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Lesson Plan

QARs + Tables = Successful Comprehension of Math Word Problems

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Two 40-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Janet Beyersdorfer

Arlington Heights, Illinois


International Literacy Association








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1. Familiarize yourself with the QAR strategy by consulting the article "Using QARs With Charts and Graphs," which appeared in The Reading Teacher.

2. The lesson will progress more smoothly if students are familiar with applying the QAR strategy to texts with a paragraph structure before using the strategy with tables. To assure student familiarity with the QAR strategy, reteach or review it using a short story or newspaper article. Select a text that lends itself to exploring examples of each of the four question types.

3. Duplicate the Guide Sheet: Using QARs With Graphics and the A Century of Change Worksheet for each student. Although a poster or transparency of the Guide Sheet may prove useful for class discussions, it is not essential.

4. Determine students' accessibility to computers with Internet access or arrange for the use of a computer presentation system that is connected to the Internet.

5. Bookmark or provide a live link to the U.S Census Bureau: A Century of Change and the U.S. Census Bureau: Factfinder Kids' Corner. Preview these webpages, along with the related student handouts.

6. Establish collaborative groups of three students and designate the following roles:

  • Recorder–writes down the word problems created by the group

  • QAR Checker–verifies that the group is following directions regarding the identification and construction of the word problems

  • Timekeeper–monitors the group's progress for task completion within the time allocated

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