One of the best ways to engage little readers on a cold, blustery day is to work on their reading comprehension. By picking out a good book that sparks their interest, and incorporating a few questions about the content, you will start to see the wheels turning and your child think more critically about what they’re reading.

The example below is a story I personally know and enjoy, but feel free to pick any book you or your child really likes to work on comprehension! You can use the questions below as a base to create your own.

Anna and Otis Reading Comprehension Activity

Anna and Otis by Maisie Paradise Shearring

Anna and Otis are a pair of friends that I’m sure your reader will like to meet, and hopefully they can be found at a library nearby. This sweet story tackles the challenge of what it is like to be on the “outside” socially. 

Anna’s friend Otis is a snake who spends a lot of time with her. Anna wants Otis to come into town with her, but both are concerned how others will treat them. When their fears are confirmed, they try a new tactic to make friends.

Read the story together and then use the questions below to get the conversation going with your reader!

  1. Can you think of a time when someone was nervous around you? Or nervous around somebody you knew?
  2. Why do you think people were mean to Otis?
  3. It’s easy to see how different Otis was from the rest of Anna’s friends. Can you tell me how he was the same as the other friends?
  4. Would you like to have a friend like Otis? Why? Why not?

Stay warm and happy reading!



About Elizabeth Hawkins Lincoln

Elizabeth is a former elementary school teacher who loves to make learning and fun collide. She earned her Bachelor of Education from the University of Montana (Go Griz!) and her Master of Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She taught Gr. 3 and 5, and when she left the classroom, she worked in educational software and online teacher professional development. Elizabeth spends her free time exploring art museums, riding bikes with her family, camping, writing stories, and traveling to new places.

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