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KS2 Reading Support Question Stems

When reading with your child, use these question stems to help you ask questions as they are reading. This will help to support your child’s understanding of the text they have read.


2a – Word meaning:

  • What does X mean?
  • Can you think of another word with the same meaning as X?
  • Can you replace X with a different adjective / noun / verb etc?
  • Can you use X in a different context?
  • How would the context change the meaning of X?
  • Which word is closest in meaning to X? a) W   b) Y   c) Z


2b – Retrieval (Children must be able to find the answer in the text):

  • What is happening in X?
  • Find the word/s or phrase which tells you X
  • What / who / why / when / where….. ? Quote from the text
  • What does the text say about X?
  • Where in the text is X?
  • What does X think about Y?


2c – Summarising:

  • What has happened in the story so far?
  • What are the key points of the first two paragraphs?
  • Summarise the paragraphs you have just read.
  • Tell me what you have just read in one sentence.
  • Sum up the main points.
  • Tell me the purpose of the text in one sentence.


2d – Inference (children look for clues in the text but are not able to lift the answer directly):

  • Why / what / how / where / who / when do you think…?
  • How do you know…?
  • Explain why X happened / felt that way / acted in that way?
  • Give evidence from the text to show X
  • What impression do you get of X?
  • What in the text suggests…?


2e – Prediction:

  • Predict what will happen next.
  • What do you think will happen next and how do you know?
  • What do you think will happen to X?
  • Now that X has happened, how do you think that will change things for Y?
  • What do you think X will do next?


2f – Meaning and Organisation:

  • What is the overall meaning of this text?
  • What effect does the text have on the reader?
  • What organisational features has the author used?
  • Why has the author set the text out in this way?
  • What is the impact of X?
  • What can you tell about the time OR place OR culture the story is set in / the writer is living in?


2g – Writer’s word choice:

  • What did the author choose that word?
  • What other word / phrase could they have used? How would that have changed the meaning?
  • What effect was the author trying to create with the following words: _____ ?
  • Identify figurative language / simile / metaphor etc. How does this impact the text / reader?


2h – Comparisons within the text (overview)

  • Compare X to Y.
  • How does the final paragraph link to the introduction?
  • How does paragraph 1 link to paragraph 2?
  • How has X changed throughout the text? (e.g. feelings, personality, atmosphere etc).