Nonfiction Literature Circle Questions

Instructor: Tara Schofield

Tara has a PhD in Marketing & Management

Discussion can be a vital part of understanding nonfiction. Allowing students to review a book together can further comprehension. The questions in this lesson encourage students to share their insights through nonfiction literature circles.

The Purpose of Literature Circles

Reading is an excellent way for students to expand their thinking and understand important events and people in history. It grows their imagination and encourages ideas and exploration. Literature circles enhance students' learning by giving them an opportunity to think about a book from different perspectives. It also gives kids a chance to share their thoughts and learn from each other. Below are a variety of questions that can be used as they are or adapted for your literature circle. These questions are developed to encourage students to interact as they consider what they have read from many different vantage points. Many of the questions are written to apply specifically to nonfiction stories. Therefore the questions will best fit stories or articles written about real people and real events.

Questions: Biographies and Autobiographies

  • What is the focus of the book? Who is the book about? What do you learn about him or her from reading the book?
  • Where do the events of the story take place? What impact did this have on the character(s) or people the book was written about? Was the setting important to the story? Why or why not?
  • What events or relationships do you think the people in the story may have experienced before the start of the book? How do you think those events and relationships affected the characters in the story?
  • What do you think may happen to the people from the book in the future?
  • What problems did the main characters cause themselves? What decisions or actions caused those problems? How could they have avoided the problems?
  • Was the person a hero? Was he or she a victim? Why?
  • Which characters supported the story? Why were they important to the main person in the book?

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