Open-Ended Questions

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Open-Ended Questions

Activity: In Buddy Pairs, one team member selects a book that the other team member has not read. Then the second team member uses these questions to evaluate the student.

  1. Where and when does the story take place? How do you know? If the story took place somewhere else or in a different time, how would it be changed?

  2. What incident, problem, or situation does the author use to get the story started?

  3. What does the author do to create suspense, to make you want to read on to find out what happens?

  4. Trace the main events of the story. Could you change their order or leave any of them out? Why or why not?

  5. Think of a different ending to the story. How would the rest of the story have to be changed to fit the new ending?

  6. Did the story end the way you expected it to? What clues did the author offer to prepare you to expect this ending? Did you recognize these clues as important to the story as you were first reading it?

  7. Who is the main character of the story? What kind of person is the character? How do you know?

  8. Are there any characters who changed in some way during the story? If they changed, how are they different? What changed them? Did it seem believable?

  9. Who is the teller of the story? How would the story change if someone else in the book or an outside narrator told the story?

  10. Some characters play small but important roles in a story. Name such a character. Why is this character necessary for the story?
  11. Does the story as a whole create a certain mood or feeling? What is the mood? How is it created?

  12. Did you have strong feelings as you read the story? What were they?

  13. What are the main ideas behind the story?

  14. Is this story similar to another story or television show or movie?

  15. Are there characters in this story who are like characters in other stories?

  16. What are the big ideas that the author wants you to think about?

  17. Is there any character you would like to have as a best friend? Why?

  18. Who is the character you know the best? Do you like this character? What does the author reveal about this character?

  19. Is this author different from other authors? How is this book written differently from other books?

  20. Are there any patterns in this book?

  21. Were there any clues built into the story that foreshadowed the ending? If so, what were they? Do you think clues are important for a story?

  22. Does the story language seem natural?

  23. Many authors build a make-believe world and people it with strange, sometimes wonderful, characters. Would you want to live in this author’s make-believe world? Why?

  24. Imagine the author is sitting here in the room. What questions would you ask?


  1. What were the main questions being answered by this book. Did we find the answer to our questions?

  2. What questions do we still need to find out about?

  3. What else did you learn that you didn’t know?

  4. What was the most surprising thing or interesting fact you learned?

  5. What have you learned by reading this that you didn’t know before?
  6. If the author wrote a second book on this subject, what would you want the author to include in this book?

  7. If you wrote a book on this subject, what would you write about?

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