It is never to early to start asking questions that will make students think critically about read-alouds. I start from Day One! Here are some examples of questions you can ask for common back-to-school read alouds.
1. What job do you think David might have when he grows up/what kind of person would he be?
2. How do you think the other children felt when David was displaying that behavior?
3. If you were a friend of David's, how do you think you could defend that behavior?
4. What do you think causes a child to act like David did?
5. Can you design a classroom that might be better suited for a student whose antics resemble David's?
6. If you were David's teacher, how would you handle the situation?
7. Why do you think this author wrote this story?
1. Why do you think the principal wanted there to be so much school?
2. How could students learn more without extending the number the days they come to school?
3. Would you like to have a principal like this?
4. Do you know anyone like this principal?
5. Was it right or wrong to make the students come to school extra days?
6. What would be the benefits of a program like that?
7. Do you think this principal would ever try anything like this again?
8. What are some ways a student could be successful going to school every day?
1) Why do you think Victoria made fun of Chrysanthemum's name?
2) How did the parents make her feel better? What do your parents do for you when you are sad?
3) How would you handle it if someone was making fun of your name?
4) How do you think parents decide what to name their child?
5) Was Chrysanthemum right in the way she responded to Victoria?
6) What would you do if you heard someone making fun of another kid's name?
7) Create a new ending for the story.
8) If the main character's name was "Jane", how would the details of the story have changed?
9) Were there any patterns in the story?
10) How did Chrysanthemum change over the course of the story? Will she still like her name as she grows up? What do you think she'll name her child?
1. Why do you think all the letters wanted to go up the coconut tree?
2. Why did they want to go back up again after they fell down?
3. How do you think the coconut tree feels?
4. What are some other places you think the letters would like to play?
5. What is the relationship between the letters?
6. How do you think the author came up with the idea for this story?
7. Why did their parents come running?
1. Why do you think Chester didn't want to leave his mom?
2. Why do you think parents also get upset on the first day of school?
3. What other things could his mother have done to make his day easier?
4. What do you think will happen when Chester goes to school next year?
5. Was Chester right to be so worried?
6. What memory do you think Chester will have about school when he grows up?
7. If you were Chester's hand, how would you feel?
8. Do you think if all moms used this strategy, no one would be worried to come to school?
A story about a little mouse with a speech impediment who was unfortunately was named Rodney Rat.
1) Why do you think Camilla Copybara was so mean?
2) How is Rodney like Chrysanthemum?
3) What other things could Rodney have done because Camilla was a bully?
4) How would you treat a friend like Rodney?
5) How would the story have been different if Rodney didn't have a speech impediment? What details would have changed?
1) What would Miss Nelson have done if she didn't have a sister to help her?
2) How would you react if your teacher was Viola Swamp?
3) Was it right that Miss Nelson tricked her students? Why?
4) What details would have changed if Viola Swamp had been nice?
5) Why do you think the students wouldn't listen to Miss Nelson in the first place?
6) How would you feel if you were Viola Swamp?
7) How would the story have been different if Miss Nelson was a mean teacher?