14 Essential Pre-Reading Questions to Ask Your Students - Elementary Education

14 Essential Pre-Reading Questions to Ask Your Students

As a teacher, it’s important to ask your students pre-reading questions before they read a book. This helps them get ready for the text and sets the stage for a successful reading experience. In this blog post, we will discuss 14 pre-reading questions that you can ask your students before they dive into a book. These questions will help them activate their background knowledge, make predictions about the story, and connect with the text on a deeper level.

Pre-reading Questions about Concepts of Print 

  • What is the title? What do you notice?
  • Where is the cover? What do you notice?
  • Who are the author and illustrator?
  • Where is the back cover? What do you notice?
  • Read the back or inside summary. What do you notice?

Why these questions work:

Concepts of print is an important skill to develop as it helps students understand how books are organized and how to navigate them. By asking these pre-reading questions, you will help your students become more familiar with the features of a book and prepare them for the text ahead.

Here are some of my favorite books for teaching concepts of print:

Pre-reading Questions About Book Features 

  • What genre is this book?
  • Is this fiction or non-fiction?

Why these pre-reading questions work:

Book characteristics like the genre are crucial to reading development. Differentiating between fiction and non-fiction, for example, will help your students understand the text on a deeper level. By asking these pre-reading questions, you can help your students make connections to the book before they even begin reading.

Here are some of my favorite books for teaching about genre:

Pre-reading Questions Using Context Clues 

a cover image with text reading pre-reading questions about context clues
  • What characters might be in the story?
  • What is something you predict will happen in this story?
  • What clues does the title give us about this book?
  • Does the cover art give us any clues about what this book is about?

Why these questions work:

Context clues are fun to teach because they are so applicable to everyday life. By asking these pre-reading questions, you can help your students use context clues to make predictions about the text. This is a valuable skill that will help them understand and comprehend the story on a deeper level.

Bonus: Teach them like reading detectives finding “clues” and watch their understanding soar!

Here are some of my favorite books for teaching context clues:

Pre-reading Questions about Reading History + Connections 

a cover image with text reading pre-reading questions about making connections
  • Does this remind you of any other books we’ve read?
  • Have we read other books by this author before?
  • What do you think this author will try to teach us with this book?

Why these pre-reading questions work:

Making connections while reading is a key comprehension strategy. By asking these pre-reading questions, you can help your students make connections to the text and understand it on a deeper level. These questions will also help them connect the book to their own life experiences.

Here are some of my favorite books for teaching making connections:

By asking your students these pre-reading questions, you will help them to engage with the text on a deeper level. This will lead to a more successful and enjoyable reading experience for everyone involved. Give it a try next time you’re planning a lesson on a new book! Your students will thank you for it. Asking pre-reading questions is also a great way to get to know your students’ prior knowledge and experiences with similar texts. This information can be used to inform your instruction and make sure that all students are able to access the material.

Like the questions mentioned? Check out these posts:

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40 Free and Fun “Would You Rather” Questions for Kids

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