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Sample Text-Based Questions, 2-3

Sample questions to assess understanding of nonfiction texts

Key Ideas and Details

  1. What are the key words and details in the text? [Insert specific who, what, where, when, why, how questions to check for basic understanding of key words and details.]
  2. What is the main topic/idea of the text? Which key words or details in the text help you to figure out the main topic/idea? Cite evidence from the text.
  3. Can you see any patterns in some of the key words or phrases? How are these words/phrases related or connected to each other? Sort some into categories according to similarities.

 Craft and Structure

  1. Are there any clues in the title or cover image(s) that help you know more about the text?
  2. How is this text different from other types of texts? Why do you think the author chose this type/format/structure for this topic?
  3. What is the author’s purpose? What is the author’s point of view, and how is it similar to or different from your own?
  4. Describe how you use parts of a book to find information: indexes, glossaries, headings, subheadings, sidebars, captions, etc.  
  5. What words or phrases does the author use to convey information? What are the literal meanings of the words/phrases? Do any of the words/phrases have nuanced or figurative meanings? Why do you think the author chose these words/phrases?
  6. What does the word ______ mean in the context of this sentence? [Insert word and sentence.]

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

  1. How do the images/graphs/diagrams/maps/charts add information about the main topic/idea? Describe some of these images.
  2. What details/reasons does the author use to support the main topic/idea? How do the sentences and/or paragraphs work together to support the main topic/idea? Do you think the author has made a strong argument or claim? Why or why not?
  3. Based on the text, what can you infer about . . . [Insert details to allow for specific inference(s).]?
  4. After closely reading the text, what do you think about . . . [Insert details to allow for opinion(s).]>
  5. How are this text and [insert companion text] similar? How are they different? Why do you think these two texts make good companion texts?