you think would happen next if the story carried on past the end of the book?

Who was the storyteller? How do you know?

Predict what you think is going to happen next. Why do you think this?

Is this a place you could visit? Why / why not?

How is the main character feeling at the start / middle / end of the story? Why do they feel that way? Does this surprise you?


Were you surprised by the ending? Is that what you expected? Why / why not?

What is the main event of the story? Why do you think this?

How has the text been organised?

Why do you think authors use short sentences?

How do you think it would end / should end?

Has the author used an unusual layout in the text? If so, describe it and say why you think they did this?

Has the author used a variety of sentence structures?

Has the author put certain words in bold or italic? Why have they done this?


Why did the author choose this title?

Do you want to read the rest of text? How does the author encourage you to read the rest of the text?

Can you find some examples of effective description? What makes them effective?

Which part of the story best describes the setting?

Can you find examples of powerful adjectives? What do they tell you about a character or setting?

Can you find examples of powerful adverbs? What do they tell you about a character, their actions or the setting?

Find an example of a word you don’t know the meaning of. Using the text around it, what do you think it means?


Can you think of another story that has a similar theme e.g. good over evil, weak over strong, wise over foolish?

Why did the author choose this setting?

What makes this a successful story? What evidence do you have to justify your opinion?

How could the story be improved or changed for the better?

What was the most exciting part of the story? Explain your answer as fully as you can.

What genre is this story? How do you know?

What was the least exciting part of story? Explain your answer as fully as you can.

When the author writes in short sentences, what does this tell you?


Do you know another story, which deals with the same issues e.g. social, cultural, moral issues?

Have you ever been in a similar situation to a character in the book? What happened?

How would you have felt in the same situation?

What would you have done differently to the character in a particular situation from the book?

How would you feel if you were treated in the same way as the main character?

What did the story make you think of?

Have you read any other stories that have similar characters to this one? If so, which story was it and what happened?

Do you think this book is trying to give the reader a message? It so, what is it?



Progressive questions to be used with non-fiction books


What is the text about? What is the title of the text? Who is the author of the text?

What kinds of things would you expect to see in this book?

Can you find examples of different features of this text type?

Find something that interests you from the text. Explain why you chose that particular part.

Where would you look to find out what a technical word means?

What is on the cover of the book? What does this tell you about the content inside?


Which parts of the book could help you find the information you need?

When would you use the contents page in the book?

When would you use the index page in the book?

What sort of person do you think would use this book?

When might someone use this book? Why?

Can you suggest ideas for other sections or chapters to go into the book?

Do you think the author of the book is an ‘expert’ about the topic of the book? Why / why not?


Can you find an example of a page you think has an interesting layout? Why did you choose it?

Why have some of the words been written in italics?

What are the subheadings for?

Why have some of words been written in bold?

How does the layout help the reader?

What is the purpose of the pictures?

Can you find examples of words which tell you the order of something?

What kind of a text is this? How do you know?


Why does this book contain technical vocabulary?

Find an example of a technical word. Read the sentence it’s in. What do you think it means based on and how it’s used in the sentence?

Are there any examples of persuasive language?

Why do we need a glossary in a text?


Why has the writer written this text?

Have you found any of the illustrations, diagrams or pictures useful? Why / why not? Try to explain fully.

Why did the writer try to present the information in the way they did?

How could the information be presented better?

What makes the text successful?

Are there any features it hasn’t got? Why do you think it doesn’t have them?

Can you think of another text that is similar to this one? What are the similarities and differences between them?