Book Talk

Book Talk

In school we use ‘Book Talk’ to encourage the children to discuss the books they are reading. We are teaching them to:

• say what they like and dislike about them,
• ask questions about them
• talk about any connections they have to the text, does it remind them of anything.

One strand of our teaching and learning is to develop the children’s comprehension of what they are reading.

For this, we use ‘VIPERS’

V – vocabulary – discuss new or unfamiliar words and how authors choose words to convey meaning
I – Inference – ‘reading between lines’ clues that the author gives about characters, story line etc
P – Predict – children predict what might happen next
E – Explain – why does an author conveys meaning
R – Retrieval – children answer questions using information that they can take straight from the text.
S – Summarise/sequence – children re-tell a story


How to help your child develop their love and understanding of what they are reading.

Sample questions that you could use for book talk:

• Did you know you anything about this book before you started reading it?
• What do you think about it now you have read some?
• Is it how you imagined it would be? Why/why not?
• Could you tell me what’s happened so far (fiction) or what this book is about non-- fiction)?
• What has been the most exciting part? Why?


• What could you do if you can’t read a word? What could you do if you can read a word but don’t know what it means?
• Have you come across this word before?
• How did you know how to say it? Are there any clues in the word? Does it look like other words you know?
• Can you work out what that word means? How can you use the rest of the sentence, page or pictures to help you?
• What other word could the author have used that means the same sort of thing?

• Can you tell me what has happened in this chapter/on this page?
• Why do you think X (a character) did that?
• How could we describe that character? What are they like? How do we know that from what they say and do?
• How you think x (a character) is feeling at the moment? Show me which words/phrases tell us that.
• Why you think Y (an event) happened?
• What do you think will happen next? What makes you think that?
• How you think the author wants us to feel at this moment? How are they trying to do that? What is he/she trying to do here?
• What do you think the purpose of using (word or phrase) is in this paragraph?
• Why did the author choose that title?
• What do you notice about the way this page is set out? How does that help us to understand better?