Saturday, July 18, 2015

Higher Level Questions for Back-To-School Read Alouds

I know, I know, in the beginning you aren't really thinking about rigor in your lessons. But I think it's important not only to set the tone for your year, but also to do a quick assessment and see what they can do.  So these are some books I think people commonly use for their beginning lessons and questions that you can use to accompany them.

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. What do you think Chester is afraid of when it comes to going to school?
2. If you were a parent, what would you do to reassure your child the first day?
3. If this story was written using different animals as the characters-giraffes for example, what details of the story would change?
4. Did Chester's mom do the right thing or should moms do something different when it comes to the first day of school?
5. What can teachers and schools do to help children feel safe on the first day.

1. Why do you think the kids listened to Viola Swamp and not to Miss Nelson?
2. Why do you think the police officer did not take their call seriously?
3. Was it right for Miss Nelson to trick her students?
4. Which teacher do you think the ideal teacher should act like?
5. What do you think the principal would think if he saw how Viola Swamp acted with the children?

1. Why do you think teachers do so much to get ready for their students?
2. Compare our classroom to the one in the story-what is the same, what is different?
3. Would you like to have a teacher like Miss Bindergarten-why?
4. Would you like to be a teacher when you grow up-why or why not?

1. Why do you think Emily was writing letters to her teacher?
2. Was Arthur real? How do you know?
3. Emily asked a lot of questions, what do you think made her do that?
4. Would you want to be friends with someone like Emily-why or why not?
5. What do you think will happen next year?

1. Why do you think the author chose to write this book in a loop the way she did?
2. What about the book is real and what is make-believe?
3. What do you think a real mouse would ask for?
4. If you changed to mouse to a Kindergartener, what would they ask for at school?

1. Most kids want to fit in with their friends, why do you think Stephanie wanted to be different?
2. Why do you think the kids and even the teachers began copying her?
3. If you were a parent and your child was like Stephanie, how would you feel about that? Would you want to have a daughter like her?
4. Is it right to try and be different from everyone else?
5. What was the pattern in the story?
6. Why do you think Stephanie tricked everyone at the end?


  1. Those are good questions. It's a good reminder to slow down and dig a little deeper. Thank you!

  2. Great ??s. I was going to update my lists of BTS faves ( and but maybe this would be a better route. As a TL there is some ... "pressure" to show off new titles. Always planning, hardly ever unless it is just my most favorite of all favorites that I know teachers have never adopted as favorites so I can still read it again repeating.

    1. Those are good lists! I change up what I read every year-it all depends on the kiddos!