Saturday, July 24, 2021

Questions to Ask When Doing a Picture Walk

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A list of sample questions to ask when doing a picture walk with your child. Includes a free printable list of questions.

A helpful reading strategy for all readers, including our hyperlexic ones, is to do a picture walk (also known as a book walk). It's a shared activity that you do before reading the actual book. And it works great with all sorts of picture books, even wordless picture books.

It's also a great strategy for boosting comprehension, an area most hyperlexic kids need extra help with. Especially as they approach the late elementary age (see other important hyperlexia milestones here).

Now, an effective picture walk involves asking the right types of questions. You want to use questions that prime and guide your child in a way that will help them better understand the story when it comes time to read it.

It's best to use open-ended questions as you flip through the pages of a picture book together.

And to help you out, I've compiled a list of sample questions to ask when doing a picture walk for you. There's also a free printable cheat sheet included below.

Questions o ask when doing the picture walk reading strategy with kids

Types of Questions to Ask During a Book Walk

When walking through new picture books, you want to ask your child questions about each picture that they see, including the front and back covers. You'll want to ask questions that:

  • Introduce new vocabulary words
  • Allow kids to make predictions about what might happen in the story
  • Boost comprehension and understanding of any new book
  • Allow kids to practice making inferences using visual story elements
  • Encourage kids to be active participants in shared reading
  • Encourage kids to practice describing what they see (which will also help them summarize the story later)

Basically, the idea here is to prep your child to better understand the story for when it's time to actually read it. It's all about highlighting important picture clues.

Sample Questions to Ask When Doing a Picture Walk

Remember, the point here is not to read the story yet. You're simply going to look at every page in the book without reading the words. Just point to the picture or to specific details in the pictures and ask questions about that book page such as:

  • What do you think this story will be about based on the cover?
  • What do you think this story will be about based on the title?
  • What other books does this cover remind you of?
  • What do you see on this page?
  • Who is this?
  • Why does the character look (insert emotion)?
  • Where is this story taking place?
  • When is this story taking place?
  • What do you think will happen next?
  • How do you think the story will end?
  • What does this word mean?
  • What do you think is happening in this picture?
  • What are these called?
  • What is the character doing here?
  • How do you think this character is feeling?
  • What would you do if this was you?
  • Why do you think the character is doing (insert action)?
  • Why do you think the character feels (insert emotion)?
  • What does this remind you of?

Asking Follow-Up Questions During a Book Walk

After your child answers your questions, you will want to respond in some way. Maybe you want to comment. Or maybe you want to ask a follow-up question. Here are some possible follow-up questions to ask:

  • How can you tell?
  • What makes you think that?
  • Why do you think that?
  • Have you ever felt that way?
  • How would you feel if...?
  • Have you ever...?
  • Have you been to a ___ before?
  • How do you know?
  • What else could happen next?
  • What's another possible explanation?
  • What part of the picture makes you think that?
Free printable list of sample questions to ask when doing a picture walk with kids

Download the Free Printable List of Picture Walk Questions

This one page printable includes all of the sample questions to ask when doing a picture walk listed above. To get your copy, enter your name and email in the form below.

Other Comprehension & Reading Strategy Resources You'll Love

The Best Reading Comprehension Videos for Kids

How High Interest Books Boost Reading Comprehension

The Role of Schema in Reading Comprehension

Questions to ask when doing a picture walk with kids - includes a free printable list!

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