Exploring students' questions, reading motivations, and processes during comprehension of narrative text

Jean Marie Humphries, Fordham University


Many students today struggle to comprehend their school work, causing instructional challenges for teachers. Earlier research has indicated that explicit instruction of reading comprehension strategies improves students' reading. An effective reading comprehension strategy is having students generate their own questions before, during, and after reading. This mixed methodology study examined which comprehension questions students asked, whether there was a connection between students' motivation levels and types of comprehension questions asked, and how students perceived their reading process. Students conducted think-alouds before, during, and after their independent reading and participated in interviews about their reading process. The results indicated that students asked mainly memory-based and convergent thinking questions, and a few divergent thinking and evaluative thinking questions. Students' motivation levels did not affect the types of comprehension questions they asked. When interviewed about their reading process, the students utilized language that demonstrated they perceived reading to be active and purposeful and that one uses certain words and language when discussing reading. Instructional implications for classroom teachers include teacher modeling and demonstration of how to ask divergent and evaluative thinking questions through explicit instruction, mentorship, and more teacher use of language related to deeper thinking comprehension questions.

Subject Area

Elementary education|Teacher education|Literacy|Reading instruction

Recommended Citation

Humphries, Jean Marie, "Exploring students' questions, reading motivations, and processes during comprehension of narrative text" (2013). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3560768.