4th grade ELA : Unit #2 - Good Reader Tricks Revealed : Lesson #3

QAR Cheat Sheet: Building Comprehension Through Question Analysis (Left Side)

Objective: SWBAT name the two major categories of QAR and four types of specific QAR that fit in those categories.
Standards: RL.4.10 RI.4.10
Subject(s): English / Language Arts
60 minutes
1 QAR Strategy - 5 minutes

QAR is essentially a strategy that tells students that all questions are broken down into two main categories:  In the Book and In My Head.  And in each of those two categories are two more categories- Right There, Think and Search and Author and Me and On My Own.  This lesson helps students to understand the difference between all of them BEFORE we analyze questions.

Put up the Smartboard presentation.  Remind students that we are learning about tricks and tools to make us a better reader and ask a thumbs up/ thumbs down if anyone has ever heard of QAR or Question Answer Relationship.  If no one raises their hand, ask them how they get help when they answer a question.  This should start the conversation towards, "I use the book", or "I use my head, experience, background knowledge, etc.

Tell the students that you are going to give them the KEY to successfully answering any questions they ever come across and it's called QAR- Question Answer Relationship.

Diverse Entry Points

QAR is a strategy that I love and that works well especially with your lowest readers.  If they can identify the question stems, it makes test taking easier for them.  An important note here is to differentiate your QAR practice.  In other words, go ahead and give everyone a reading passage at their level along with questions instead of a one size fits all approach.  By differentiating, you are building students' comprehension skills AND their test taking skills.  By differentiating, your highest readers (the ones who HATE to look back in the text) will be forced to because their passage will be just beyond their comfort zone.  

Don't give up on QAR or your students' ability to use it effectively.  It takes much much practice but it is one of those strategies that once the teacher is comfortable with it, the students will be too.

2 Left Side Activity - 30 minutes

After the students have glued their graphics onto their left side page, you can begin the Smartboard lesson.  

It is helpful to use the shade feature on the lesson so that students can focus on copying down the information as well as participating in the discussion.

At this point in the lesson, be sure to differentiate between In the Book and In My Head.  Teach your students the signs to help them remember.  (see video)

As you are working through the graphic, be sure to give types of questions that could go with each QAR.  (See resource section for a helpful sheet)  It is helpful to use text that you are currently reading so the students can see how the questions go with the text.  

The whole idea behind QAR is "Do I have to use the text to answer this question?" and "If I have to use the text, how?" so you have to illustrate this point.  

3 Lesson Wrap Up - 5 minutes

For the lesson wrap up, use the cheat sheet and call out a question stem.  Have students hold up fingers (1 for Right There, 2 for Think and Search, 3 for Author and Me and 4 for On My Own). Use the finger activity as a formative assessment to judge understanding of QAR.  

It will become clearer as you teach it more.  This is a new way of thinking about comprehension for students who've never heard of QAR.  It takes A LOT of practice but pays off big time in the end!!