Annotation Instructions

Yellow: main ideas

Blue: supporting details

Green: Important facts and key vocabulary


Story Structure:

Use these prompts to help students understand foundational information.

Who is the author?

Is this book fiction or nonfiction?  How do you know?

Who are the main/secondary characters? Why are they important to the story?

Could the characters exist in real life? Explain why or why not (great for discussions)

When/Where does this story take place?  How do you know?

In order, what are the major events in the story?

What is the problem/conflict in this story? How is it resolved?

Author’s Purpose:

Use these to help students understand the story from the author’s perspective.

Was the author trying to persuade, inform, or entertain you?

What message did the author want you to get?

Why did the author choose that setting?

Was ____ a good title for the story?  Why or why not?

What did the author do to help you visualize the story?

Summarizing Prompts:

Use these to help students understand the most important parts of the story.

What is the main idea/gist of the story?

What was the turning point of the story?

What do you think the author wants you to know after reading?

Making Predictions:

Before reading, use these prompts to help students think about what they are reading before they begin.

Think about the title/genre/author/pictures/setting.  What do you think the story will be about?  What makes you think that?

How do you think the story might end?  Why do you think that?

Were your predictions right?  How do you know?

Do you want to change your prediction now that you have read the story?

Self-Monitoring Prompts:

Use these prompts to help students realize when they are reading incorrectly or not understanding the story.

Does that word/sentence/paragraph sound right?

Look at the picture.  Does it fit with what you just read?

What part of the story confused you?

What are you still wondering?

Making Connections:

Use these prompts to help students gain understanding by bridging their own experiences to the text.

What does this paragraph/story/character remind you of?

How does what you know about ___(genre) help you understand this story?

Have you read another story with similar characters/setting/ending?

How did this story amke you feel?  What other books/events from your life have made you feel that way?

What lessons did you learn that you can use in your own life?

Inferring Prompts:

Use these prompts to help students move beyond the text to understand what the author is implying.

What is the message/lesson of this story?

What can you figre out that the author didn’t put in words?

What is the mood/tone of the story?

How was the setting important to the story?

What do the character’s actions/choices tell you about him/her?

Asking Questions:

Use these prompts to help students think about what they still want to know.

What questions do you still have?

What would you like to ask the author/one of the characters?

What would you like to know more about?

If you reread the story what would you be trying to understand or figure out?


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