Higher Level Questions for Reading

Instructor: Marquis Grant

Marquis has a Doctor of Education degree.

This lesson will highlight some higher-level questions that can be used for reading comprehension. Higher-level questions require students to think critically about the story or text that they are reading. A short quiz will follow to test your knowledge.

Higher-Level Thinking Questions

Reading is a critical skill that your students need in order to be successful in the classroom. Many children are able to read the words in a book but cannot understand what they are reading. They may be able to answer basic who, what, when, where and how questions, but answering higher-level thinking questions is just not that easy.

Higher-level thinking questions make the reader look beyond the surface and use critical thinking skills to analyze, explain or interpret literary works. For example, instead of asking your students Who are the main characters in this story? you may ask How are the main characters' actions important to the plot, theme and conflict of the story? The second question will require your students to not only be able to identify the main characters but also to know something about theme, plot and conflict.

Your readers should engage in questioning before, during and after reading. If students are to improve their ability to understand the text, they must first be able to engage in higher levels of thinking.

Before Reading

It may be a good idea for you, as the teacher, to spend some time warming up your students' brains before you actually start to read. Building background knowledge gives your students information about the reading beforehand so that they will be able to follow along during the reading without getting lost. Here are a few before-reading questions that you can use to get things started:

  • How might the title and artwork (if applicable) in the story be used as clues that will give us ideas about the characters and plot?
  • Analyze each word in the title. Are there any implied (hinted) or explicit (fully stated) meanings that could help us understand what the story is going to be about?
  • What personal knowledge will you bring to the reading of this story that will help you better understand the author's purpose?
  • How might the author's biases or points of view effect the telling of this story?
  • How might culture influence the way that a person understands the content of a story?

During Reading

As your students are reading, they should continue to ask questions in order to actively engage in the text. You, as the teacher, may need to model the kinds of questioning skills that your students should use to develop their ability to comprehend. Such questions may include:

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account