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Question-Answer Relationships (QAR)

Upper elementary and above

This strategy focuses on four levels of questioning:

  1. Right there-The response to this level of questioning requires information that is directly stated in the text.
  2. Think and search-The response to this kind of question requires students to read carefully and search different parts of the text to find information that fits together to answer the question.
  3. On my own-This response requires the student to activate and apply appropriate prior knowledge as it relates to the text.
  4. The author and me-This response requires students to think about what they know, what they have learned from the author, and how these pieces of information fit together.

The following paragraph provides examples of the four levels of questioning:

Explain to the students that they will be learning how to find answers to questions and that this is important because answers come from different places. When they are having difficulty answering questions, they should use the QAR categories to help them find the information.

Strategy Steps:

  1. Find or prepare several brief passages and one question from each of the QAR categories for each passage (similar to the example above).
  2. Using the first passage, explain each question and its category and how to use the text and/or prior knowledge to find the answer.
  3. Give students the second passage with the questions, answers, and QAR labels. Ask them to explain the QAR labels for the questions and answers related to the passage.
  4. Give the students a passage with the questions and answers. Students provide the QAR labels and explain them.
  5. Give students a passage and questions. Ask them to answer the question and provide QAR labels and justifications.

Each step may have to be repeated several times before students are ready to move to the next step.

An alternate way to present this strategy:

Work on only the Right There question category first. When the students understand and can answer Right There questions successfully, work on the second category, Think and Search. When students are successful with the Think and Search category, work on category 3 and then category 4 in the same manner.