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.
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