Reverse Reading Comprehension

This reverse reading activity by Mike Harrison looks really interesting. The idea is that you have students write questions for an imaginary reading. Then they generate the reading to match the questions.

Seems like it would target a lot of skills at once, not only language skills like grammar, writing, and discussion but also teamwork, creativity, and collaboration.

I also love it as a way of teaching pre-writing. I know a lot of authors come up with an idea for a story, or maybe a first scene. Then they ask themselves questions, at least in their heads, to flesh things out. How did they meet? Why does Bob want the Uzbek Falcon so badly? What could he use to escape from the room? If students generate questions, they are already thinking of a story so it makes it easier for them to generate the text later on.

But also I think this could be adapted as a writing lesson. For example, have students jot down a quick idea (1 or 2 sentences) for a story and then generate 5 questions they would need to answer to finish it. Or have other students read the idea and come up with questions they would like answered by the finished story. Students can use those questions to flesh out their writing.

And I’m talking about stories here but there’s no reason why students couldn’t write non-fiction. A written version of the expert game.

UPDATE: This is a cool variant of Mike’s lesson from Visualizing Ideas.

Liked this post? Check out some of my books on

3 Replies to “Reverse Reading Comprehension”

  1. Thanks for the mention of the activity here. I linked to it at the bottom of the original post. Nice extension ideas, Walton.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.