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QAR for Building Background for Teaching Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

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Building Background for Teaching the Novel Chains

As promised, this is another post for teaching the novel Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson. You can get the freebie for using this novel to practice visualizing by signing up for the Freebie Library.

I’m going to share a great lesson for building background for teaching the novel Chains.

QAR- Question-Answer Relationship

Here, I’m sharing a lesson plan I developed while getting my masters in reading and language. This lesson plan uses the QAR strategy and is specifically for building background when you are first starting to teach the novel. If you are not familiar with QAR it stands for Question-Answer Relationship. This strategy asks students to both answer questions and then also think about how they arrived at the answer. There are three different ways they could get the answer, “right there” meaning they found the answer in the test, “in my head” meaning they had to think and make a connection to get the answer and “think and search” meaning they needed both the text information and information they had to figure out the answer. QAR is a good strategy for building background before reading a novel like Chains that is highly dependent on students understanding the context of the American Revolution and slavery in America because it forces them to examine what they do and do not know about this time period before reading.

Freebies below!

If you subscribe to the Freebie Library you can download the lesson plan and the accompanying materials. I used two different resources for this lesson. The first is the poem “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and the second is an article published in Scholastic Kids called “An Incomplete Revolution” which deals directly with the experience of African Americans during the Revolutionary War.

Happy teaching,


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