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Reciprocal Questioning (ReQuest)

Middle elementary and above

Strategy Steps:

  1. The teacher and students read the first sentence silently.
  2. Teacher and students take turns asking questions about the sentence. The students ask questions first, and the teacher must answer with the book closed.
  3. The students close their books, and the teacher asks questions.
    • The students may not answer with "I don't know." They must at least try to answer or explain why they cannot answer.
    • If any question is not clear, then it must be rephrased or clarified.
    • The person who answers a question should be ready to justify the answer by referring to the book or explaining the background knowledge that was used.

Text passages may vary in length, depending on the students' abilities. The following steps are suggested for longer passages:

  1. Teacher and students silently read the same segment of text.
  2. The teacher closes the book, and is questioned about the passage by the students.
  3. Then the students close their books, and the teacher questions them about the material. The teacher should ask questions using all levels of QAR.
  4. Students and teacher read the next segment of text and repeat steps 2 and 3.
  5. When the students have processed enough information to make predictions about the remainder of the selection, the alternate questioning stops and the teacher begins to ask prediction questions such as, "What do you think the rest of the story/selection is about? Why do you think that?" Record responses on the board.
  6. The students read the rest of the text silently.
  7. Facilitate a follow-up discussion of the material, starting with a comparison of students' predictions about what was read. Students select from their predictions those that might also have been logical to complete the text. Avoid labeling predictions as "right" or "wrong" but rather encourage the students to see that the text could have had several possible endings. For an additional activity, the students could rewrite the text using their own predictions.