100 Sentence Stems to Spark Conversations with Students After Reading


100 Sentence Stems to Spark Conversations with Students After Reading

You just finished reading an excellent piece with your students. With this one text, you transported your class to a realm that every teacher dreams of. They were engaged throughout the entire reading. Students asked pertinent questions. They offered up insightful observations. But now the reading is over. You look up from your copy to find twenty-plus pairs of eyes watching you expectantly. Now what? they seem to ask.

What you choose to do next can make or break students’ perceptions of what they just read. You want to keep the discussion going without committing “readicide” on a popular piece of literature by reverting to tired, over-worn post-reading strategies. You can use these sentence stems to analyze texts, inspire deeper connections with content, and inject new life into your students’ literary discussions.

Sentence Stems for Fiction

  1. The character I would most like to meet in real life is…
  2. The character I would never like to meet in real life is…
  3. If I were interviewing (character’s name) for the school newspaper, I would ask…
  4. The character I most relate to is…
  5. The character who provides the best role model is…
  6. If I were (character’s name), something I would do differently is…
  7. The most misunderstood character is…
  8. The character who changed the most throughout this story is…
  9. (Character’s name) was justified/unjustified in his/her decision to…because…
  10. My favorite scene is…
  11. My least favorite scene is…
  12. I think the setting was a good backdrop for the events of the story because…
  13. If this story occurred in another setting, it would affect the plot because…
  14. The most unexpected event in the story was…
  15. An instance of foreshadowing I noticed was…
  16. The author uses flashbacks to…
  17. If (character’s name) could spend a day in our classroom, I think he or she would…
  18. If (character’s name) were a student in our school, his/her favorite subjects/activities would be…
  19. The character that most reminds me of someone I know is…
  20. If (character’s name) met (a character from a different book), they would be alike because…
  21. I would want to live in the “universe” of Book Title because…
  22. I would not want to live in the “universe” of Book Title because…
  23. If I could spend one day in the “universe” of Book Title, I would…
  24. If I could choose an animal from this story as a pet, I’d pick…
  25. The activity from this story I’d most like to try is…
  26. If I could collect one item from this story as a souvenir, I’d choose…
  27. The author established the tone of the story by…
  28. If I could write a sequel to this story…
  29. If I could change one thing about this story…
  30. My response to the climax of the story was…
  31. The three most important questions I have for the author are…
  32. This book should be adapted to a movie because…
  33. If I had to prepare a meal based on this story, I’d choose…
  34. If I had to design an outfit based on this story, I’d wear…
  35. This book is a great choice for our curriculum because…
  36. If I had to retell this story from another character’s perspective, I’d choose…
  37. If I were designing a new cover for this book, I’d show…
  38. A good alternate ending might be…
  39. If I were writing a critical review of this story, I’d write…
  40. I don’t think this book belongs in our curriculum because…
  41. If I were creating a movie of this book, the actors I would choose are…
  42. I think the author could have improved the story by including….
  43. I would want to read more of this author’s work because…
  44. A good example of teamwork in this story is…
  45. I do not think this story could happen in real life because…
  46. This reminds me of another book/story I read because…
  47. I think this story could happen in real life because…

Sentence Stems for Nonfiction

  1. The most interesting new fact I learned was…
  2. I already knew some things about…because…
  3. An incorrect assumption I had about this was…but now I know…
  4. I would want to visit this region/period because…
  5. I would not want to visit this region/period because…
  6. The author conveys his or her opinion by…
  7. I agree with the author’s opinion because…
  8. I disagree with the author’s opinion because…
  9. The author establishes his/her authority to write on the topic by…
  10. The structure of this text is…
  11. If I were a part of this situation/event, I would…
  12. This situation/event makes me feel… because…
  13. This affects me personally because…
  14. I would want to meet (contemporary or historical figure) because…
  15. If I could meet (contemporary or historical figure), I would say…
  16. If I met someone from this time/region/situation, I would say to them and ask them…
  17. I would not want to meet (contemporary or historical figure) because…
  18. If (historical figure) were alive today, I think he or she would…
  19. This situation/event will impact the future because…
  20. If I were making a time capsule from (contemporary or historical event), I would include…
  21. If (historical event) happened today, I think that…
  22. I do not understand…
  23. If I were creating a poster or advertisement for this event, I would include…
  24. If I were creating a museum exhibit for this situation/event, I would include…
  25. People in the future will remember this situation/event because…
  26. A similar situation in my life/community is…
  27. I can see the effects of (historical event) in my life today because…
  28. If I had to explain this from an insider’s perspective, I would say…
  29. If I had to explain this from an oppositional perspective, I would say…
  30. I’d like to learn more about…
  31. If I had to explain this to someone younger than me, I would say…
  32. If I were a reporter, the 6 most important facts (5Ws and H) for my article would be…
  33. It is important to learn about this because…
  34. A possible solution to the problem is…
  35. Reading this changed my perspective on…because…
  36. A way that I could get involved is…

Sentence Stems for Both Fiction and Nonfiction

  1. My overall opinion of this text is…
  2. I enjoyed reading this because…
  3. I did not enjoy reading this because…
  4. Reading this made me realize…
  5. I would recommend this to…because…
  6. More people need to read this because…
  7. Before reading this, I was biased because…
  8. This text is different from anything else I’ve ever read because…
  9. My favorite quote from the text is…because…
  10. The author’s purpose in writing this was…
  11. The literary devices I noticed in their text are…
  12. The most effective literary device was…because…
  13. A possible alternate title could be…
  14. The author’s word choices affected this text by…
  15. The author’s voice and style are… and he/she achieved this by…
  16. The author puts himself/herself into the text by…
  17. The intended audience for this text is…

The scope of possibilities for these sentence stems in the classroom is almost as vast as the list itself. You can assign a selection as journal prompts, use them as a springboard for whole-class or student-to-student discussion, or encourage students to develop their favorites into a larger project. For more ideas on reading activities to explore with your students, check out this list from Reading Rockets.

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100 Sentence Stems to Spark Conversations with Students After Reading

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Melisa Ferguson
Melisa is a mom, world language teacher, and self-care enthusiast.
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