Grade 4: Applying Question-Answer Relationships to Pictures


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Reading Literature

RL.4.1 Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

Reading Informational Text

RI.4.7 Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.


W.4.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

W.4.1(b) Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.

W.4.1(d) Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.

W4.2(b) Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.

Speaking & Listening

SL.4.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

SL.4.1(a) Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.

SL.4.1(b) Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.

SL.4.1(c) Pose and respond to specific questions to clarify or follow up on information, and make comments that contribute to the discussion and link to the remarks of others.


This ELA/Literacy lesson plan intended for Grades 3-5 titled “Applying Question-Answer Relationships to Pictures” from has an estimated instructional time of two 30-45 minute sessions. The emphasis of these lessons is for students to learn how to categorize questions and use pictures in order to better understand a text. Students are guided through the Question-Answer Relationship (QARs) process as a way to learn to use pictorial images to identify main ideas, make inferences, draw conclusions, as well as to build background knowledge needed for comprehension. Students then apply these strategies to a wordless picture book in a collaborative setting.


Connecticut teachers should be cautioned that the assessment options that are included in these lessons are not fully developed and do not include aligned scoring rubrics.  Despite the strong daily lessons, independent student performance cannot be sufficiently assessed. The plan would be enhanced with more scaffolding/instruction in writing and language to address the CCSS standards listed in the plan.


This lesson plan is a useful example of how to incorporate pictorial texts to integrate reading, writing, speaking and listening so that students, including struggling readers, have opportunities to deepen background knowledge and build comprehension. The lessons cultivate student interest and engagement and are easy to understand and use.  The instructional materials can easily be adapted to alternate texts.