Teaching students to think at a high level is the key to deep understandings. We want our students thinking, discussing, applying, connecting, and questioning with their reading experiences, and the best way for them to learn to do this is through a mentor text lesson where we as teachers model how it is done.
Question-Answer Relationship or QAR was developed by Tanny McGregor, and we use this analysis approach to help students connect the question type to the text evidence needed to accurately answer. This strategy is especially helpful with assessments, but what about in discussion? As we deepen understandings, we want our students justifying their thoughts with evidence. In discussions, we want kids matching what's asked to the relevant information needed to respond.
TEACHING QUESTION-ANSWER RELATIONSHIP
To begin, we talk about who, what, where, when questions and the fact that they are recall questions and easy to answer. For Think and Search, we look at sequencing or lists or examples. Then, we tackle the most challenging, Author and Me. The vast majority of questions used on standardized tests fall into this category, so we spend most of our time talking about this type. Finally, we visit opinion questions (otherwise known as "On My Own").
USING THE TEXT
Once students have an understanding of how questions differ, you can begin practicing the QAR process with Miss Rumphius. I'd like to share this part of the set with you. I included two pages you can use for group discussion or partner work with Think, Pair, Share to help your kids analyze the questions. I advise you have your students debate a little on the analysis to get them really thinking about the questions and what's needed to answer them. To download, just click the image to the right.
Once your students have had practice, the last step is independent work. You can use the foldables shared to have students create questions by type for this book or a paired nonfiction book about LUPINES or other flowers. Did you catch that? LUPINES is my mystery word.
If you are interested in the full unit for Miss Rumphius, it is half price this week ($1.50) and includes before/during/after materials for the following skills:
Schema Builder on Making a Difference in the World
Vocabulary Words and Organizer
Story Elements Flapbook
Four Square Thinking Organizer
Making a Difference in the World Class Book
19 pages total
Mentor texts can be a huge help to students, but are much more than a read aloud of the past. We call them mentor texts because they are purposefully chosen to explain a skill. If you are interested in more information on using mentor text lessons, check out the other posts on my blog.
MENTOR TEXT LESSONS FROM THE READING CREW
The Reading Crew also have a wonderful Pinterest board filled with past blog posts we've shared. Be sure to follow it so that you can see when new pins are added, or return to it when you need it.