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Reading Comprehension: Question-Text-Answer-Relationship (QTAR) Part 2

BY: Timothy G. Weih | Category: Education | Submitted: 2017-02-03 09:50:32
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Article Summary: "The QTAR Strategy makes the process of answering questions over reading material very clear and literal for students to understand, apply, and see the inherent relationships between the questions, the text, and the answers that students are to deduce..."


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Note: This is the second part of a two part article. See Part 1 for the beginning information.


Guided Practice. Teachers have students get into their preassigned teams. Pass out to each team the following set of directions or display them on the classroom screen for all to see, and a premade Question Chart showing the QTAR question types from Figures 1-4.


1. Write the ending questions on your paper
2. Under each question, write what type of QTAR it is and share your ideas with your teammates
3. Read the assignment together using Whisper Reading and Choral Reading together (teachers: see Oral Reading Fluency Instruction in the References)
4. Write the answers to the questions and share your ideas with your teammates
5. Look back in the reading assignment to check your answers and help each other in your teams


Next, Teachers inform the students that they are first going to practice applying the strategy to a story they are probably familiar with (method influenced by Allen, 1976): The Three Little Pigs (teachers: if some students are not familiar with this traditional tale, read a version aloud to them). Teachers tell students to follow the directions for doing QTAR with the questions from Figure 5.

Figure 5. The Three Little Pigs (questions)


1. What did the first little pig use for building his house?
QTAR: ________________
Answer: __________________________________________________________

2. List all the materials that the pigs used for building their houses.
QTAR: __________________
Answer: __________________________________________________________

3. Explain why the wolf wanted to blow the pigs' houses down.
QTAR: ___________________
Answer: ___________________________________________________________

4. What if the wolf failed to blow ANY of the pigs' houses down?
QTAR: ________________
Answer: _______________________________

Teachers give students feedback after they have worked through QTAR with The Three Little Pigs by showing them the answers in Figure 6.

Figure 6. The Three Little Pigs (answers)

1. What did the first little pig use for building his house?
QTAR: RIGHT THERE
Answer: STRAW

2. List all the materials that the pigs used for building their houses.
QTAR: THINK AND SEARCH
Answer: STRAW, STICKS, AND BRICKS

3. Explain why the wolf wanted to blow the pigs' houses down.
QTAR: AUTHOR AND YOU
Answer: EAT THEM

4. What if the wolf failed to blow ANY of the pigs' houses down?
QTAR: ON YOUR OWN
Answer: possible answers could be the following: HE WOULD STARVE, or LEAVE, or GET MADDER, or TRY HARDER, or TRY A DIFFERENT WAY


Next, teachers have students apply the QTAR Strategy to a text from one of their textbooks. The example in Figure 7 is an adaptation of an USA, fifth grade social studies textbook. Teachers tell students to follow the directions for doing QTAR with the questions from Figure 7 by first just showing them the questions, and after they have written their answers for the QTAR question types, show them the text to read in Figure 8.

Figure 7. The Loyalists and the Patriots (questions)

1. Who were the Tories?
QTAR: ________________
Answer: __________________________________________________________

2. Compare the Loyalists and the Patriots.
QTAR: __________________
Answer: __________________________________________________________

3. Explain why the Loyalists wrote pamphlets about their views.
QTAR: ___________________
Answer: ___________________________________________________________

4. What if the colonies had chosen to continue accepting the rule of Great Britain?
QTAR: ________________
Answer: _______________________________
Figure 8. The Loyalists and the Patriots (text)

Americans throughout the colonies faced a choice. Would they support the move toward independence or continue to be ruled by Great Britain?

The nation was divided. The Loyalists supported ties with Great Britain. On the other side were the Patriots, who favored separation from Great Britain. Both groups included dedicated men and women eager to support their positions and to change the minds of their opponents. The struggle between the Patriots and Loyalists grew as bitter as the struggle between the rebels and the British.

After seeing the success of the pamphlet Common Sense, some Loyalists wrote and distributed pamphlets of their own. Other Loyalists, called Tories, concentrated on preparing for the fight that was sure to come. Emotions ran high among the colonists on both sides. Yet, a large number of men and women took neither side, content to wait and see what would happen.



Teachers give students feedback after they have worked through QTAR with The Loyalists and the Patriots by showing them the answers in Figure 9.

Figure 9. The Loyalists and Patriots (Answers)

1. Who were the Tories?
QTAR: RIGHT THERE
Answer: LOYALISTS PREPARING TO FIGHT

2. Compare the Loyalists and the Patriots.
QTAR: THINK AND SEARCH
Answer: LOYALISTS SUPPORTED GB, PATRIOTS FAVORED SEPARATION

3. Explain why the Loyalists wrote pamphlets about their views.
QTAR: AUTHOR AND YOU
Answer: TO CONVINCE OTHERS OF THEIR VIEWS

4. What if the colonies had chosen to continue accepting the rule of Great Britain?
QTAR: ON YOUR OWN
Answer: possible answers could be the following: NO WAR, or RULED BY GB, or REMAIN LOYAL TO GB



Check for Understanding. Teachers walk around each team WHILE they are working. Observe students closely to make sure they are following the directions. Answer questions and give students guidance as needed. Stop their work if a lot of students are confused and reteach the problem areas.
Teachers spend a week teaching the QTAR Strategy keeping students working within mixed ability teams. Use multiple different types (genres) of text gleaned from multiple books used for teaching the subject areas. When students demonstrate understanding, then teachers can assign Independent Practice.

Independent Practice. Teachers separate students from their teams for alone time, independently working with the QTAR Strategy with new examples of text. When students have shown understanding with Independent Practice using samples of text taken from the classroom reading materials, then teachers can assign Authentic Practice.

Authentic Practice. First, teachers put students back into their teams and assign them QTAR reading assignments with questions within their classroom books (or websites).

Second, when students have demonstrated understanding with Authentic Practice within their teams, then teachers can move students away from their teams and assign QTAR reading assignments to work on alone.

Evaluate. Teachers walk around students while they are working: watching, listening, and observing them closely. Write anecdotal notes to yourself about what you are noticing to be used for future plans for teaching. Teachers collect students' work to examine specifically for areas of student need, strengths, and weaknesses. Reflect over what instruction students require for success with the QTAR Strategy, and then reteach the problem areas.

Assess. Teachers grade students' individual work only after they have demonstrated understanding and success with answering questions over reading assignments using the QTAR Strategy.

Extend. Teachers can extend the QTAR Strategy by assigning each team of students a different chapter of the reading assignment and having the students develop the questions themselves using the QTAR Strategy, answering their own questions, and then making a quiz of their questions to give to the other teams. This way a teacher can cover several chapters in a textbook or other book in a brief amount of time, and the students become engaged in more critical and analytical modes of examining texts.

Students with Special Needs: Modifications, Adaptations, or Differentiation

Teachers, through evaluations of students' work, can determine those students who need more intensified instruction fashioned to fit their individual or collective needs. Some ideas for helping students with special needs are included as follows:

1. Use below current grade level text
2. Use short passages of text
3. The teacher reads aloud the text chorally with students more than once
4. The teacher creates QTAR Strategy worksheets
5. The teacher, in addition to on-screen directions and examples, gives students print-outs

Closing Comments


Many times teachers at all levels of education ranging from K-12, struggle with HOW to actually teach students how to answer questions over reading assignments given in various texts and for varying purposes. The QTAR Strategy makes this process very clear and literal for students to understand, apply, and see the inherent relationships between the questions, the text, and the answers that students are to deduce.

Note: This is the second part of a two part article. See the Part 1 for the beginning information.


References

Allen, R. V. (1976). Language experiences in communication. Boston, MA: Houghton-Mifflin.

Raphael, T. (1982). Question-answering strategies for children. The Reading Teacher, 36(2), 186-191.


Copyright © 2017 Timothy G. Weih, Ph.D.
University of Northern Iowa, USA

About Author / Additional Info:
Timothy G. Weih is an associate professor of education at the University of Northern Iowa, USA, and teaches elementary teaching methods courses.

Email
timothy.weih@uni.edu

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Timothy-G-Weih-PhD-476281669200243/


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