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Lesson Plan

No Teachers Allowed: Student-Led Book Clubs Using QAR

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No Teachers Allowed: Student-Led Book Clubs Using QAR

Grades 3 – 6
Lesson Plan Type Recurring Lesson
Estimated Time Eight to ten 30- to 40-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Emily Manning

Emily Manning

Denton, Texas


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Have you ever wondered how to get students talking meaningfully about books? The Question-Answer Relationship (QAR) strategy helps students identify questions as "in the book" or "in my head" so that they know whether to draw on their own impressions or the book for answers. In this lesson, which can also be used in the sixth-grade classroom, introduce QAR through a read-aloud, sorting questions as they are answered and working with students as they learn how to sort questions themselves. Students then use the strategy to develop questions for a peer-led book discussion.

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Literature Circles Resource Center-Teaching Students How to Discuss: This is a helpful resource for generating discussion and organizing literature circles in your classroom.

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Raphael, T.E., & Au, K.H. (2005). QAR: Enhancing comprehension and test taking across grades and content areas. The Reading Teacher, 59(3), 206–221.

  • Current trends in education demand that students develop and perform at "high levels of literacy." To meet this challenge, the authors suggest using Question–Answer Relationship (QAR) as a basis for school-wide comprehension instruction.

  • QAR is an explicit and straightforward strategy that helps students identify questions as "in the book" or "in my head." It also provides a common language for teachers and students to discuss texts.

  • Each category of questions has two subdivisions as follows:
  • "In the Book" questions

    1. Right There – These answers can be found in the text and usually involve scanning or rereading.

    2. Think and Search – These answers can be found in the text, but involve higher level thinking like comparing/contrasting; drawing inferences; or describing the mood, setting, or symbolism.

  • "In My Head" questions

    1. Author and Me – The answer is not in the text. Students must think about what they learned from the text and what they know to generate an answer. This kind of questioning might require student to make text-to-text connections or predictions.

    2. On My Own – The answer is not in the text. Students must rely solely on their own interpretation or experience to answer the question.

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