QAR: Prove It!
This strategy that I would like to share was not created, to any extent, by myself or by my school district. QAR is something that has been researched by T.E. Raphael in the book, "QAR: Enhancing comprehension and test taking across grades and content areas". My district has adopted and adapted it to meet our needs as we teach our students how to understand and respond to questions.
With that said, QAR is a strategy that stands for "Question-Answer Relationship". In this strategy, students learn how to look at a question, identify the key phrase, and determine if they need to return to the text, look at a title, photo, or caption, or make a connection.
There are four different types of questions that QAR examines and teaches students how to respond to. They are:
- Right There Questions: These types of questions are ones that are very literal and that can be found directly in the text. The wording of the question is often the same or similar to the wording used in the text. (Example: Where did Tommy get his new baseball glove from? In the text: "Tommy had gotten a new baseball glove from his grandfather on his birthday.")
- Think and Search Questions: In this type of question, students have to put together answers that they have located and gathered from different parts of the text. (Example: Sequencing events, locating multiple steps in a process)
- Author and You: These questions are based on information provided in the text. The student is then asked to relate this event or information to their own experiences. Though this answer doesn't come straight from the text, the student still has to be familiar with the story and has to read the story in order to answer this type of question. (Example: When have you had a similar experience with friends? Compare and contrast your experience with Tommy's".)
- On My Own: These questions do not require the student to have read the passage. The student must use their background or prior knowledge to answer the question.
The hardest part of QAR is helping the students to determine what type of question is being asked.
When teaching the strategies in our school district, the teachers use this chart: http://www.ldsd.org/cms/lib/PA09000083/Centricity/Domain/18/QARIntheBookInMyHeadposter.pdf
Our school district uses Study Island as a supplemental resource to our curriculum. I often print 3-5 question quizzes from the Study Island: Language Arts Curriculum in order to practice these skills with my students. The passages are the perfect length and the questions vary greatly. It is very important to model this strategy with the students. In early grades, you may have to do think-alouds to determine if a question is an "In My Head" question or an "In the Book" question.
Once students have made this determination, if they have found that it is an "In the Book" question, have them determine if it is a "right there" answer or if it is a "Think and Search" answer. Have highlighters readily available for them to return to the text and for them to practice highlighting the key information with. When you find a question that has a "right there" answer, have students compare the phrasing to see that some answers are worded very similarly to the question. These types of questions should never be missed on a test. For "think and search" questions, show students how to find the key pieces of information and then how to piece them all together to form one final answer.
QAR becomes a very easy strategy to use once students are familiar with the terminology and once they are accustomed to going back to the text and taking the time to think about the relationship between the question and answer.
Below is a link to a video that will show these strategies in action in an elementary reading classroom.
Using QAR in Other Subject Areas
Find more explanation, examples, and resources for using this in your classroom here:
Carla. (2011). Image: The QAR Question Strategy. Retrieved from http://www.comprehensionconnection.net/2014/02/poetry-writing-with-six-traits-twist.html?showComment=1391734103456#c2776035158031415118.
N.A. (n.d.). QAR: Question Answer Relationship, Teaching Children Where to Seek Answers to Questions. Retrieved from http://www.readinglady.com/mosaic/tools/QARQuestionAnswerRelationshipTeachingChildrenWheretoSeekAnswerstoQuestions.pdf.
Raphael, T.E., & Au, K.H. (2005). QAR: Enhancing comprehension and test taking across grades and content areas. The Reading Teacher, 59, 206-221.
Read.Write.Think. (2003). Using QARs with Graphics. Retrieved from http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/lesson_images/lesson151/guide.pdf.
Read.Write.Think. (2003). Self-Questioning Using Question-Answer Relationships. Retrieved from http://www.readwritethink.org/resources/resource-print.html?id=227.
Scholastic. (2011). Image: Question-Answer Relationships. Retrieved from http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/classroom_solutions/2011/04/state-assessments-test-taking-skills-and-review-strategies.
Virginia Department of Education. (2010). Question-Answer Relationships. Retrieved from http://www.vdoe.whro.org/elementary_reading/QAR1-25-2010_F8_FastStart_512k.swf.