Questions and Discussion Prompts to Develop Reading Assessment Focuses  
 
 The Reading Assessment Focus list

 Use a range of strategies, including accurate decoding of text, to read for meaning

Understand, describe, select or retrieve information, events or ideas from texts and use quotation and reference to text  Deduce, infer or interpret information, events or ideas from texts 

Identify and comment on the structure and organisation of texts, including grammatical and presentational features at text level

Explain and comment on the writers’ use of language, including grammatical and literary features at word and sentence level

 Identify and comment on the writers’ purposes and viewpoints, and the overall effect 

 Relate texts to their cultural and historical contexts and literary traditions.

Overview grid
ASSESSMENT FOCUS
KEY PHRASE
1
Decode accurately.
Read with understanding.
2
Seek, find and understand.
Literal responses to text.
Text reference.
3
Between the lines
Inference and deduction.
Interpret.
Put yourself in their shoes.
Text reference.
4
Structure.
Commenting on presentational features.
Why is the text presented and organised as it is?
5
Language.
Why did the writer use that word / phrase / image / sentence etc.
Literary awareness.
Impact on reader.
6
The Writer.
Writer’s purpose.
Writer’s attitudes and values.
Big messages about life.
7
The Text and the World.
How the text fits into its social, historical, cultural, literary heritage context.
 
 
 
KEY QUESTIONS / PROMPTS for AF1
Use a
r range of strategies, including accurate decoding of text, to read for meaning.
Can children
Read on sight
Use phonic strategies
 Use textual and grammatical knowledge to self correct
Show awareness of punctuation marks
Show accurate and fluent decoding skills
Demonstrate understanding in prepared reading?
 
Question prompts to develop Assessment Focus 1
 Do you see a word you know?
  Check the picture
What would make sense/ sound right?
What would you expect to see at the beginning of …..?
Is it like a word you already know?
Can you see a word inside the word?
 Blend this part of the word.
Does the sentence make sense?
 
 
  
KEY QUESTIONS / PROMPTS for AF2
      Understand, describe, select or retrieve information, events or ideas from texts and use quotation and reference to text
Question prompts to develop Assessment Focus 2
Retrieval questions
Where and when did the story take place?
What did s/he/it look like?
Who was s/he/it? Can you name the….?
Where did s/he/it live?
   Who are the characters in the book?
What happened after?
How many….?
  Describe what happened at….?
Who spoke to ….? Identify who….?
  Can you tell me why? Which is true or false…..?
Find the meaning of….?
  What is. ... ?
More examples that link AF2 to other AFs
§         How does your timeline help you to understand how the subplots are connected? (AF4)
§         What happened after…? Whom did she meet on her way to…? Why is this order of events significant?(AF4)
§         What impression does the writer give of   ______’s character? What makes you feel this? Does this change as the play goes on? (AF6)
§         How often do the refuse collectors pick up bottles? How many bins are there in the car park? What does that suggest about people’s attitudes? (AF3)
§         Look at what happened in…. What does this suggest about……? What is the author saying about….? How does the author feel about…? (AF6)
  
KEY QUESTIONS / PROMPTS for AF3
How did___ feel?
Why did ___feel / think____?
Why is ____important?
Comment on a quotation
 Describe___reaction / feeling
In what ways does____
Explain…
 Match feelings / thoughts to parts of the story
  If_____, which / why?
Agree or disagree with an opinion. Justify.
How do we know____?
  What does this tell us about how ___ is feeling / thinking?
Have you ever had a similar experience? How did you feel?
   Put yourself in their shoes.
Hotseat / interview characters
   Who do you know who is like ____?
 
Simple comprehension questions
What do you think is happening here? (interpret)
 What happened in this part of the story? What might this mean? (interpret)
Through whose eyes is the story told? (deduce)
Do you know what might happen next? (deduce)
§         What do we know about….? (deduce/infer) e.g. Sarah was up the tree in her best frock. What do we know about Sarah? (deduce)
What could this tell us about the character? (infer)
 
Some questions to help children deduce, infer and interpret
 Describe in your own words …………(interpret)
§         What do you think will happen because of …(infer/deduce depending on text evidence)
If this was you – how would your friends react? (interpret and deduce)
How do we know that ………..?(deduce/infer- depending on text)
  If you were in ______’s shoes what would you do now? (interpret)
 Look at the text and find…. What do you think…?(infer)
§         What was_________ thinking as he…? How do you know? (could be any depending on the text)
 From the information, can you devise a set of instructions for…
Where are the examples to support your point of view?
 
 
  
Deduce, infer and interpret – questions to discuss
Could this have happened in ….? Why, what are your reasons?
  Which events could not have happened?
If________ happened, what might the ending have been?
 How was this similar to….?
What do you see as possible other outcomes?
 Can you explain what must have happened when….?
 What were the motives behind…?
What was the problem with…?
What assumptions have you made and why?
 What evidence do you have? Justify your answer. Clarify your reasoning
 
More examples that link AF3 to other AFsIn
this  In part of the play, what do you think the character feels about...? How can you tell from their speech/implied actions? (AF5)
What does this information suggest about people’s attitudes?
§              hich part of the story best describes the setting? What words and/or phrases do this?(AF5)
 
Whole text questions for AF3
Do you remember what.................... did the first time?
In the light of what you know now, why do you think he felt so angry?
 Look at the whole text.
You’ve identified several problems.
Which one is the most difficult to solve?   
 
  
KEY QUESTIONS / PROMPTS for AF4
Identify and comment on the structure and organisation of texts, including grammatical and presentational features at text level.
Questions for Non-fiction
 
§         Where could you find out about... in this book? Where in the book would you find...?
Is there another way? What the quickest way?
§         How many levels of headings and subheadings does this book have? Are they statements or do they ask questions?
Which engage the reader more effectively?
How do headings help you when you scan the text?
What do the headings describe?
What’s the difference between the index and the contents?
If you want to find out about... how could you do it?
What’s the best place to look for information about...?
If you can’t find information in the contents, where else might you look?
 If there isn’t an entry in the index, what might you do to find out about...?
 How could I use the search engine to find out about...?
Why are the sites found organised in this order? Why are ‘hot links’ useful?
 
Questions on organisation
 
 Why are these words useful to the reader?
§         Highlight the words that tell you which order to follow – e.g. first, then, after, finally
Why have these words been put in bold? (not-to stand out)
 Who would this information be most useful for?
How is...similar to and different from....?
§         Which words indicate that some people think differently about this issue? E.g. however, although, on the other hand.
Can you distinguish between formal and informal style?
Give 2 ways in which this text is written like a diary/report/discussion etc?
§         What are the features of this text type? How are they appropriate for the purpose of the text
 
Questions for cohesion
 
What are the main ideas in this paragraph and how are they related?
Which idea in this paragraph is linked to the next paragraph?
§         Look at the way this poem is organised. Are there any words that signpost change?
What effect does this change have?
§         How does the layout and presentation of this advert help to persuade you to take notice of its campaign?
§         Where in this chapter does the writer give another point of view? How does she signal that she’s going to do this?
 How does it fit in to the presentation of the argument?
What was the turning point in the game?
 
More examples that link AF4 to other AFs
 
§         Look at the way the sentences are organised. Why has the writer used these repetitive structures? E.g. his hat was... his face was... his expression was... (AF5)
§         How does a question at the beginning of the passage make you want to read on? (AF6)
    How does paragraph 3 try to influence your view? (AF5)
§         The writer uses direct speech. In what way is this effective? How does it compare with the other text? (AF6)
§         Look closely at the argument, paragraphs, connectives and topic sentences. Could you show how the argument develops? (AF6)
        This poem is in traditional form – how does it suit the ideas in the poem? (AF7)
 
KEY QUESTIONS / PROMPTS for AF5
     Explain and comment on the writer’s use of language, including grammatical and literary features at word and sentence level.
Analysing writers’ use of language
 
Which feature does the author use in a (specified) piece of text? Why?
§         What does (word/phrase) mean? Why has the author used this phrase/feature? E.g. italics, bold, repetition, simile, exclamation marks, headings, bullet points, captions etc. Comment on the effect.
§         What has the author used in the text to make this character funny/sad/angry/tense? How effective is this?
§         How has the author used the text to make the situation or event angry/tense? Comment on the effect.
§         Think of another more/less emotive word you can substitute here. What different effect would your word have?
As a reader, how do you feel about...? How has the author created this feeling?
Which words and phrases tell you that the author is describing...?
§         How could the meaning be changed by altering the punctuation? E.g. commas, full stops, ellipsis, exclamation marks etc. Comment on the effect.
§         Comment on the technical language.......... and..........? Explain why the author used it.
What words/phrases indicate the author’s attitude
  How does the author show that... is important?
Why has the author used repetition? What effect does it have?
§         Why have exclamation marks/italics/capitals been used? How does this affect the way you read it? What effect does this create?
§         What is the author’s style? What features help you identify this? Why is this style effective in this text?
 What words give you that impression?
How has the author been humorous?
What words, phrases or features make you think that?
How would you explain this... in similar terms/to a younger child?
§         How does the metaphor/simile/adjectives/adverbs... help you to understand this text? What makes it effective?
Register – the tone of the writing
 
§         What is the relationship between the writer and the person who will receive the letter? How do you know?
 Which features give you a clue that this is a formal letter?
§         How would this biology be different if the subject had written it? How would the tone/emphasis/mood change?
§         Why has the author set out the text like this? Comment on the effectiveness of this style. Could it have been written any other way?
§         How could this be made to sound more friendly and informal? How could this be made to sound more formal and serious? Comment on the effect this has on the reader.
 
More examples that link AF5 to AF6
 
·        In this leaflet can you see which bullet points are fact and which are opinion? How do you know?
§         Have you noticed that all the way through the writer compares animals with human beings? How effective is this in getting the viewpoint across?
§         Find some words that describe how people felt when... What effect does this have?
 
KEY QUESTIONS / PROMPTS for AF6
Identify and comment on the writers’ purposes and viewpoints, and the overall effect
Commenting on the writer’s purpose and viewpoint.
 
Why did the author choose this setting?
   What do you think the writer’s purpose is? How do you know?
What did the writer intend by (phrase /sentence /incident... etc)?
What is the purpose of this particular paragraph/character/change?
Why has the author used humour at this point?
§         Look at the caption and diagram. What does it explain to you? Why does the writer choose to include them?
§         What impression do you think the writer wants to give of this character? Why? What effect does this have on other characters?
 In this paragraph, what effect does the author want to have on the reader?
What is the author’s purpose in this piece of text in relation to the plot?
      From the opening section of the text, what is the writer’s opinion of school/the war/animals etc? How does this affect the story/plot/characters/setting etc?
§         Which other author handles time in this was e.g. flashbacks; dreams? Which stories have o