Text-Dependent Questions

Learning Strategy
  • Appropriate text
  • Fisher and Frey (2015) Model for the Progression of Text-Dependent Questions
Target Student

Students who struggle with deeper than surface level comprehension.


Text-Based Questions are questions that must be answered only by reading through a text. They are designed to engage the students after a reading and encourages higher level thinking from literal comprehension to critical thinking or inferential comprehension.

How To

1. Choose an appropriate text. Determine what areas with be complex for the students and identify the standards and objectives of the lesson. Choose assessments and plan your questions with how the students must be prepared for success on that assessment.

2. Create questions that require students to read and determine evidences from the text.

3. Consult the Fisher and Frey (2015) model which identifies six possible categories for Text-Dependent Questions. Keep in mind your objectives, areas of complexity, and standards when creating the questions. Consider the depth and levels of comprehension for each question.

Adapted from 40 Strategies for Guiding Readers through Informational Texts

(Moss, B., & Loh-Hagan, V. (2016). 40 strategies for guiding readers through informational texts. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.) 


Fisher, D., & Frey, N. (2015). Common Core English language arts in a PLC at Work, grades 3-5. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree.

Hackett, J. K. (2011). Once upon a woodpecker. Ranger Rick Magazine. Reprinted in Science: A closer look: Grade 3. Macmillan/McGraw-Hill, pp. 170-171.  

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