Prompts for Deepening Comprehension

Connecting to Previous Experience

  • What do you already know about this topic?
  • How does the information in this text fit with what you already know?
  • What have you experienced that helps you understand this topic?
  • What does this text make you think or wonder about?
  • What surprised you?
  • How does this text remind you of other texts you have studied?
  • Does this text provide information that you personally find useful?
  • Why did the text creator think this subject was important?
  • From this text, what did you learn about life, about different places, about history, about science, about religion, and so on?

Extending Meaning

  • What is the text creator’s message?
  • What is the text really about?
  • Do you think the title is appropriate?
  • Why do you think this text was created?
  • Are different points of view presented?
  • What are some of the most important ideas?
  • Were there parts of the text you didn’t understand?
  • What questions do you still have?
  • What does the text make you want to learn more about?
  • What lessons does the text teach about life?
  • Does the style work well?
  • What was more important: the plot or the characters?

Considering Setting, Time, and Mood

  • Where and when does the story take place?
  • Where else could the story take place?
  • Could the setting be a real place that exists now?
  • How much time passes in the story?
  • In any other time or place, how would the story change?
  • How did the text creator control the passing of time?
  • Does the setting change over the person’s life?
  • What was the mood or atmosphere of the story?
  • If a friend planned to study this text, what music would you recommend as appropriate?

Talking about Characters

  • Are there any powerful characters in the text? What makes them that way?
  • Who is the most important character?
  • Who is the most interesting character?
  • Which character taught you the most?
  • How does the text creator reveal the character?
  • Which characters changed and which didn’t?
  • Who is a character that plays a small but necessary role?
  • What did you learn from a character in the text?