Literacy Corner

Find literacy resources on the PS196Q Library page:

Dad_reads_storyA book discussion is one of the best ways to support your child’s literacy. You are also sending a message reading is important.

Here are some suggested questions on how to start and sustain a book discussion with your child.



Here are some questions you can ask your child about their reading. Choose a few questions each time you read together to help you start a conversation about reading!

Questions to ask before reading:

  • What is the title of the book?
  • What does the cover tell you about the book?
  • What do you think the book is about?
  • What are you curious to find out about this book?
  • What do you want to learn?
  • Why are you reading this book?

Questions to ask during reading:

  • What do you think will happen next?
  • What is the problem in the book?
  • Can you predict how the story will end?
  • What can you tell me about the story so far? Can you tell me using sequence words? (First, second, etc.)
  • Can you put what you’ve just read into your own words?
  • Why do you think the character did that?
  • As I read______, it made me picture_________in my head. When you were reading this part, what were you picturing in your head?
  • What were you wondering as you read? What questions do you have?
  • Think about predictions you made before reading; do you still think the      story will go that way? Why or why not?

Question to ask after reading:

  • Describe the setting of the story.
  • Describe how a character changed throughout the book.
  • Which of the characters did you like best? Why?
  • What were some of the problems or situations the characters encountered? How was it solved?
  • Tell about a part that you liked or disliked and tell why?
  • What was your favorite part? Why?
  • Why do you think the author wrote this?

Here are questions at every grade level: Kindergarten   5th Grade   4th Grade   3rd Grade   2nd Grade    1st Grade


READINGEGGS:  All lower-grade students and English language learners have access to ReadingEggs (, a great web site for learning and practicing reading skills.  Contact your child’s teacher for log-in information.


Looking for a just-right book for your child?   There are two apps that can help you.  Scholastic’s Book Wizard ( and Level It Books (  Both apps allow you to scan books to find their level; and both work with iOS and Android smartphones.  Scholastic’s Book Wizard is free and Level It Books costs $4.99.

There are also many resources on the web.  Click here  for some suggested titles for every reading level—A-Z.  If you want to see how each reading level corresponds to the Lexile level (which is used by the Common Core), take a look at this document:

Want to know how your child is doing in reading? Click here for the Reading Level Benchmarks from Columbia Teachers College Reading & Writing Project.  You’ll be able to see how your child is doing (on a level from 1 to 4), given her/his grade level and the time of year.  For example, a 2nd grader reading on a “J” level in November would be a 3, but if a child is at a “J” level in March, then she/he would be a 2.

Parents and teachers are always trying to improve their young ones’ literacy skills, reading or grammar.  Here are some web sites that can help:

Story Nory




PBS Kids

National Geographic Kids

Houghton Mifflin’s Grammar and Writing Site
Buzzword Sponge Activity

H.O.T. Skills

A main goal of educators today is to teach students the skills they need to be critical thinkers.  Instead of simply memorizing facts and ideas, children need to engage in higher-level thinking in order to reach their fullest potential.  Practicing Higher Order Thinking (HOT) skills outside of school will give children the tools they need to understand, infer, connect, categorize, synthesize, evaluate and apply the information they know to find solutions to new and exciting problems.

Families can play a significant role in encouraging higher order thinking with their children.  After reading a book you could have a conversation using one of the prompts that are on the list. These questions will make your child think critically and encourage higher order thinking.




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