SOS: QAR (Question-Answer Relationship)

Creative, research-based instructional strategies – presented by teachers, for teachers.

The Spotlight on Strategies series provides help, tips, and tricks for integrating Discovery Education digital media into your curriculum in meaningful, effective, and practical ways. The SOS series includes more than 150 different strategies you can use to engage students in active learning with digital media. Leave a comment and let us know how you’ll use this strategy in your class.

QAR (Question-Answer Relationship)

PDF  and Video Versions

The Question-Answer Relationship (QAR) strategy can be used to present a three-way relationship between questions, text content, and reader knowledge. QAR activities encourage students to investigate text multiple times, in multiple ways. The value of QAR is not in actually answering the question or even how the question is categorized. It is the dynamic student discussion, rereading, and negotiation required to categorize the question with their peers, which results in deeper comprehension and awareness of text.

Materials: Discovery Education media resource, like a video or image

1. Teach students about the different types of questions and how the QAR framework organizes them:

In The Text are explicit questions

Right There

Think and Search

In My Head are implicit questions

Author and Me

On My Own

2. Model how to place questions within the QAR framework, using evidence from the text to support the placement. Refer to the icons to help students understand what they’ll need to do to answer that type of question. For example:

3. Provide a piece of multi-modal text for students to read or view.

4. After reading the text, provide a set of questions for students to individually place in the QAR framework. (A reproducible copy of the framework can be found on page 3 of the PDF version.)

5. Divide the class into small groups and have students share how they placed the questions, providing evidence from the text to justify how they have categorized the questions and debating with one another in order to reach consensus.

This strategy helps students build confidence when asking questions of a text and provides an explicit strategy that helps them navigate a text in order to find answers to their questions. Students must be detectives, actively rereading and identifying evidence to support the categorization of the question. Keep in mind the discussion students have and the evidence they cite that is more important than where a question is put within the QAR framework.

After reading or viewing a text, have students develop their own questions about the content from each of the four question categories. Ask them to then share their questions, the category, and their reasoning with a small group. Have the group discuss and negotiate, rereading the text to justify their positions and finally coming to consensus.


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