121 Reader Response Questions and Prompts (Fiction/Non-Fiction)

Engage elementary students to engage with the text using these open-ended reader response questions for non-fiction and fiction texts.

Related: See more student-centered teaching strategies that fully engage kids!

List of Reader Response Questions

Utilize these reader response questions during reader’s workshop, guided reading, literacy stations, independent reading, or homework.

Additionally, they’re appropriate as an addition to one of your literature circle roles jobs.

Fiction Questions

  • How was your prior knowledge confirmed or challenged after reading the book? 
  • Share a text-to-self connection you have after reading the text.
  • What reading strategies did you apply in order to help you comprehend the text?
  • Based on evidence from the text plus your prior knowledge, what do you think will happen next in the story?
  • What’s the main idea of the story?
  • In sequential order, what are the major events in the text?
  • What is the tone or mood of the story? Describe.
  • How has your thinking or mindset been shifted after reading this book?
  • Describe a text-to-text connection you have with this book?
  • Are there any examples of figurative language in the book? Share them.
  • What would you and your favorite character discuss over breakfast?
  • Using your inferring skills, what can you figure out that the author didn’t put into words?
  • Compare and contrast two central characters.
  • If you could step into this story, what’s the first thing that you would do and why?
  • What did you visualize as you read the story? Sketch 2 to 3 significant images.
  • How did the author make the text enjoyable?
  • If you could ask the main character 3 questions, what would they be?
  • How are you similar to any of the characters in the book? Explain.
  • Which text features did the author use to help you understand the text better?
  • How does the main character change throughout the story?
  • What is the main conflict in the story? 
  • Write about your favorite part of the book.
  • With explanations, what are the key traits that helped the main character overcome his/her challenges?
  • Why or why not does the title fit the book?
  • What are a few “lingering questions” that you still have after reading?
  • In a paragraph, share one or two deep connections that you have with one of the characters. 
  • How would you have solved the main character’s problem?
  • What do you think will happen next? Why?
  • In paragraph form, retell the ending of the story. 
  • What is the author’s purpose for writing the story?
  • How would you have added a twist to the ending of the story?
  • What lesson is the author trying to teach you? Explain. 
  • Write a summary about what you just read. 
  • How is the setting significant in this story? Explain with specific details. 
  • If you could rename the title of the book, what would it be? Explain. 
  • In a paragraph, explain what prompted you to choose this text?
  • Which parts of the story did you have trouble understanding?
  • What is one image that you would choose to symbolize the main idea of the story? Sketch it. 
  • How does the setting add or take away from the story?
  • What is the genre of the text? How do you know?
  • Which passage in the book is the most memorable to you? Explain in detail why.
  • Using detailed explanations, what are the key traits that helped the main character overcome his/her challenges?
  • How would the story be different if it were told from the point of view of a contrasting character?
  • What are the best and worst parts of the book? Explain.
  • How does the main character remind you of yourself, another character or someone you know?
  • Sketch a book cover that is different from the actual cove. Why did you choose this particular design?
reader response questions for fiction and nonfiction books

Non-Fiction Reader Response Questions

  • What motivated the main character’s actions, and were his/her actions justified? 
  • How would you have solved the main character’s problem?
  • What are the best and worst parts of the text? Explain.
  • What’s the main idea of the story?
  • Choose a character from the text. How did his/her actions affect another character’s actions?
  • What actions or events presented in the text confirmed or challenged what you already knew? 
  • What questions do you have now after reading this material?
  • In what ways did the author make the text enjoyable?
  • What are three few “lingering questions” that you still have after reading?
  • If you could insert yourself into the book, what character would you be and why?
  • Which characters and events in this book would make for a good movie?
  • Describe what it would have been like to live during that era?
  • What reading strategies did you apply in order to comprehend the text better?
  • Which text features did the author use to help you understand the information better?
  • What events caused the character to change?
  • How has your thinking shifted after reading this book?
  • Share a text-to-self connection you have after reading the text.
  • What is the author’s purpose for writing this selection?
  • Who or what type of person would be most interested in reading this book? Write a one-paragraph book recommendation. 
  • If you could ask one of the characters from the book two questions, which character would you choose and what would you ask?
  • What messages can you infer that the author didn’t put into words?
  • In a paragraph, what is the most important message that the author wanted you to learn from this text?
  • Explain in a paragraph what motivated you to select this book?
  • What are some words you didn’t know as you read? Use context clues and/or a dictionary to define them. 
  • Choose any chapter or section, and write a summary about it. 
  • What is the tone of the selection? Describe. 
  • If you could rename the title of the chapter, what would it be? Explain. 
  • What experiences in your life have helped you understand the main ideas presented in the book?
  • Describe any part(s) of the book that puzzled you.
  • Using details, what are 3 cause and effect examples presented in the text?
  • How do you relate to the main character’s conflicts or problems? 
  • In a paragraph, share one or two deep connections that you have with one of the characters. 
  • Write about your favorite chapter or section from the book.
  • Describe a text-to-text connection you have with this book.
  • Compare and contrast two central characters.
  • Which illustrations did you find most helpful in understanding the story? Why? 
  • How does the central character remind you of yourself, another character or someone you know?
  • Write about something that surprised you.
  • What is one image that you would choose to symbolize the main idea of the story? Sketch it. 
  • Using the 5Ws + H (Who?, What?, When?, Where?, Why?, How?), draft a summary of the selection.
  • If you could insert yourself into the book, what character would you be and why? 
  • How would the story be different if it were set in a different time period?
  • Which facts did you find most interesting?
  • What text features (charts, captions, pictures, labels, diagrams, etc.) helped you most in clarifying what you were reading? Tell how they assisted you.
  • Which parts of the text did you have trouble understanding?
  • What is the genre of the text? How do you know?
  • After reading the selection, what did you learn that you didn’t know before?
  • Was there anything the author didn’t tell you that you really wanted to know? What?
  • Share 3-5 new facts you’ve learned after reading the selection.
  • What are 2 or 3 things that you still wonder about after reading the book? 
  • How does the setting take away from or add to the story?
  • What did you visualize as you read each section or chapter? Sketch 2 to 3 significant drawings.
  • How did the headings and subheadings help you find information in the text? 
  • What information is provided through illustrations such as diagrams, drawings, charts, and maps?

Reading Response Prompts

  • I just can’t believe that…
  • After reading, I still wonder why…
  • Something I’d like to know more about is…
  • The main idea of the entire book is…
  • Two questions I have after reading…
  • Here’s what’s going to happen next_____. I infer this because…
  • A deep connection that I had while reading…
  • The character _____ reminds me of …. because _____
  • If this story had taken place 50 years in the past, the plot may have been different because…
  • The text feature _____ helped me to…
  • If I were making the book into a movie, I would delete… and change…
  • Three facts I learned while reading…
  • The title of the text fits the story well because…
  • Before reading, I thought _____, but now I know that…
  • Here’s how I would end the story…
  • It upset when…
  • The author’s purpose for writing this book or chapter is_____. I know this because…
  • My favorite part of the book is…
  • I used context clues to figure out the word_____. My strategy was…
  • When I didn’t understand a part that I was reading, I…

Assess Quickly Using These Reader Response Questions

Whether they’re reading fiction or non-fiction texts, grab this list of reader response questions to quickly discover how well your elementary students understood the text.

Additionally, grab a copy of these colorful reader response sentence starter bookmarks to guide your little ones along.

Go ahead and bookmark this page for later reference.

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