Sample Third-Grade Reading Comprehension Questions

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Sample Third-Grade Reading Comprehension Questions

Main Idea-finding the most important points.

  1. What is the main idea of this passage?

  2. Who/what is this passage mainly about?

  3. What would be the BEST title for this passage?

Prediction-using your knowledge and details in the story to help you guess what happens next.

  1. What do you think will MOST LIKLEY happen next?

  2. In the first paragraph, what tells you that Joe and Sam are old friends?

  3. What do you think April will most likely say to Sue next?

  4. Based on the paragraph, would sledding down a steep hill be a good idea?

Plot, Setting, Character-plot tells the problem in the story; setting tells where and when the story happens; characters are people, animals, or robots, of the story.

  1. This story is MAINLY about…

  2. What is the setting of this story?

  3. Who are the main characters in the story?

  4. How does the story end?

Genres-are different kinds of writings such as: fiction, non-fiction, drama, & poems.

  1. This story is an example of…

  2. You can tell that this passage is nonfiction because…

  3. This sentence shows that Bert likes…

  4. What does the writer think is the hardest writing of all?

Author’s Purpose-answers the question why a passage was written such as to inform, persuade, entertain, show emotion, or explain facts.

  1. The author MOST LIKELY wrote this passage to show…

  2. Why did the author write this passage?

  3. This passage was MOST LIKELY written by…

Facts and Opinions-a fact is real information that can be proved. An opinion may be true for one person; it is what they think, believe, or feel.

  1. Which sentence expresses an opinion?

  2. Which is a fact?

  3. This statement is a fact because…

  4. This statement is an opinion because…

Cause and Effect-the cause tells why something happened and the effect tells what happened next.

  1. From the story, what caused Michael to be nervous on his first day of school?

  2. The author’s hat blew off because…

  3. Because a lot of snow fell, …

  4. According to the passage, why did the author slide all the way down the hill?

Compare/Contrast-comparing highlights similarities and contrasting highlights differences.

  1. Does this passage remind you of any experiences you have had?

  2. Does this story remind you of another story you have read?

  3. How does the character’s feelings or attitude change through out the story?

Sequencing- sequencing places things or events in order.

  1. Which step happens last/first?

  2. What are the events at the beginning, middle, and end?

Summarizing- Summarizing gives the main points of a passage or story.

  1. Which is the best summary of this passage?
  2. What are the main points/events at the beginning, middle, and end?

Inferences/Drawing Conclusions­-“reading between the lines,” using clues from the author’s writing and the reader’s prior knowledge.

  1. Can you infer what is about to happen?  Why did you make that inference?

  2. What did you already know that helped you make that inference?

  3. What words or ideas from the author helped you to know that?

Figurative Language/Idioms-describes or implies meaning rather than actually stating it directly. Similes, metaphors, and personification are types of figurative language.



“A snail’s pace” means to move very slowly.

“Eager beaver” means someone who is eager to work.


The Big Dipper is a beautiful jewel in the night sky.


The city lights are like stars twinkling in the night sky.


The field of sunflowers dance and bow to anyone who passed by.

Context Clues-words or phrases around an unfamiliar word that help understand the word.

  1. The word _____ in this sentence means

  2. Based on the context clues in the paragraph, what is the meaning of _____?

  3. What word means the same as _____


  1. Who/what is this poem mainly about?

  2. The author MOST LIKELY wrote this passage to show…

  3. Based on the context clues in the paragraph, what is the meaning of _____?

  4. This poem is told through whose point of view?

  5. Which words rhyme?

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