Question Types

qar

Another area that should be targeted for foundational work covered early in the school year is helping students understand the types of questions that are typically asked about what they read, and providing them with strategies for knowing how to answer these questions – where to look for the responses: in their book or in their head.

Raphael and Au’s (2006) Question-Answer Relationship (QAR) prompts work effectively with students with ASD because they provide a structure for understanding any question, as well as offer a strategy for how to answer the question. The strategy involves the I Do, We Do, You Do, scaffolded approach.

The teacher initially explains to students that there are four types of questions they will usually be asked what they are reading. Then, the teacher defines each type of question and gives an example. The first type of QAR involves “Right There Questions,” literal-level questions with answers that can be found directly in the text, often in one or two sentences on the same page. Usually, the words that are used in the question are the same words that are found in the passage. For instance, “When does this story take place?”

The second type includes “Think and Search Questions.” These answers require the student to gather evidence from several parts of the text to answer. For example, “What are the important ideas in this text?” Although the reader has to look through various portions of the text in order to pull together information (draw conclusions), the information is clearly stated (either directly or with synonyms) in the text.

The third type is “Author and Me Questions.” These questions are based on information given in the text. The student needs to relate the information to their own experience. Although the answers are not stated directly in the text, they are not all opinion either. The student must have read the text in order to make a connection with the information and answer the question. An “Author and Me” question could read, “What was the most surprising part of the book or article?”

The fourth type is “On My Own Questions.” These questions do not require the student to have read the text. Rather, they rely on the reader’s background knowledge to answer the question. An example would be, “What do you think it would be like to (find out you were a wizard, discover a secret about your family, lose your parents)?” Below is an example of a chart that can be used with students to help them remember the types of questions and, more importantly, how to respond when they are asked:

After explaining and defining the four types of question types, the teacher reads a short passage aloud to the students. The teacher should have prearranged questions to ask at the end of the reading.

After the reading, the teacher reads the questions aloud to students to model how to identify the type of question being asked. Then, the teacher models how to answer the questions, based on the type of question. Next, the teacher can provide students with their own practice passage, possibly in small groups. Repeat the process of having students read the text, read teacher-prepared questions about the text and define their type, then answer the questions based on their type. Finally, in pairs or individually, have students create their own questions for a text. Allow time to share why they believe the questions to be a certain type. Then give peers time to answer the questions, to see if they “got them right.” The following lists question stems that students can follow:

For “In the Book Questions,”

              Right There            Think & Search

 

What did….

Who did…

How many…

What was…

Who are….

When did…

What does…

What kind….

Who is…

What is…

Where is…

Name….

List….

 

On the “In My Head” side,

            Author & Me

Do you agree with….

Why did the main character…

What did they mean by…

How did she/he feel when…

Give the reasons why…

What do you think…

What if…

What do you think will happen…

What did the author mean by…

What did the character learn about…

How do you…

What happened to…

How long did…

What time did…

What happened before…

What happened after…

How would you describe…

What examples….

Where did…

How do you make…

Why does…

Explain…

Compare…

 

 

 

     

           On My Own

Have you ever…

What are the reasons that…

If you could…

If you were going to…

What are the pros & cons of…

Do you know anyone who…

How do you feel about…

What is your favorite…why…

What do you do when…

What can be exciting about…

What do you already know about….

What would you do if…

This type of support for knowing how to approach a question, and determining what type of thinking needs to occur before responding to the question, will create a strong foundation, especially as the student works to understand the expectations of thinking and answering inferencing questions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s