Skip to content

Critical Reading: YOU Ask the Questions

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Before we continue on with elements to look for/question in your critical reading, it’s time for you to develop some questions. I thought of this last night as I played “Addicted to Harry Potter” trivia on Facebook.

Write a quiz about the book you’re reading.

Remember the quizzes we had to take in school over every book/story/poem we were assigned to read? Well, now it’s your turn to write one. If you were going to write a quiz for others to answer about the book (keeping in mind the intended age/audience of the book), what questions would you ask? Make sure to ask them in such a way that they’re open ended—that they don’t just require a yes/no or true/false answer. No fill-in-the-blanks, either! And they can have subjective/opinion answers.

For example:

    In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, what does the inscription “The last thing that shall be destroyed is death” mean?

    Name five items that are introduced early in the series that become important in Deathly Hallows. How were they introduced/used earlier? Did you suspect they might become important in the end, or did Rowling do a good job of hiding them/their true purpose?

    Is there another fantasy/sci-fi story/movie you can think of where one of the main characters leaves and then comes back at a crucial moment to save the life of another main character? How do the stories compare? Do you think Rowling got the idea for it from that story/movie?

    What is the significance of the “code names” used for characters on the Potterwatch wireless program (especially Lupin/Romulus)?

    Compare Harry Potter’s hero’s journey to Frodo Baggins’ hero’s journey. Compare HP’s journey to Luke Skywalker’s journey. Did Rowling stick closely to the standard storyline for a fantasy hero’s journey? If not, where did she diverge?

    Did Rowling wrap up all subplots? If so, were the conclusions satisfactory? If not, how would you have liked to see them wrapped up?

    What is Ron Weasley’s character arc? How does he change over the course of the series/in Deathly Hallows?

    Is it realistic that Harry would name his son after Severus Snape after six years of Snape’s torturing him?

And so on . . .

Post a couple of your questions here and if any of us have read the same book, we’ll try to answer—and you can even grade us on our answers!

%d bloggers like this: