QAR: Prove It!

Question-Answer Relationships

QAR: Prove It! Introduction


Reading strategies are vital for students to obtain and to remember in order to be successful in a variety of classroom situations. Students need to be able to look at a question, determine what it is asking, and find the best strategy for correctly answering that question.

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.

Big image


When reading with students, students always have the QAR: Prove It! checklist with them. Our district stresses the phrase "Prove It!" to teach students that responding to a question should never be entirely a guessing game and that it's often something you can prove by returning to the text.

When teaching the strategies in our school district, the teachers use this chart:

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.

Big image
Final Challenge

Using QAR in Other Subject Areas

Below are two links. The first link will take you to a graphic organizer that will show students how they can use QAR strategies when answering graphing, charting, and table questions in mathematics. The second link is simply a QAR map, but as you can see in the top right corner, the teacher intends to use it for Social Studies. These are simply examples of using QAR in other content areas.

More Resources

Find a lesson plan for teaching these strategies as well as posters to use in your classroom here:

Find more explanation, examples, and resources for using this in your classroom here:


Carla. (2011). Image: The QAR Question Strategy. Retrieved from

N.A. (n.d.). QAR: Question Answer Relationship, Teaching Children Where to Seek Answers to Questions. Retrieved from

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

Read.Write.Think. (2003). Self-Questioning Using Question-Answer Relationships. Retrieved from

Scholastic. (2011). Image: Question-Answer Relationships. Retrieved from

Virginia Department of Education. (2010). Question-Answer Relationships. Retrieved from