Question-Answer Relationship

Education Services / L’équipe des services d’éducation
3 February 2012

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What is Question-Answer Relationship (QAR)?

This is an individual strategy which combines reading/viewing comprehension skills with questioning skills. Students will create four types of questions about a text/video which will help them understand that different kinds of questions require different thought processes.

Why use it?

  • To consolidate learning after reading or viewing new material
  • To demystify the questioning process
  • To go beyond simple ‘right-there’ information in a text or video
  • To interact more deeply with a text or video by connecting it to personal knowledge and experiences

How do I use it?

Question-Answer Relationship
  • Have students view a chosen video or read a chosen article.
  • Provide each student with the Question-Answer Relationship template to use with the video or article. You may want to provide a starter question in each category in the template (see examples in the Ready-to-Use section below).
  • Discuss the four categories of questions and what the categories mean. As you do so, look at sample questions in each category as you discuss their characteristics; for example:
    • SEARCH questions are at the literal level; the words used to form and answer the question are typically in the same sentence. Question starters can include “What is…?,” “Name the…,” “List…,” etc.
    • EXPLAIN questions require students to think about information in the entire text or video. Question starters can include “Describe…,” “Compare…,” “Explain…,” “Summarize…,” etc.
    • CONNECT questions require students to connect their prior knowledge with information from the video. Question starters can include:
      • What evidence in the text supports what you think about…?
      • Based on the information, what do you think about…?
      • How does what you have viewed compare to other articles about …?
    • RELATE TO SELF questions are personal questions based on the video, but do not require specific information from the video. Question starters can include:
      • What have you experienced that was similar to this?
      • What can you do about …?
      • What are some …that you have seen yourself?
  • Once you are confident that the students understand the four types of questions, have them complete the Question-Answer Relationship BLM.
  • Students can exchange their completed questions with a partner , and the partner can answer the questions.

Tips for success

  • Students may need some support with understanding the four types of questions.


  • Students could develop the questions in pairs or in small groups rather than individually.


  • Some of the student-generated questions could be used for whole-class quizzes.


Barton, M. L., & Jordan, D. L. (2001). Teaching reading in science: A supplement to the Second Edition of Teaching Reading in the Content Areas Teacher's Manual. Aurora, CO: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.

Create-Your-Own  Question-Answer-Relationship

  • Question-Answer Relationship Template [.doc] [.pdf]

Starting Points Using Question-Answer Relationships

Ready-to-Use Question-Answer Relationships

  • Question-Answer Relationship: A Healthy Perspective on Organic Food [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Question-Answer Relationship: Bottling it Up! [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Question-Answer Relationship: Challenges of Getting to Mars: Curiosity’s Seven Minutes of Terror (video) [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Question-Answer Relationship: Heads up! [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Question-Answer Relationship: The Hubble Ultra Deep Field in 3D (video) [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Question-Answer Relationship: Ice, Ice Baby [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Question-Answer Relationship: Maximizing the Long Jump for Bryan Clay (video) [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Question-Answer Relationship: The Social Network Brain [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Question-Answer Relationship: Why worry about radon? [.doc] [.pdf]
  • Question-Answer Relationship: How Sugar Effects the Brain [.doc] [.pdf]

Education Services / L’équipe des services d’éducation

This content is provided through Let's Talk Science's Education Services team.

Ce contenu est fourni par l'équipe des services d'éducation de Parlons sciences.

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