Intro to QAR

I love using QAR with my classes, but it’s always difficult to train students how to (1) write questions themselves and (2) write questions that fit into a specific QAR category. This year, I am trying to ease my students into question writing gently before we learn actually tackle QAR.

First, I gave my students a typed version of a story that we asked in class yesterday with narrative details added (La mamá vigilante). Students had a few activities to do in order to interact with the text as they read it several times, and then I asked them to write ten questions (yes, ten!) about the story. Each question had to begin with a certain prompt:

  1. Who…? (Quién)
  2. What…? (Qué)
  3. To where…? (A dónde)
  4. In where…? (En dónde)
  5. How…? (Cómo)
  6. Why….? (Por qué)
  7. How many….? (Cuántas–notice that a feminine noun is required!)
  8. What does __ do…? (Qué hace)
  9. What does __ say…? (Qué dice)
  10. Do you think that…? (Piensas que)

Tomorrow, I will introduce my students to QAR. Then, I’ll give them some of the questions that they wrote today, and we will classify them into the correct QAR category and respond to them, giving us additional reps with the structures.

This is a great activity to use as a sub plan, as well, because it takes the students quite awhile to develop good questions (I wouldn’t usually assign so many, but I want to have lots to choose from when start QAR tomorrow). Just type out a reading, have the students highlight or translate certain structures from it, and then develop their own questions to match the prompts you give and provide answers for the questions.

One of my classes didn’t quite finish storyasking yesterday, so I added an additional step by providing several possible endings, then asking students to circle the one that they prefer and writing a concluding sentence.


  1. […] Types 3 and 4 are the kinds of questions that work best for PQA–you are taking the text or the themes from the text and helping students connect it to their own lives. Typically, I use this strategy as an activity to accompany a reading. Students read a story individually or in pairs and then write several questions about the text. Depending on the length of the reading, I might have them write 3 “Right There” questions, 2 “Think and Search” questions, 1 “Author and You” question, and 2 or 3 “On my own” questions. (I like to have lots of “On my own” questions to choose from so that we can get a great discussion going!) Students should provide answers for “Right There” and “Think and Search” questions, but answers will vary for the other two types, so they can provide their OWN answers, but they can’t make a key. After you’ve collected the questions from all of the students or pairs, you can either have them trade questions with another person or pair and respond to the questions they’ve received, or you can mix and match them to make an assessment. You could also have students write questions about stories that you’ve told in class; it doesn’t have to be about a reading! I created a Keynote presentation to introduce QAR to my students that includes examples and an opportunity for them to practice; I’ve uploaded a PDF of the Keynote here: QAR Read more about how I introduce QAR to students here. […]


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