Assignments and Activities

QAR Reading Strategy

Decorative: QAR, "Question Answer Relationships"


A. "Question-Answer Relationship (QAR)" (post) "strategy helps students understand the different types of questions" and guides them into deeper engagement with texts.

  • "By learning that the answers to some questions are 'Right There' in the text, that some answers require a reader to 'Think and Search,' and that some answers can only be answered 'On My Own,' students recognize that they must first consider the question before developing an answer."

B. How to Use the Question-Answer Relationship Reading Strategy

1. "Explain to students that there are four types of questions they will encounter."

Close Reading: Helping Students Read Complex Texts

Decorative: Teaching with Complex Text


"A Close Look at Close Reading: Scaffolding Students with Complex Texts" (pdf) provides a context for selecting appropriate, complex texts as well steps and strategies to help students learn to do close reading -- "thoughtful, critical analysis of a text that focuses on significant details or patterns in order to develop a deep, precise understanding of the text’s form, craft, meanings, etc."

A. What Activities Does Close Reading Include?

Post-Its for Participation in Discussions

Decorative: 9 post-Its in different colours, 3 rows of 3


"Silence and Structure in the Classroom: From Seminar to Town Meeting via Post-Its" (post) outlines a simple strategy for in-class discussions that addresses the students' often "lack of inherent motivation" and "ensure[s] everyone's participation."

A. The only prop needed is a pack of Post-Its.

Post-Its are used to ...

  • Signal student participation (and allow simple awarding of participation marks).
  • "[P]ovide a structure that is subtle enough to allow the freedom necessary for students to determine the nature of their own contribution to class."

Critical Thinking: The Believing & Doubting Game

Decorative: "Belief" and "Doubt" written on two street signs as at a corner


A. "Build Critical Thinking Skills with Believing and Doubting Games" (post) outlines "[o]ne excellent way to help students stretch their critical thinking muscles – regarding specific texts or general topics ... the believing game and the doubting game."

  • "[B]y using methodological doubt and methodological belief, students are encouraged to either believe or doubt an idea or text systematically, with discipline and conscious effort."

1. How the Believing and Doubting Games Work

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