Question-Answer Relationship


UDL 3.3 UDL 6.3

Question-Answer Relationship (QAR) is a comprehension strategy that supports students in recognizing, answering, and developing four subcategories of questions (i.e., “Right There”, “Think & Search”, “Author & You”, “On Your Own”) in order to strengthen understanding. The teacher explains that students must first consider the type of questions they might encounter as readers before deciding how to answer them, and continues by introducing each QAR (e.g., “Right There” answers can be lifted directly from a text, whereas “Think & Search” answers will require you to look across paragraphs/pages. “Author & You” responses will require you to make inferences, while you will need to use your schema to answer “On Your Own” questions.”). After, a text is read aloud and predetermined questions are asked that represent each QAR type, allowing students to practice answering questions based on how they are identified.

Implementation Tips

Creating A Reference Chart
Create a [[ | chart or poster ]], similar to this sample, in order to clearly present the four Question-Answer Relationship (QAR) definitions. Use bold headings and colors so students can easily reference the different subcategories.
Prepare sample texts/passages that will be used when introducing the strategy, and for students to use independently in follow-up activities. Make sure that texts/passages are prepared with thoughtfully crafted samples that are reflective of each QAR type.

Sample Questions for a Text on Features of Living Things:
--”Right There”: “What is an organism?”
--”Think & Search”: “In what ways does an organism change as it grows?”
--”Author & Me”: “How can you tell a living thing from a nonliving thing?”
--”On My Own”: “What do you think a living thing would need to live?”
Introducing Question-Answer Relationship
Explain the four QAR subcategories using the previously created chart outlining each type. After, read a text (e.g., a picture book, article) and have students help decide and explain which type of questions are being asked (e.g., “This has to be a “Right There” question because I can underline the answer on Line 8.”).
Familiarizing Students with QAR
Distribute short passages with follow-up questions and have students practice in small groups or with a partner. Teach students to use codes to signify each QAR (e.g., jot “RT”, “S+F”, “A+M”, and “OMO” next to each question) or have students write, or cut and paste questions onto a [[ | graphic organizer ]].
Providing Accommodations
Provide students with personal reference tools, such as [[ | a list of sentence stems ]] to look out for when identifying a question type (e.g., “Do you agree with/Give reasons why...” typically reflect a question that is not directly found in a text) or [[ | bookmarks ]] with reminders about each Question-Answer Relationship.
Group Discussions
Conduct group discussions to debrief how students were able to decide what type of comprehension questions were asked after reading a passage and how students were able to answer them using their knowledge of QAR. Students are expected to listen to the insights of others during the discussion.
Building A Routine
Remind students to apply the QAR strategy frequently once it has been introduced to empower students to think deeply about texts they read. Expand thinking-skills by having students analyze a variety of texts (e.g., a book chapter/section, articles, advertisements, recipes).
Building Independence
Encourage students to generate their own new questions for each QAR after reading texts to engage higher-level critical thinking skills, and provide students with opportunities to share those questions with their peers.


Teacher-Led Whole Group Instruction
To strengthen reading comprehension skills, a teacher explains the Question-Answer Relationship strategy (e.g., “When we understand how questions are written, we are better prepared to answer questions about a text.”). Next, a large chart is presented outlining the four QAR subcategories (i.e., “Right There”, “Think & Search”, “Author & You”, “On Your Own”) and each QAR is explained by the teacher. Using a recent read aloud of [[ | The Story of Ruby Bridges ]] by Robert Coles and a [[ | QAR comprehension sheet ]], the teacher demonstrates how to determine a question type and the thought process that occurs based on how it’s identified to produce an answer. After, students join in to complete the activity. Before students practice with new texts, a teacher asks students to generate their own new QAR questions to monitor understanding.
QAR Differentiated Instruction (ELL, Varying Reading Skills, Younger Learners)
A teacher notices several students having difficulty responding to text comprehension questions (e.g., students not participating, questions answered incorrectly, questions left blank). To build student confidence and deepen comprehension skills, the teacher pairs students to work in partnerships while applying the QAR strategy. Partners make a plan for answering questions (e.g., “If it’s a “Right There” or Think & Search” question, let’s circle the information in the text.”). When answering “Author & Me” and “On Your Own” questions, partners discuss their thinking (e.g., “I think the author wrote this to teach kids about food.” / “Maybe it’s about making healthy choices.”). Partners bounce ideas off each other and combine thinking to create constructive responses.