Lesson: Intro to Question-Answer Relationships

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Lesson Objective

Students understand the purpose of the QAR categories as they will be used in this course. (I have modified them for user-friendliness.) Students recognize appropriate questions and answers for each category.

Lesson Plan

Lesson Name: Introduction to  Question-Answer RelationshipsCourse: High School Language Arts by Anke al-Bataineh

Objective:   Students understand the purpose of the QAR categories as they will be used in this course. Students recognize appropriate questions and answers for each category.

Essential Questions:(write on board)
Should all questions be answered in the same way?
How can we know what kind of answer a teacher or a test grader is expecting?

QAR Framework (modified)
QAR worksheet
Extremely short stories (mostly 6 words)
Scattered Categories Activity

Anticipatory Set:(5 min)
Tell students that in this class they will read many stories and articles and they will have to answer many questions about what they read. This will also happen on standardized tests. Ask students what tips they know for writing good answers to questions. They may suggest, for example, writing in complete sentences. Agree with those that you will be expecting in your class and write them on the board where they can be preserved for later and made into visual aides. Ask students if all questions require the same style of answer. Is there such a thing as too short an answer? Is there such a thing as too much information, even when it’s correct?

Input:(5 min)
Tell students that you want them to learn how to give appropriate answers this year to get better grades and test scores. To help them with this, you will be teaching them how to tell different kinds of questions apart. Once they learn to recognize the different types of questions that teachers and tests ask, they will be able to write appropriate answers. In the beginning of my class, the category will be provided on question sheets and tests. Later, they will generate their own questions. Later, they will identify the different categories by themselves. Today we are going to practice all these things in an easy way.

Guided Practice:(25 min)
Project or distribute the first page of the QAR framework and call on readers for each small segment. Provide lots of pauses for students to take in the step-by-step introduction of the concept.
The extremely short story may startle or confuse students, so provide an opportunity for strong students to explain what the story is trying to say before moving on to the questions.

After each ‘bad example,’ use random calling to ask why this answer is inappropriate for the question asked. Call on hands for a more appropriate example. Students may want to take notes (modeled by you) of why the answer is inappropriate.

Call on readers for each element of the model story, model questions and model answers, providing pauses for processing. For higher-functioning classes, you may choose to explain the accompanying clip art.

With the framework visible, call on hands to generate each category of question for each of the following extremely short stories. If students are fairly successful, you may solicit appropriate answers. If they are confused, however, conserve verbiage!

Automobile warranty expires. So does engine.
- Stan Lee

Computer, did we bring batteries? Computer?
- Eileen Gunn

Divide students into pairs. Distribute to each pair a QAR worksheet and an extremely short story from the compilation. Allow 3-7 minutes for them to read the story and generate a question for each category. Circulate and check or ask them to present aloud in order to verify that they have understood the parameters of each category.

Independent Work:(30 min)
Once most groups understand most categories, ask them to take out notebook paper. Distribute to each group an extremely short story. This will be a whole-class exercise that will work as follows:
1. Group A, who currently has the story, will write at least 4 questions about the story on the notebook paper but will NOT label or seperate them by category. After 5 minutes, all notebook papers will be passed to the left, to Group B.
2. Group B will read the story and the questions on the paper. They will attempt to label the category that matches each question by writing “Right There,” etc. After 5 minutes, all papers are passed to the left, to Group C.
3. Group C will read the story and will agree or disagree with the categories written by Group B. They may change the labels if they disagree. They will then attempt to write appropriate answers for each question. After 8 minutes, the notebook papers are returned to the original Group A.

Provide 3-4 minutes for Group A to evaluate the labels and answers of the other groups. Ask groups to share aloud whether there was accuracy and clarity with their questions and, if not, why not.

After sufficient sharing, shuffle the pairs. Distribute cut up QAR Strips sheets to each new pair. They should take each question and place it in the appropriate category on the QAR worksheet.

After 5-10 minutes, ask groups randomly to share where they put each question and why. You may choose to poll the class informally for agreement.

Conclusion/Assessment:(5 minutes)
Students write in their Language Arts notebook why this class will use different categories of questions. They will write instructions to themselves for how to answer each question.

If time, you may challenge students to write their own 6 word story or memoir. It’s harder than it seems!



Other sources for stories:




Vocab to Watch Out For:




Underlined phrases are suggestions for strategic behavior management techniques.

Lesson Reflection:
What went well? What would you change? What needs explanation?
Students were entranced by some of the short stories and recognized their complexity, so that made it fun. Students were easily able to differentiate “in-the-book” from “in-my-head” questions, but had less clarity within those categories. This is already a helpful distinction, however. The extremely short story requires the advanced comprehension skills of visualization and inference. With so many low readers, it would be easier to give some of them slightly longer stories so I wouldn’t have to explain the inferences to them as much. This is a very boy-oriented lesson! I This made the sci-fi oriented stories more accessible than they might be to a mixed group and the stranger stories more interesting to the group. I think that for a group with more girls, I would use more of the 6-word memoirs, which are more reflective, and may be more interesting for them.


Lesson Resources

QARworksheet   Classwork
QAR   Exemplar
ScatteredQARactivity   Activity
IntrotoQuestion AnswerRelationships  


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