DREAMSCAPE – Skills and Common Questions Used in Evaluation
Dreamscape integrates a variety of curriculum aligned reading comprehension subskills and question types directly into gameplay. When students read passages and answer questions, both their reading level and their proficiency in these subskills are automatically tracked in reports. These reports are easily accessible to parents, teachers and administrators, and can be extremely useful when evaluating where students are excelling, and where they need more support.
Listed below are all of the reading comprehension subskills currently available in Dreamscape. Questions within any subskill can range in difficulty, and most subskills can be practiced at any reading level.
Prediction questions challenge readers to use clues from the text, paired with their own background knowledge and logical faculties to guess what will likely happen next. Readers may be asked to make predictions about characters, events, or even larger plot points based upon structural understandings of a given genre. (I.e. In a mystery novel, what will the detective do after discovering a crime has been committed?) Prediction questions encourage readers to pay attention to detail and ask themselves questions before the text reveals an answer. Prediction questions are commonly used in the mystery genre of literature.
Visualization questions encourage students to imagine the scenes and objects described in a text in their own mind. Visualization is an extremely important skill for the immersive experience of reading, and to ensure that rich meaning is being derived from the written words.
Summarization questions get readers to create a concise, precise version of a text, referred to as a summary. Summary questions challenge readers to identify the key elements of a text without extraneous detail, often referring to the characters, setting, problem/conflict, and solution. Readers should also be able to break down the story into three sections: beginning, middle, and end. Summarization questions are usually used in fictional literature, but are closely related to Synthesizing questions used in nonfiction texts (see below).
Questions on the main idea of a passage will ask the reader to identify what the writer is trying to communicate in the text. This may include an idea, or an opinion. Main idea questions encourage readers to distill a block of text down to a single idea, and to identify connotative language. Main idea questions are typically used with nonfiction texts.
Questions on character traits get the reader to identify the personality and behavioural traits that define characters in a piece of writing. These questions challenge readers to notice trends in characters’ behaviour, and recognize when those characters act in opposition to those trends to infer meaning. Character trait questions are used in any fictional genre with well-developed characters.
Questions on genre encourage the reader to recognize and understand the characteristics related to specific genres. These questions challenge the reader to identify textual clues to help them determine the genre of a given text.
Theme questions encourage readers to identify the overarching messages or abstract subjects of a story. Theme questions may focus on how the author has conveyed a theme through literary techniques, or discuss its possible applications outside of the text. Theme questions are usually found in fictional writing.
Inferring questions challenge readers to fill in the gaps of a text where certain information is not explicitly stated.. Inferring questions challenge readers to think deeply about the text they have in front of them, and to take note of how much they are able to understand from subtext and background knowledge.
Questions on symbolism ask readers to recognize and analyze why and how writers use certain objects to convey emotion, foreshadowing, or theme. They challenge readers to recognize when and why a symbol may recur at certain moments throughout the text. Symbolism questions are usually found in fictional texts.
Questions about previewing text challenge readers to study titles, covers, and initial pages to determine some key information before reading. These questions are often applied to fictional texts, but can be applicable for nonfiction as well.
Asking and Answering One’s Own Questions
These questions challenge the reader to identify areas within a text that confuse them, ask themselves questions, then apply skills to try to better understand what they are reading. This encourages readers to become more reflective, thoughtful, and independent in their reading.
Figurative language questions challenge readers to identify various purposes and types of figurative language. To successfully answer these questions, readers must become familiar with figurative language techniques like: personification, idiom, onomatopoeia, simile, metaphor, alliteration, assonance, consonance, hyperbole, and puns. These questions are found in all genres of fiction and poetry, and occasionally in nonfiction as well.
Vocabulary questions challenge the reader to identify the meaning of difficult or unfamiliar words, or words with multiple meanings within a text. These questions help readers learn new vocabulary, and develop the skills to find context clues making them stronger independent readers in the future. These questions are found in any genre.
Questions regarding the author’s purpose encourages readers to consider why an author most likely wrote the text, therefore informing strategies with which to read the text. These questions challenge readers to determine whether the author is trying to persuade, inform, or entertain. These questions are found in any genre.
Questions on mood challenge readers to identify when and why a text makes them feel a certain emotion, or casts a certain atmosphere. These questions encourage readers to pay close attention to vocabulary choice, use of figurative language, punctuation, description, and pacing. These types of questions are often notably found in horror and suspense stories, but can also be found across all genres of fiction.
Questions about identifying dialect encourage the reader to note specialized speech/pronunciation patterns and vocabulary choices often included in texts to show character voice. Dialect can indicate a character’s location, race/ethnicity, level of education, and economic status. These questions are found in all genres of fiction.
Questions on close reading encourage the reader to identify and analyze the details within a text. These questions are found in any genre.
Follow the link down below to get your kids playing Dreamscape, and learning reading comprehension skills in a fun, engaging way.
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