Guided Reading Questions

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Hanna Beech

Hanna Beech has been teaching for ten years and has a range of experience across Key Stages 1 and 2 in a large Primary School in Kent. She is a phase leader for Years 3 and 4, and also leads on teaching and learning for...
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What is the pause and pose reading strategy?

Guided reading sessions provide a wonderful opportunity for pupils to share key texts and develop their comprehension skills. Here is one idea to help bring the characters to life and get your students really thinking about the events in the stories you share.

Pause & Pose Guided Reading

  • When sharing a text together, find key moments in the text to ‘pause’.
  • Model posing three types of question about this key event: one for the author, one for a main character and one for reader, e.g. “J.K. Rowling, how important was Dudley’s character in this chapter?”, “Uncle Vernon, Why did you not want Harry to receive a letter?”, “How would you feel if you received a letter to Hogwarts?”
  • Ask your pupils to come up with their own three questions about this key event or moment in the text, sharing them with their partner.
  • Discuss and debate the questions as a class, ordering a few questions from most intriguing to least intriguing by using a class vote.
  • Get pupils to jot their questions onto strips of paper and place them into a box, and then draw a question out each day, asking pupils to respond to the question justifying responses with evidence from the text.

Why is it a good strategy?

It allows pupils to ask a range of questions and challenges them to pose and answer questions from different perspectives. If pupils can ask a broad range of questions themselves, this could lead them to considering a range of answers too.


Make the most of the pupils’ questions by displaying them on a working wall or even setting some questions as homework challenges.


2 thoughts on “Guided Reading Questions

  1. Hello Hanna, I love the idea of children coming up with their own questions to ask. I wanted to know on a strategic level, how do vote for the most intriguing questions, from a class of 30 working in pairs. Would you listen to each pairs 3 questions and then ask the classroom or would you listen to all and then decide?

  2. Hi Salina,

    I’m glad you liked the idea! I’ve found that pupils love to become part of the questioning process.

    There are a few ways to order the questions. You could ask pupils to discuss their questions and then cherry pick a few from 3 or 4 pairs to share with the class. You can generate a quick vote with just a few questions with hands up. I’d also ask a couple of people to explain why they chose the question as most interesting using modelled prompts (e.g. sentence starters like ‘I prefer this question because…whereas this one…/In my opinion, this question makes me wonder…but this one… etc.).

    Alternatively, if you have a longer amount of time, you could ask pupils to jot their questions on post it notes or strips of paper. In their table groups they can then order their post its from most intriguing to least. Then each table can share the one question their group decided was most interesting to the class, stating why.

    Remembering to bring pupils back to why this question catches their attention, asking them to justify their thinking and getting them to persuade others will hopefully help them build critical thinking too!

    Hope this helps!

    Hanna 🙂

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