The smart way to improve grades

Comprehensive & curriculum aligned

Affordable pricing from £10/month

Asking Questions to Improve Understanding

In this worksheet, students will rehearse how to effectively ask questions in order to improve understanding of a text.

'Asking Questions to Improve Understanding' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Reading: Comprehension

Curriculum subtopic:   Use Questions to Understand Texts

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

This activity will help you to learn skills so you can effectively ask questions about a text.

 

Top Tips:

When reading a new text, it can really help to do some 'text marking'.

This is when you use a highlighter to circle or mark key information as you go.

You can highlight tricky words, interesting words, similes and other language devices the author has used.

When doing this, you may find you are asking questions, such as, "why has the author used that word?" "What does that tricky word mean?"

 

Retrieving information:

When you read a new text and ask questions, you will find you are asking retrieval type questions.

Often, these type of key questions begin with, "who, what, where, when, why, how..."

Sometimes you will find the answer to your question easily, other times, you may have to dig a little deeper.

 

For example:

If it were a text about a journey into space, you may ask, "how long did she stay in space?"

You would then re-scan the text to retrieve the exact length of time.

 

Inference questions:

You may also find that when you read a text, you ask inference questions.

Inference questions require you to look for more clues in order for you to be able to answer them.

You may ask yourself, "how do I know what Bill planned to do next?"

When you ask an inference question, you should always use 'because' in your answer.

 

In this activity, there will be a mixture of multiple choice style questions and also questions in which you will need to type the answer in your own words. The questions will be based on a range of different texts.

It is beneficial to practise answering both types of question to prepare you for the SATS reading paper.

 

Now it's over to you!

Carefully, read the passage below all about sharks.

 

Sharks

In some form, sharks have been around for about 400 million years. 
Even before dinosaurs roamed the earth, sharks hunted through the oceans! They're such good survivors that they've had little need to evolve in the last 150 million years. 
These ancient predators fascinate adults and children alike.
Scientific Information: Sharks belong to the class of fish, Chondrichthyes.

 

From reading this passage, which of the questions below is sensible to ask about it?

How do we know that dinosaurs are prehistoric?

Are sharks alive?

Are sharks human?

How do we know that sharks are prehistoric?

Carefully, read the passage below all about sharks.

 

SHARKS

In some form, sharks have been around for about 400 million years. 

Even before dinosaurs roamed the earth, sharks hunted through the oceans! They're such good survivors that they've had little need to evolve in the last 150 million years. These ancient predators fascinate adults and children alike.

Scientific Information: Sharks belong to the class of fish, Chondrichthyes.

 

From reading this passage, can you type a question that you would like to find the answer to about sharks?

Carefully, read the passage below.

 

Born on 21st May, 1799 in Lyme Regis, Dorset in a poor family. She lived next to the sea and had a brother, Joseph. When she was 15 months old, she was struck by lightning and survived! Her family believed it truly brought her to life! She went to the sea every day to find curiosities and her father taught her how to carefully get them out of rock. Her and Joseph sold them for 1 penny.

 

From reading this text, which is the most important question to ask from the list below?

 

What was going in 1799?

Can someone survive lightening?

Who is the text talking about?

Who is Joseph?

Carefully, read the passage below.

 

Born on 21st May, 1799 in Lyme Regis, Dorset in a poor family. She lived next to the sea and had a brother, Joseph. When she was 15 months old, she was struck by lightning and survived! Her family believed it truly brought her to life! She went to the sea every day to find curiosities and her father taught her how to carefully get them out of rock. Her and Joseph sold them for 1 penny.

 

From reading this text, can you type a question that you would like to find the answer to Mary Anning?​

Carefully, read the passage below about Queen Victoria.

Victoria had nine children, 40 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren, scattered all over Europe. Most of Queen Victoria's children married into other royal families of Europe.

Her oldest son was called Albert Edward. Queen Victoria was famous for always wearing black.

 

Sally has read the above extract about Queen Victoria and asks her teacher, "why did Queen Victoria always wear black?"

 

Imagine you are Sally's teacher, explain below whether you think this is or isn't a sensible question about the text.

 

 

Carefully, read the passage below about Queen Victoria.

Victoria had nine children, 40 grandchildren and 37 great grandchildren, scattered all over Europe. Most of Queen Victoria's children married into other royal families of Europe.

Her oldest son was called Albert Edward. Queen Victoria was famous for always wearing black.

 

Can you write a question below that you would like to find the answer to based on the text?

 

 

Carefully read the passage below about 'Anderson Shelters'.

 

In November 1938, Chamberlain placed Sir John Anderson in charge of Air Raid Precautions (ARP). He immediately commissioned the engineer, William Patterson, to design a small and cheap shelter that could be built in people's gardens. Within a few months, nearly one and a half million of what became known as Anderson shelters were distributed to people living in areas expected to be bombed by the Luftwaffe. Anderson shelters were given free to poor people. Men who earned more than £5 a week could buy one for £7. 

 

From reading this text, which is the most sensible question to ask about it?

 Why were Anderson Shelters Given Out?What is the ARP?What is an Engineer?Why do the Shelters Seem to be a Cheap Price?
Most Sensible Question To Ask

Carefully read the text below about 'Anderson Shelters'

 

In November 1938, Chamberlain placed Sir John Anderson in charge of Air Raid Precautions (ARP). He immediately commissioned the engineer, William Patterson, to design a small and cheap shelter that could be built in people's gardens. Within a few months, nearly one and a half million of what became known as Anderson shelters were distributed to people living in areas expected to be bombed by the Luftwaffe. Anderson shelters were given free to poor people. Men who earned more than £5 a week could buy one for £7.

 

From reading this passage, can you write a sensible question about the text that you would like to know the answer to?

Carefully read the text below about turtles.

 

Female turtles come ashore at night, between March and September, to dig a metre deep nesting hole with their large flippers. They lay about 100 eggs in the hole and these hatch after 40-60 days in the hot sand. The hatchlings make their way to the sea guided by the light of the stars on the horizon. Artificial lights on the shore can make them travel in the wrong direction, away from the sea. Unfortunately, turtles are endangered and under great threat from humans.

 

From reading this text, can you choose the most sensible question to ask about it from the list below?

Do turtles like fish?

Why is a turtle called a turtle?

Does 'artificial' mean fake?

Why are turtles endangered?

Carefully read the text below about turtles.

 

Female turtles come ashore at night, between March and September, to dig a metre deep nesting hole with their large flippers. They lay about 100 eggs in the hole and these hatch after 40-60 days in the hot sand. The hatchlings make their way to the sea guided by the light of the stars on the horizon. Artificial lights on the shore can make them travel in the wrong direction, away from the sea. Unfortunately, turtles are endangered and under great threat from humans.

 

From reading this text, can you write a relevant question about it?

  • Question 1

Carefully, read the passage below all about sharks.

 

Sharks

In some form, sharks have been around for about 400 million years. 
Even before dinosaurs roamed the earth, sharks hunted through the oceans! They're such good survivors that they've had little need to evolve in the last 150 million years. 
These ancient predators fascinate adults and children alike.
Scientific Information: Sharks belong to the class of fish, Chondrichthyes.

 

From reading this passage, which of the questions below is sensible to ask about it?

CORRECT ANSWER
How do we know that sharks are prehistoric?
EDDIE SAYS
The most sensible retrieval-style question to ask about this passage is the final one, "how do we know that sharks are prehistoric?" We can find the answer to this question by carefully scanning the text. The text tells us that sharks were hunting the oceans before dinosaurs even roamed the earth! Remember that when you are answering a comprehension question, you should use evidence from the text to support your answer.
  • Question 2

Carefully, read the passage below all about sharks.

 

SHARKS

In some form, sharks have been around for about 400 million years. 

Even before dinosaurs roamed the earth, sharks hunted through the oceans! They're such good survivors that they've had little need to evolve in the last 150 million years. These ancient predators fascinate adults and children alike.

Scientific Information: Sharks belong to the class of fish, Chondrichthyes.

 

From reading this passage, can you type a question that you would like to find the answer to about sharks?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
In order to achieve a mark for this question, the student will need to show an understanding of the text in order to write a sensible question. For example: 'What features does a shark have that makes it such a good survivor and predator?'
  • Question 3

Carefully, read the passage below.

 

Born on 21st May, 1799 in Lyme Regis, Dorset in a poor family. She lived next to the sea and had a brother, Joseph. When she was 15 months old, she was struck by lightning and survived! Her family believed it truly brought her to life! She went to the sea every day to find curiosities and her father taught her how to carefully get them out of rock. Her and Joseph sold them for 1 penny.

 

From reading this text, which is the most important question to ask from the list below?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Who is the text talking about?
EDDIE SAYS
Although all of the questions listed above are relevant to the text, the most crucial one to answer to is: 'Who is the text talking about?' The answer to this question is: Mary Anning, she was a famous fossil expert!
  • Question 4

Carefully, read the passage below.

 

Born on 21st May, 1799 in Lyme Regis, Dorset in a poor family. She lived next to the sea and had a brother, Joseph. When she was 15 months old, she was struck by lightning and survived! Her family believed it truly brought her to life! She went to the sea every day to find curiosities and her father taught her how to carefully get them out of rock. Her and Joseph sold them for 1 penny.

 

From reading this text, can you type a question that you would like to find the answer to Mary Anning?​

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Again, to achieve a mark for this question, the student will need to show an understanding of the text in order to write a sensible question. For example: 'What is a curiosity?' 'Why did Mary go to look for curiosities?'
  • Question 5

Carefully, read the passage below about Queen Victoria.

Victoria had nine children, 40 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren, scattered all over Europe. Most of Queen Victoria's children married into other royal families of Europe.

Her oldest son was called Albert Edward. Queen Victoria was famous for always wearing black.

 

Sally has read the above extract about Queen Victoria and asks her teacher, "why did Queen Victoria always wear black?"

 

Imagine you are Sally's teacher, explain below whether you think this is or isn't a sensible question about the text.

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The student should recognise that this is a sensible question as the statement about Queen Victoria's clothing provides no explanation. By asking this question, Sally has shown that she has thought about the text and the meaning/reasoning behind it.
  • Question 6

Carefully, read the passage below about Queen Victoria.

Victoria had nine children, 40 grandchildren and 37 great grandchildren, scattered all over Europe. Most of Queen Victoria's children married into other royal families of Europe.

Her oldest son was called Albert Edward. Queen Victoria was famous for always wearing black.

 

Can you write a question below that you would like to find the answer to based on the text?

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The student should write a question that we do not yet know the answer to about Queen Victoria's life. This could cover a range of subjects, for example, "what were her children's names?" "Who did her children marry?" "When was Albert Edward born?"
  • Question 7

Carefully read the passage below about 'Anderson Shelters'.

 

In November 1938, Chamberlain placed Sir John Anderson in charge of Air Raid Precautions (ARP). He immediately commissioned the engineer, William Patterson, to design a small and cheap shelter that could be built in people's gardens. Within a few months, nearly one and a half million of what became known as Anderson shelters were distributed to people living in areas expected to be bombed by the Luftwaffe. Anderson shelters were given free to poor people. Men who earned more than £5 a week could buy one for £7. 

 

From reading this text, which is the most sensible question to ask about it?

CORRECT ANSWER
 Why were Anderson Shelters Given Out?What is the ARP?What is an Engineer?Why do the Shelters Seem to be a Cheap Price?
Most Sensible Question To Ask
EDDIE SAYS
How did you find this question? Some of the questions were relevant here and some were not! For instance, 'what is the ARP?' is not relevant as the answer is already in the text! The most important question is 'why were Anderson shelters given out?' Until we can understand the answer to that question, it is hard to fully comprehend the rest of the passage or ask any further questions.
  • Question 8

Carefully read the text below about 'Anderson Shelters'

 

In November 1938, Chamberlain placed Sir John Anderson in charge of Air Raid Precautions (ARP). He immediately commissioned the engineer, William Patterson, to design a small and cheap shelter that could be built in people's gardens. Within a few months, nearly one and a half million of what became known as Anderson shelters were distributed to people living in areas expected to be bombed by the Luftwaffe. Anderson shelters were given free to poor people. Men who earned more than £5 a week could buy one for £7.

 

From reading this passage, can you write a sensible question about the text that you would like to know the answer to?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
To achieve a mark, the student is expected to write a relevant and sensible question about the text that demonstrates their understanding. For example: 'Who were the Luftwaffe?' 'Why were the Luftwaffe bombing people's houses?' 'Who was Chamberlain?'
  • Question 9

Carefully read the text below about turtles.

 

Female turtles come ashore at night, between March and September, to dig a metre deep nesting hole with their large flippers. They lay about 100 eggs in the hole and these hatch after 40-60 days in the hot sand. The hatchlings make their way to the sea guided by the light of the stars on the horizon. Artificial lights on the shore can make them travel in the wrong direction, away from the sea. Unfortunately, turtles are endangered and under great threat from humans.

 

From reading this text, can you choose the most sensible question to ask about it from the list below?

CORRECT ANSWER
Why are turtles endangered?
EDDIE SAYS
There are a few questions here that are relevant to the text! You will usually find that once you have read a text, you will have a number of questions that you would like to find the answer to. The most appropriate question here is: Why are turtles endangered? Although the text tells us that turtles are endangered, it does not give us any explanation as to why.
  • Question 10

Carefully read the text below about turtles.

 

Female turtles come ashore at night, between March and September, to dig a metre deep nesting hole with their large flippers. They lay about 100 eggs in the hole and these hatch after 40-60 days in the hot sand. The hatchlings make their way to the sea guided by the light of the stars on the horizon. Artificial lights on the shore can make them travel in the wrong direction, away from the sea. Unfortunately, turtles are endangered and under great threat from humans.

 

From reading this text, can you write a relevant question about it?

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Again, to write a relevant question, the student will need to demonstrate an understanding of the text. Their understanding should then prompt them to investigate the meaning of words and phrases and find out more about the background of the information. With regard to this text, a student may ask questions such as: 'What happens once the hatchlings reach the sea?' 'What happens when hatchlings travel in the wrong direction?' 'Why do female turtles lay eggs at night?' Practice makes perfect! That’s another activity ticked off!
Try it ---- OR ----

Sign up for a £1 trial so you can track and measure your child's progress on this activity.

What is EdPlace?

We're your National Curriculum aligned online education content provider helping each child succeed in English, maths and science from year 1 to GCSE. With an EdPlace account you’ll be able to track and measure progress, helping each child achieve their best. We build confidence and attainment by personalising each child’s learning at a level that suits them.

Get started
laptop

Start your £1 trial today.
Subscribe from £10/month.