Driffield Junior School

  1. Learning
  2. English
  3. Reading at home

Reading at home

Children are given independent reading time daily in school alongside other reading opportunities. We recommend listening to your child read at home at least three times a week. By doing so, you are helping to develop their reading fluency, the speed at which they read whilst developing their understanding of what they read .
We understand that some days, your child will read different amounts depending on the complexity and genre of the text. Ideally, try to spend around 15-20 minutes as a minimum to practise key skills.

Guidance on listening to your child read:

If your child is starting a new book, it is always a good idea to look at the front cover together. What can your child see and how do they think this might link to the book? What predictions can they make using the cover only? What genre/type of book do they think this is? Always encourage them to look closely and explain their answer.

If this not a new book, ask your child to summarise what they can remember previously (they can flick back to previous pages to help them but should not be re-reading what they have previously read). If they find summarising previous reading tricky, it may that the book is too hard for them and they didn't understand it or that they are leaving too big gaps between reading so they are forgetting what they have read.

After you have read, it is beneficial to practise 'Skimming and Scanning' skills. You could see how quickly your child can find a certain word without re-reading the whole text or get them to identify a piece of information as quickly as possibly. When 'Skimming and Scanning', we want the children to skim the words (instead of re-reading all of what they have read) to find information.

Questions that you may ask:

After they have finished reading or during reading, it is crucial to ask your child questions about what they are reading to ensure they understand. Below are examples of questions. You will find this page in your child's reading planner also.

Please adapt the questions appropriately depending on what your child has read.

Remind children to look in the text before answering if needed - they shouldn't be guessing!

 

Vocabulary questions:

Vocabulary focuses on the words children are reading and ensuring they understand them.

  • What do you think this word means?

  • Can you tell me another word the author could have used? What would be the antonym of this word?

  • Why do you think the author chose to use this word? What affect does it have on the reader?

  • Which word(s) make the reader think that the character is ____________?

  • Find 2 words that have similar/opposite meanings.

  • What does this word/phrase make you think about this character?

  • Create a glossary (maybe in reading record) for 3 words you have learned today.

 

Retrieval questions:

Retrieval answers can be found in the text - children should 'retrieve' the answer. Children should use their 'Skimming and Scanning' skills to find . Here are some simple examples of retrieval questions.

  • Where/when is the story set?

  • When was ________ born?

  • What happened when ________?

  • What happened after __________?

  • Who is/are the main character(s) and what can you tell me about them using information from the text?

  • What does she/he look like?

  • How is __________ described? This could be a building, town or character.

 

Inference questions:

Inference questions are a little bit trickier because they require us to 'read between the lines'. The answers are not directly in the text (like in retrieval questions) but there are clues to help us answer them.

Children should be using evidence from the text to support their answer. A character's body language or how they said something can tell us a lot; look at how the atmosphere is described or changes. The author's vocabulary choices may also give us hints.

  • How did ____________ feel when _________ happened? How do you know?

  • What makes you think that ____________? What evidence supports your answer?

  • What impression do we get of ____________? How do we know? This may be a character or an event.

  • What did __________ think about _________? How do you know?

  • How does this author make us feel ___________?

  • How do we know that this character is mischievous/friendly/rude etc? Use evidence to support your answer.

  • Which character would you most like to meet? Why?

Summarising questions:

Summarising questions should 'sum up' what your child has read in few words. Children should try to identify the main points.

  • What was the main event in what we have read?

  • Tell me briefly about the 3 main events so far in all you have read.

  • Summarise this page in 3 words.

  • What do you know now that you didn't know before.

  • Write a blurb for what has happened so far in less than 20 words.

  • What happened first in these 3 events? Put them in order.

  • If you could ask this character one question, what would it be?

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Prediction questions:

Children instinctively make predictions about what they think might happen. Encouraging them to talk about their thoughts and predictions of what might happen next is really useful. Remind them to use evidence from the text to support their prediction. It should not be a completely random guess that has no link to what they have read.

  • What do you think is going to happen next? Why? Encourage children to use clues from the text.

  • What might happen to this character? Why?

  • What could have happened before this event?

  • Predict what will happen in the sequel to this book. Why do you think that?

  • What might have happened if _________ was never invented/happened?

  • Predict what will happen from the title/heading.

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Presentation and Layout questions:

If your child is reading a non-fiction book, it is a good idea to discuss the layout. Certain genres (such as newspaper articles) have similar layouts so is beneficial for your child to discuss and become familiar with these.

  • What does the heading tell us about the text?

  • What type of text do you think this is? Why?

  • Find me 5 common features of this genre.

  • Why is this text presented in boxes/columns?

  • Why has the text got subheadings? How do these help the reader?

  • Write a caption for this image/diagram.

  • Why are some words written in bold?

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