ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, videos, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.
Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.
Teacher Resources by Grade
|1st - 2nd||3rd - 4th|
|5th - 6th||7th - 8th|
|9th - 10th||11th - 12th|
Guided Comprehension: Self-Questioning Using Question-Answer Relationships
|Grades||3 – 6|
|Lesson Plan Type||Standard Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Three 60-minute sessions on consecutive days|
- Define and understand the types of QARs
- Answer literal and inferential questions and identify how and where the answers were found
- Work in pairs and small groups using a text and the self-questioning strategy to identify types of questions and find answers
- Generate questions that demonstrate an understanding of each QAR
|1.||Explain the strategy. Explain to students that there are essentially two kinds of information:
(1) Right There: the answer is clearly stated in the text
(1) On My Own: the answer can be found by synthesizing information that the reader already possesses
|2.||Demonstrate the strategy. Distribute the Comprehension Sheet: The Story of Ruby Bridges and read the book aloud to students. Beginning with the first question, which is an example of In the book--Right There, demonstrate how you determine the question type. Then show students how you find the answer to the question in the text and fill in the answer on the comprehension sheet. Do the same with the second question, which is an example of In my head—Author and Me, and demonstrate your thought process. Fill in the answer to the second question on the comprehension sheet.
While demonstrating the strategy, show students how to generate new questions for each QAR. For example, generate a new question for In my head—On My Own and add it to the back of the comprehension sheet.
|3.||Guide students to apply the strategy. As a class, complete questions three and four on the comprehension sheet. Have students decide the QAR for each question and explain their reasoning. Generate several new questions as a class that reflect the different types of QARs and add them to the back of the comprehension sheet.
|4.||Practice individually or in small groups. Divide students into groups of three and have them complete the rest of the comprehension sheet together. Students should identify the QAR for each question and then fill in the answer. Ask students to also generate two new questions and identify the QAR.
|5.||Reflect. Gather students as a whole class and discuss how the QAR technique helped them to better understand the text. Talk about which types of questions required the most thought and how they identified the QAR. How does understanding the QAR strategy help students comprehend information? How can they apply this strategy on their own?
Day 1, Stage 2: Teacher-guided small groups and student-facilitated independent practice (40 minutes)
Before beginning Stage 2, students must be divided into three instructional-level groups. Students with similar instructional needs should be grouped together. This does not necessarily mean that students in each group are on the same reading level. Instead, they may have similar needs for comprehension instruction (e.g., students who have trouble making inferences or students who need extra practice making connections between texts).
Students are working in three different areas during this stage:
- Teacher-guided small-group instruction
- Student-facilitated comprehension centers
- Student-facilitated comprehension routines
Classroom management is at the discretion of each individual teacher. You may want to assign students to small groups and set up a rotation schedule, or you may want to allow groups of students to choose their own activities. Regardless, each group of students needs to visit the three areas at least once in the three-day period.
|1.||Teacher-guided small-group instruction. Choose one group to begin with you as follows:
|2.||Student-facilitated comprehension centers. Students may be assigned to centers or choose activities on their own.
|3.||Student-facilitated comprehension routines. Working in small groups, students engage in three different literacy strategies. Students should already be familiar with each of the strategies and have practiced them over time. For more information, review the Summary Sheet or refer to the text Guided Comprehension: A Teaching Model for Grades 3–8 by Maureen McLaughlin and Mary Beth Allen.
For Days 2 and 3, pick up where you left off the previous day. The suggested time for each session is 60 minutes, however, since the group on the first day only had 20 minutes in small groups, you may want to meet with them for another 20 minutes and then switch groups for the last 40 minutes. The rotation should continue until all three groups have visited all three areas. On Day 3, students will spend 40 minutes in small groups, leaving 20 minutes for whole-group reflection and discussion (see Stage 3).
|1.||Talk to students about the self-questioning comprehension strategy that they have been learning. Ask them to tell why and how the QAR strategy helps them better understand texts.
|2.||Give students time to share the activities they completed in the student-facilitated comprehension centers.
- Adapt this lesson and have students practice the QAR strategy with other texts. With continued practice, students should be able to apply the self-questioning strategy independently.
- Access and use other lessons based on the Guided Comprehension Model to teach additional comprehension strategies:
- Guided Comprehension: Evaluating Using the Meeting of the Minds Technique
- Guided Comprehension: Knowing How Words Work Using Semantic Feature Analysis
- Guided Comprehension: Previewing Using an Anticipation Guide
- Guided Comprehension: Making Connections Using a Double-Entry Journal
- Guided Comprehension: Monitoring Using the INSERT Technique
- Guided Comprehension: Summarizing Using the QuIP Strategy
- Guided Comprehension: Visualizing Using the Sketch-to-Stretch Strategy
- To extend the activities in this lesson, students may want to do further research on the life of Ruby Bridges by visiting The Ruby Bridges Foundation website.
- Lessons and reproducible handouts for this story are available as part of the Lessons in Courage, developed by the Denver Public Schools.
- The assessment for this lesson can be done informally through anecdotal notes and observations.
- You can also assess students' understanding of the QAR strategy using the comprehension sheets that they completed during the lesson and the activities that they worked on during the student-facilitated comprehension centers.
- Have students write a journal entry or a short letter explaining the QAR strategy and why it is helpful for comprehending what they read.