Half Asked QuestionsUsing Question- Answer Relationships (QAR) A Content Reading Strategy Ask, and you shall receive!
Why Use Half Asked Questions? Students: ?Answering questions is easy.... Asking questions is not. Teachers: Asking questions is easy....Teaching kids to answer questions is fairly easy... Getting kids to ASK questions is difﬁcult!
Half Asked Questions *Only half of the *Can be used for all*A comprehension and content areas. question is supplied.question asking strategy It is the students job that allows the student to ask the questions. to complete the *Easily adaptable to question. ﬁt a wide range of student needs. Teacher created question stem example: Where does the frog go when_________? Student completed example: Where does the frog go when it’s hungry, tired, frightened, there are people around, it’s cold, etc....?
Creating Questions #1 Give up control! Don’t focus on the end result of the question.The focus is on your students using their knowledge of the reading and their own natural curiosity to develop questions that are relevant to them. Don’t plan how you want students to answer the question. Just let it happen ! #2 Use QAR terminology Decide how you want your students to ﬁnd the answers. 1. A literal level, text based response: “In the book” or “Right There” Example: “Where do tree frogs....?” OR 2. A reader based, “In my head” question. No right or wrong answer. These can either be based on their own experiences or asks them to question the authors ideas. Example(s): What can we do to protect....? What would happen if the tree frog......? Learn more about the QAR strategy: Reading Rockets
Creating Questions cont... #3 The 5 W’s Always begin with: Who, What, When, Where, Why (and how :) Avoid question stems that can lead to “yes or no” answers. For situational questions and deeper thinking, begin by using “If” Example: If you were to have a tree frog as a pet, how would you...? #4 Variety for all learners Include questions that use “In your head” and “In the book” questions. Tailor your question stems to your students age level and ability or any other factors. Listing several questions stems provide opportunity for each student to create their own unique question.
Teaching... 1. Choose your text 2. Develop an appropriate amount of question stems. (ﬁrst grade, 3-4 questions) (High school, as many as 15 or more) 3. Present your question stems before reading. 4. Model how to complete question stems. (provide an example of answering an “In the book” and an “In your head” question.)4. Read ( you can either complete the question stems during reading OR do them all after the reading) Large group, small group, or individually. 5. Share possible questions. 6. Students answer their own questions.
Sample Red Eyed Tree Frogs From: National Geographic Text by Catherine D. Hughes Half Asked Being green helps the red-eyed tree frog blend in with tree leaves. This keeps it hidden from both the insects it eats and the predators that want to eat it. Red-eyed Question Stems tree frogs are nocturnal, or active at night. During the day they rest. When one of these tree frogs sits still on a green leaf, legs tucked in and eyes shut, it is practically 1. Why are red-eyed tree frogs....? invisible. 2. When are red eyed tree frogs....? A female red-eyed tree frog has laid a batch of eggs on a leaf. She chose the spot 3. How does the red eyed tree frog...? carefully—the leaf hangs over a pond. When the eggs are ready to hatch, which 4. Where does the frog....? happens at the same time in one batch of eggs, the tadpoles inside start swirling 5. Where could a red eyed tree frog go if....? around vigorously. The activity breaks each egg open, releasing the little tadpoles.6. Do you think the author knows if the red eyed tree All the tadpoles wash down the leaf in a little stream of moisture from the hatching frog.....? eggs, and—plop! plop! plop!—they land in the pond below. Feeding on tiny insects, 7. What are the red eyed tree frogs......? the tadpoles live in the water they fell into until they metamorphose, or develop, into 8. If the red eyed tree frog lived in Wisconsin how little brown froglets. At this point they leave the water and climb up nearby trees to would it....? live as tree frogs. By the time theyre adults, the frogs have turned a striking green, with blue-and- yellow striped sides, orange or red feet, a ﬂash of blue on their thighs, and big red See how many questions you eyes. So why do the frogs have brightly colored bodies and huge red eyes? can come up with? The bright colors are a defense mechanism. If the green camouﬂage fails and a predator spots a sleeping frog, it swoops in for what it thinks will be a tasty meal. But the awakened frogs eyes pop open, revealing their startling bright red color! Also, when the frog rushes to get away, it untucks its brightly colored legs. The predator is often so surprised by these sudden ﬂashes of color that it is momentarily confused and hesitates. And while it does, the frog has a split second to make its escape! Link to slide show and website: http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/ animals/creaturefeature/red-eyed-tree-frogs/
Consider ThisAs educators, we spend much time teaching our students how to answer questions correctly. Knowing how to answer questions is important, however,....I believe it is more important that our students know how to ask questions that are insightful and further their learning experience. Half Asked Questions require students to not only THINK about what they have read butquestion it and seek the answers through rereading and/or higher level thinking. Thereby, increasing overall comprehension. After all, isn’t asking questions just the beginning of educating oneself? “Who questions much, shall learn much, and retain much.” Francis Bacon (1561-1626) British statesman and philosopher
Research BasedQuestion-Answer Relationships (QAR) Dr. Taffy Raphael, teacher educator and leading researcher in literacy developmentat the University of Illinois-Chicago, created QAR as a tool for teaching students how toapproach a text in a manner that enables the student to consider the information in thetext and combine it with their background knowledge to create questions that furtherenhance their understanding.For more information on the QAR strategy:Click HereBillmeyer, Rachel. Strategies to Engage the Mind of the Learner. Vol. 2. Second Edition. Omaha, NE: Rachel & Associates, 2006.