Download a printable version of these strategies

Make reading together a part of each day. Everyday reading includes:

  • Stories
  • Newspapers
  • Recipes
  • How-to instructions
  • Textbooks
  • Novels

Asking questions while reading with children helps them to read more closely, looking for evidence and clues in the text. Close reading is an important skill for school success. Here are some examples of questions that build this skill:

Encouraging words increase a young reader’s motivation and reinforce close reading.

“Wow! You know right where to find that information in the story!”

“Great job finding the author’s message.”

“I learned a lot by reading with you.”

Finding Key Ideas and Details

  • What happened in the story?
  • How do you know?
  • What is something really important that happened?
  • What is this story about?
  • Why did the character do that?

Understanding Structure and Craft

  • What does this (word or phrase) mean in the story?
  • Why did the author write it that way?
  • Who is telling us the story?
  • How do you know?
  • How might the story change if told by another character?

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These strategies align with Common Core State Standards #1 and #10, which ensure that students draw meaning from what is on the page. Find more at

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