Comprehension Questions For Use With Any Book (Elementary Edition)

Quickly assess your elementary students’ understanding of the text using this big list of open-ended comprehension questions for use with any fiction or nonfiction book.

No matter what texts your readers are devouring, this list of questions pairs well with all.

Comprehension Questions To Use With Any Book

Non-Fiction Texts

  • What questions do you have now after reading this material? 
  • Using the 5Ws + H (Who?, What?, When?, Where?, Why?, How?), draft a summary of the selection.
  • Choose any chapter or section, and write a summary about it. 
  • How would you have solved the main character’s problem?
  • What are 3-5 new facts you’ve learned after reading the selection?
  • If you could rename one of the sections, what would the new title be? Explain. 
  • What are 2 or 3 things that you still wonder after reading the book? 
  • Choose a character from the text. Using specific details, why do you think he or she would make a good friend?
  • Which characters and events in this book would make for a great movie?
  • What experiences in your life have helped you understand the main ideas presented in the book?
  • If you could ask one of the characters from the book two questions, which character would you choose and what would you ask?
  • What actions or events presented in the text confirmed or challenged what you already knew? 
  • How has your thinking been shifted after reading this book?
  • What are some words you didn’t know as you read? Use context clues and/or a dictionary to define them. 
  • Which words confused you while reading? Which word(s) and which page(s)?
  • Why was the title a good one for this book?
  • What motivated the main character’s actions, and were his/her actions justified?
  • Which parts of the story left you scratching your head?
  • What messages can you infer that the author didn’t put into words?
  • What did you visualize as you read each section or chapter? Sketch 2 to 3 significant drawings.
fiction and nonfiction comprehension questions for any book

Related: See more teaching strategies that boost learners’ reading comprehension.

Fiction Texts

  • How would you have solved the main character’s problem?
  • What did you visualize as you read the story? Sketch 2 to 3 significant images.
  • Share a text-to-self connection you have after reading the text.
  • What is the author’s purpose for writing the story?
  • How did the author make the text enjoyable?
  • Write a summary about what you just read. 
  • What reading strategies did you apply in order to help you comprehend the text?
  • If you would step into this story, what’s the first thing that you would do and why?
  • How was your prior knowledge confirmed or challenged after reading the book? 
  • What is the main conflict in the story? 
  • How does the setting add or take away from the story?
  • In sequential order, what are the major events in the story?
  • What do you think will happen next? Why?
  • In paragraph form, retell the ending of the story. 
  • What is the genre of the text? How do you know?
  • How has your thinking or mindset shifted after reading the book?
  • Which text features did the author use to help you understand the information better?
  • How is the setting significant in this story? Explain with specific details. 
  • Why or why not does the title fit the book?
  • How are you similar to any of the characters in the book? Explain.
  • Using inferring skills, what can you figure out that the author didn’t put into words?
  • If you could rename the title of the book, what would it be? Explain. 

Now you’re set to assign your elementary students a few of these comprehension questions to use with any type of fiction or nonfiction book.