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Lesson Plan

Applying Question-Answer Relationships to Pictures

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Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Two 30- to 45-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Leigh Hall

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Yongmei Li

Chapel Hill, North Carolina


International Literacy Association


Student Objectives

Session 1

Session 2


Student Assessment/Reflections



Students will

  • Categorize questions according to the four picture–question–answer relationships: Right There, Artist and You, On My Own, and Putting It Together

  • Answer basic and inferential comprehension questions using the pictures in a text

  • Explain their reasoning when answering comprehension questions

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Session 1

1. Have students sit on the floor or in such a way that they will all be able to see the pictures in the book you have selected for the lesson. In this example, Tuesday is used to model the strategy.

2. Begin by introducing students to the wordless picture book. Explain that you have chosen a book without words because you want them to think about how pictures can tell a story. Go on to explain that pictures can also help readers to better understand a story they are reading. The focus of this session will be to practice this type of thinking by looking only at the pictures in the story.

3. Explain that you will be asking students four different types of questions about the pictures in the book. They will be able to answer some of the questions by looking directly at the picture. Other questions will require them to make their best guess based on the other pictures they have seen or their own prior knowledge. If you wish, you may state the four question types now or wait to discuss each one as you progress through the story (see Purpose and Meaning of the P-QAR Types). Tell students that the purpose of these questions is to help them think about what is going on in the story and to make connections across the pictures.

4. Begin by showing students the cover of the book. Pose the question, "What time of day is it in this picture?" This would be an example of a Right There question. State some things that are right there in the picture. For example, you could say, "I can tell it is nighttime because the sky is dark. The clock also says it is 9:00."

5. Engage students in a brief discussion about how answering this type of question can help them as readers. In this case, you might say, "Knowing this information helps me to make predictions about the story. I think this book is going to be about something that happens at night. I'm also guessing the story will take place on a Tuesday since that's the name of the book."

6. Ask students to brainstorm and share some other examples of Right There questions based on the cover illustration. You may wish to list these questions on a sheet of chart paper for later reference. When finished, ask students what other predictions they can make about the book based on the picture on the cover and the questions they have developed.

7. Have students begin examining the pictures on each page of the book while you ask them questions. Move through the story page by page, making sure to ask one or more of the four question types for each set of pictures. Explain to students the definition and purpose of each question type as you introduce it (see Purpose and Meaning of the P-QAR Types). As you progress through the story, have students identify the type of question you are asking. Remember to allow time for students to also develop their own questions in addition to answering yours, and record their questions for each question type on chart paper as reference. Always ask students to explain how they arrived at their answers, as well as how each type of question can help them as readers.

A few examples of questions for this story are as follows:

Right There. Open to the first page of the book, and pose the following examples of Right There questions:
  • What is the setting for this page?

  • What time of day is it?
Artist and You. Turn to the next page and ask the following examples of Artist and You questions:
  • What do you think the frogs are doing?

  • How do you think the turtle feels?

  • What do the fish seem to be doing?
On the next page, you can ask a combination of Right There and Artist and You questions as follows:
  • What is the setting for this page?

  • What are the frogs doing?

  • How do the birds seem to feel about the frogs?
On My Own. Pictures later in the story lend themselves well to On My Own questions, such as:
  • In this picture, the frogs start to fall off their lily pads. Why do you think this happened? (pages 21-22)

  • Why do you think police officers were called? Why is the officer looking at a lily pad? (pages 25-26)
Putting It Together. To answer this type of question, students may need to review numerous pictures in the story. Have students look at the picture on the last page of the book.
  • What is going to happen next Tuesday at 7:58 p.m.?

  • What do you think will happen on the following Tuesday?
8. Remind students that good readers ask themselves questions as they read a story. Asking and answering questions about the pictures in a story can help them to better make predictions about the story and understand what is happening.

9. End the session by reviewing the four question types, and answering any questions students may have. In the next session, students will have an opportunity to apply the strategy in small groups or in pairs.

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Session 2

1. Review and discuss with students the activity from the previous session. Remind students how they used pictures to help answer questions about the story.

2. Distribute copies of Zoom and the P-QARs for Zoom. Have students read the book and complete the activity sheet in groups or in pairs.

3. Make sure that students understand how to complete the activity sheet. After reading each question, students will first need to determine the question type. Then, after examining the picture, they can record their answers to the question. In the third column, students will need to explain how they arrived at their answers. You might work through a few questions together as a class to make sure that students are comfortable with the directions.

4. Upon completion, gather students together to go over the activity sheet. Make sure students are actively involved in the discussion, particularly if they have disagreements about the categorization of or answers to certain questions. Encourage students to explain their rationales and work together to come to a consensus.

5. Ask students to reflect on the usefulness of this questioning strategy, and if they can see themselves using pictures more often to help them better understand a story and answer comprehension questions. You might have them complete a written journal reflection for assessment purposes.

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  • Have students use the Comic Creator to make wordless stories. When they are finished, have them question and answer each other in pairs about the stories they created. Make sure that they use the P-QAR question types.

  • Have students create and draw their own stories based on the concept in Zoom. Have them use the P-QAR strategy to ask each other questions about the story illustrations and then answer the questions.

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  • Note how successful students were at brainstorming and answering each of the four question types in Session 1. For example, some students may be comfortable with Right There questions, but may have difficulty with the other question types.

  • Ask students to write journal reflections explaining whether they find this strategy to be useful or not. Have students explain their rationales.

  • Use the completed P–QARs for Zoom activity sheets and the class discussion at the end of Session 2 to assess each student's ability to:

    a. Determine the type of question–answer relationship

    b. Answer questions by looking at pictures

    c. Explain how they arrived at the answers to questions

    You may want to review the question types that seem to give students the most difficulty.

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