Reading Response Questions: Comprehend, Connect, and Predict

Reading Response Questions: Comprehend, Connect, and Predict love reading response questions and exercises. As a teacher, they served as a means for building my students’ reading skills with self-selected reading; as a parent, they provide valuable conversations starters and opportunities to nurture my kids’ literacy skills (whether reading is done together or side by side); and as a reader, I enjoy how they propel deeper thought about what I am reading, and their usefulness when thinking about writing a review—which helps both authors and fellow readers.

What follows are six reading response questions/exercises to prompt writing or conversations. Before you or your student uses them, however, be sure to read either a whole picture book or for 15 to 20 minutes in a novel


  • Put on your newspaper reporters hat. Answer the 5 W’s (Who? What? When? Where? Why?) You can even throw in #6—How? Support your answer to each question by including a detail for each from the text.
  • Play teacher. Write three questions about what was just read: 1) A factual question, a question someone can find written in the text, 2) An inferential question, a question that can only be answered using clues within the text, 3) A critical question, a question that asks for an opinion or conclusion based on evidence in the text. Have fun sharing your questions and answers.


  • Compare and contrast. How does what was just read compare to a previous book read or movie/TV show viewed? How are they similar? How are they different? Was one enjoyed more than the other? Why?
  • Be the judge. Pick a character and list three things he or she has done. Pick one of these actions and explain why you think it was a good or bad thing to do.


  • Make a simple prediction. What do you think will happen next or result from a plan made in your reading? What in the text makes you think this? What do you think will be the consequences of this action or event?
  • Be a time tripper. How would being set in a different time period effect what you are reading. For example, if the story is set in the past, how would happening now change it. You can choose to jump forward or backward in time. Explain how the change in time period would effect what has happened so far in your reading and might impact the outcome.

Your Turn

There you have it—6 ways to have fun with your and your kids’ reading and improve reading/thinking skills.

Which exercise did you like best? Did you or your student/s write one you’d like to share (be sure to let us know the title and author of the book it’s based on, in case we are intrigued and want to read it.

Or, do you have particular reading response exercise you enjoy using? How about sharing it here? Just use the comment box below.

*Background for graphic: Depositphotos_135562_original


What Would You Do? Reading Response Exercise #97


Read for at least twenty to thirty minutes.


Think about what you have read.

  • How would you feel if you were in the main character’s situation?
  • How would you react?
  • What would you do?


Write either:

  • a journal entry from the main character’s point of view (if you are the journaling sort)
  • or a dialogue between the main character and his or her best friend.


Read and discuss your responses with your reading partners, or post your responses here on the blog. Remember to share the title and author of the book you are reading, so others can be inspired to give it a try.

Preschool Literacy


Enjoy a picture book with your preschooler.

Stop at some point after the plot problem has developed and before it has been solved.


Ask your preschooler what he or she might do in the main character’s situation. Discuss what might be the outcome of the story is its main character chooses this solution.

When done discussing options, read the rest of the story. After its close, discuss how the author chose to resolve the story and how different or similar the author’s approach was from you and your child’s.

Reading Response Exercise #28: Extend and Connect–Why’d You Choose that Book?

Read for at least twenty to thirty minutes. When you are done, think about what you have read.

Now consider the following questions:

  • Why did you select the book you are reading?
  • What do you expect out of the story?
  • Are your expectations being met?
  • Is the story even better than you expected or somewhat disappointing?
  • Why?

Write down or discuss your response.

For Pre-readers: Let your pre-reader select the story-time book. Ask her why she chose the book she did and what she expects the story to be about.

When you are done reading, discuss how he liked the story. Ask him if anything surprised or disappointed him? Ask why?

Reading Response Exercise #26: Comprehension: Setting and Plot

Read for at least twenty to thirty minutes. When you are done, think about what you have read.

What would it be like if you were to experience what the main character is experiencing in your reading? What would have to change about the way your life is now for this to be possible? How would these events impact the way you think and behave?

Write or discuss your response. Question the responses of your reading partner. Challenge yourself to dig deeper into what you think and believe and how it relates to the text.

For Pre-readers:

Reading Response Exercise: #17 Extend and Connect with your Text

Read for at least twenty to thirty minutes. When you are done, think about what you have read.

Fill in the blanks in the following sentence: As I read, I started to think about _________ when __________ (whatever was happening in your reading).

Then explain what it was about what you read that made you think about whatever it was you filled in your first blank. How does the thinking prompted by the text relate to or detract from what you have read?

Write or talk about your response.

For preschoolers, discuss with the child what the reading you shared made him or her think about.

Reading Response #12: Connecting with Characters

Read for at least twenty to thirty minutes.

When you are done, think about what you have read.

Select one character from your reading. What are three things this character would be grateful for if someone were to ask him or her at this point in your reading?

Of the three things your character would be grateful for, is there one that is similar to something you are grateful for in your own life? What is it? How is the thing you are grateful for similar or different from what the character would be grateful for?

Write down or discuss your responses.

Reading Response #8: Extend and Connect with your Reading

Read for at least twenty to thirty minutes.

When you are done, think about what you have read.

Does the experience of a character remind you of any experience you have had? If so, what was it? How was your experience similar to the character’s? How was it different? Based on your own experience, do you think the character responded well or poorly to his or her situation?

If none of the character’s experiences remind you of anything you’ve experienced, why do you think that might be? What is it about the character’s experiences that make them so extreme?

Write down or discuss your responses.