Questions to Ask the Reader

I was talking to a parent about reading and making sure reading is a need-satisfying activity and the idea of questions I ask myself while I’m reading with children. Here are some of the questions and concepts I’m aware of during reading time.

  • Am I giving them enough time to absorb the words and the pictures?
  • Am I letting them decide the pace of the reading?
  • Does their body language show interest?
  • Do their facial expressions show curiosity or confusion?
  • Do they feel like they can ask me questions?
  • Are they understanding what I’m saying?
  • Am I rushing?
  • Am I showing interest?
  • How much of this activity is chosen by the student?

Need-Satisfying Reading

I write a lot about helping our children satisfy their most basic needs of belonging, power, fun, and freedom. Students who exude happiness and contentment are generally satisfied in the activity and environment. Let’s explore two examples of how reading might be and might not be a need-satisfying activity. In the first example, when I’m aware of the questions above I create an environment that’s conducive to reading:

There are times when I may not be aware of these questions and may be in more of a rush. I may be doing it only because it was assigned and start noticing that the child has not progressed like I thought.

Which student do you think is more likely to exhibit desirable behaviors in a reading activity? These charts certainly don’t represent every situation. Perhaps you would like to reflect on your own practice by filling out your own form and emailing it to me at

Or you can try filling out my form!


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