Getting it right in English!



Discussing the content and meaning of books is an important part of reading. Book chats are an important strategy to help your child to reflect more deeply on the content and meaning of their favourite books.  During remote learning, this is a perfect opportunity to engage with your child around the online texts that they are reading.


Book Chats in Grades P-2:

Chat about the book before, during and after reading, and encourage your child to share their ideas and to ask questions about the book.


Here are some questions you can ask before, during and after reading the book:

»Look at the cover. What do you think this book might be about?

»How would you describe the character at the beginning of the story?

» How does the place the book is set in make you feel?

»What is happening in the pictures?

»What do you think is going to happen next?

» Why might a character have done this? What would you do in the same situation?

»Who was your favourite character in the story? Why did you like that character?

» What was your favourite part of the book?

» Can you retell the story in your own words?


Book Chats in Grades 3-6:

In Grades P- 2, book chat questions relate mainly to recalling information on plot and character. These questions are still very important to ask when your child is in primary school. As your child moves through primary school, add more questions when discussing the book you are reading together, or when discussing the book your child is reading independently.


Some further questions might include:

»Does the main character change in the story? How does the character change?

»If you could change the ending of this book, what would it be?

»What do you think is the story’s main message?

»What is your opinion about the story’s main message?

» Can you relate the story or message to another event or issue?

» How could other people see it differently?


*Ideas taken from ‘Literacy and Numeracy tips to help your child every day’ by the Department of Education and Training.


Sarah Mills

Leading Teacher- Literacy