Sample Questions for the Different Story Elements and Fiction

General questions to get started before focusing on story elements:
  1. What do you want to share?
  2. How do you feel about ... ?
  3. What are you learning from the story?
  4. What do you think it is important literature? Why was it important?
Setting
  1. Where does the story take place?
  2. When does the story take place?
  3. Could it take place anywhere else? If so, where?
  4. Could the story take place in this world?
  5. How did the author describe the place?
  6. How did the authored describe the time?
  7. What could you see, feel, hear, smell, as you read?
  8. How much time passes in the story?
  9. If the story were in another time, would it change? How?
  10. How did the author make the reader aware of the passing of time?
  11. How is the setting like a place that you know?
  12. Does the time or place affect the characters or plot of the story?
  13. How well did the author and illustrator do in creating the setting?
  14. Would you want to visit the place the character lives?
Characters
  1. What are you learning about the way each character feels about each other?
  2. Do you think each character will change in the story?
  3. How is a character like you?
  4. How would you like to be like a character?
  5. How are you different than the character?
  6. How would you like to be different than the character?
  7. How would you want each character to change? Why?
  8. How do you think the character felt?
  9. How do you think the character felt when...?
  10. What caused you to believe that?
  11. How would you feel if that happened to you?
  12. What caused the character to make the decision they did?
  13. What caused the characters to be together for the story to happen or take place?
  14. Could this happen in real life?
  15. Could this happen in your life?
  16. What caused you to admire the character? or
  17. What caused you not to admire the character?
  18. What scene did you like best?
  19. What did you like about it?
  20. How did the character show (kindness, fairness, ...)
  21. What did the character do or the author say to cause you to believe that?
  22. Why do you think the character did that or why the author had that happen? What are the advantages with being able to ... (make choices, have freedom, being able to do something, ...) What are the disadvantages?
  23. How do authors make characters seem real?
  24. What would you like to ask the character?
  25. What do you think the character’s answer would be?
  26. How would that have changed a character?
  27. How would life be different for the characters in the story after the events in the story.
  28. Is the way the character lives different than the way you live?
  29. What do you think about that difference.
  30. Would you want to live at that time, place, or manner? Why? What differences did the characters have? How were these differences celebrated or how did the differences create a conflict?Who is the most interesting character? What makes them so interesting?
  31. Who is the most important character? Why?
  32. What character is the nicest? Why?
  33. What character is the bravest? Why?
  34. Which character taught you the most? Why?
  35. What decisions did the characters have to make? How important were they for the story?
  36. How does the author/ illustrator let the reader know about the characters?
  37. What does the author or character say or do?
  38. What do other characters say or do that influences the reader about the other characters?
  39. How do the characters change? Why?
  40. Which characters don't change?
  41. Is character change important for the story? Why?
  42. Are there characters with small roles that are important to the story? Why?
  43. What did you learn from a character in the story?
  44. How did the characters fell about each other? Why?
  45. Is it believable that there could be characters like those in the story? Why or why not?
  46. How well did the author and illustrator do in creating the characters?
Plot
  1. How did the author begin the story? How did the author cause you to read more?
  2. What is the main problem in the story? How did/do you think it would/will be solved?
  3. What challenges do the characters meet in the story? How do they handle them?
  4. What choices did the characters have?
  5. How does the choices the characters make affect the other characters and the story?
  6. What do you think is the most important part of the book?
  7. What is the climax of the story?
  8. What are the major events in the story?
  9. Could the order of the events be changed? Could some be omitted or added? If so why and with what consequences?
  10. How predictable is the ending of the story?
  11. Would you have ended it the same? Why or why not?
  12. What clues did the author provide about the ending?
  13. What do you think will happen next in the story or after the story?
  14. What do you think will happen to the characters in the story?
  15. Could the story really happen? Why or why not?
  16. How did the author help you to understand the scene?
  17. What does the author do to make the story seem realistic?
  18. How does the author make the reader believe they are really a part of the story.
  19. How was the plot resolved?
  20. What is the shortest summary you can create for the story?
  21. Make a sketch or picture for an event in the book.
  22. What are the most important events in the story? Why do you believe they are important?
  23. What would you like to ask the author?
  24. How well did the author and illustrator do in creating the plot?
  25. What could have happened differently?
Theme
  1. What is the author's message?
  2. What is the story about?
  3. Is the title appropriate? Why?
  4. What does the story mean to you?
  5. Why did the author write this story?
  6. How well do you think the author and illustrator did in creating the theme?
  7. What lesson does the story have that resembles life?
Point of view
  1. Who tells the story? Do you think this is the best person to tell the story?
  2. Whose point of view is the story told by?
  3. What other point of view could this story be told with?
  4. How would the story be different if told through another character's eyes?
  5. How well did the author do in selecting a point of view?
Style
  1. What are some interesting words, phrases, and sentences?
  2. What words created a feeling or picture in your mind? Describe the feeling or picture. How did these works evoke these images or feelings?
  3. Where do you believe the author describes something well? Why?
  4. What are some of the strongest words used by the author?
  5. How did the author begin and end the story?
  6. Was any of the language especially interesting, vivid, or surprising?
  7. How well did the author and illustrator do in creating a style?
Illustrations
  1. What do the illustration add to the story?
  2. How important are the illustrations for the story?
  3. How do the illustrations help provide meaning or clarity?
  4. What is your favorite illustration? why?
  5. Could you picture what was happening if there were no illustrations?
  6. How well did the illustrator do in illustrating the piece?
Author Illustrator
  1. Would you read other books by this author? Why or why not?
  2. Have you read other books by this author or illustrator? HOw are they similar or different?
  3. What other books might this book have caused you to read?
  4. Why do you think the author wrote this book?
  5. What did the author have to know to write this book?
  6. What did the author do to interest the reader so that he or she continued to read to the end.
  7. Did the author keep you interested? Why or why not?
  8. Why do you think the author began and ended the book the way that they did?
  9. Why did the author choose the title" Would you choose the same? If not why not? If yes, why yes?
Genre
  1. What is the genre of the book? how did you know?
  2. Is this text a good example of this genre? Why or why not?
  3. How is this book like other books you've read in this genre?
  4. What do you find difficult about reading this genre?
  5. How well did the author and illustrator do in fitting the story into this genre?
Personal Connection
  1. How does the story make you feel?
  2. Have you had similar experiences?
  3. Does the book remind you of another?
  4. Do any of the characters remind you of someone in real life?
  5. How is this story like another you know?
  6. How are the characters, setting, and problems like those in other stories you know?
  7. What does this story make you wonder about?
  8. What surprised you?
  9. How well did the author and illustrator do in making you think they can create the kinds of stories you will like?

Dr. Robert Sweetland's Notes ©