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Question-Answer Relationship
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Upper elementary and above

  • Comprehension

  • Set purpose for reading

  • Questioning

  • Make inferences

  • Focus on comprehension

  • Read critically

  • Draw conclusions

  • Encourage different levels of thinking


This strategy focuses on four levels of questioning:

  1. Right there-The response to this level of questioning requires information that is directly stated in the text.

  2. Think and search-The response to this kind of question requires students to read carefully and search different parts of the text to find information that fits together to answer the question.

  3. On my own-This response requires the student to activate and apply appropriate prior knowledge as it relates to the text.

  4. The author and me-This response requires students to think about what they know, what they have learned from the author, and how these pieces of information fit together.


The following paragraph provides examples of the four levels of questioning:

  • Roberto was going to the store. He was thinking, "Bread, milk, and salsa." He put his hands in his pockets. "Oh, oh," he said. "I have to go back home."
    Right there: Where was Roberto going?
    Think and search: What kind of store was Roberto going to?
    On my own: How did Roberto feel?
    Author and me: Why did Roberto have to go back home?


Explain to the students that they will be learning how to find answers to questions and that this is important because answers come from different places. When they are having difficulty answering questions, they should use the QAR categories to help them find the information.

  • Find or prepare several brief passages and one question from each of the QAR categories for each passage... similar to the example.

  • Using the first passage,

    • Explain each question and its category and

    • How to use the text and/or prior knowledge to find the answer.

  • Give students the second passage with the questions, answers, and QAR labels.

    • Ask students to explain the QAR labels for the questions and answers related to the passage.

  • Give the students a passage with the questions and answers. Students provide the QAR labels and explain them.

  • Give students a passage and questions.

  • Ask them to answer the question and provide QAR labels and justifications.


Each step may have to be repeated several times before students are ready to move to the next step.

An alternate way to present this strategy:

Work on only the Right There questions category first. When the students understand and can answer Right There questions successfully, work on the second category, Think and Search. When students are successful with the Think and Search category, work on category 3 and then category 4 in the same manner.

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