What Works Wednesday {1/9/13}

What Works Wednesday is an opportunity for me to share strategies that work effectively in my classroom.  Today’s topic is about a graphic organizer that I call PQR.


  • PQR is a graphic organizer that focuses on predicting, questioning, and reflecting.

PQR Graphic Organizer

WHY do I use PQR?

  • In the past I have used the KWL chart (What I KNOW, WANT to know, What I LEARNED), but the KWL did not prove to be effective.  The hang up was in the “What I Know” section.  At times, students would record information that they thought they knew and ended up sharing information that was not correct.  So, the PQR is how I modified the KWL. (Whew!)
  • Another reason I like to use this organizer is because it gives my students an opportunity to record their thinking and then it promotes discussion.
  • This organizer also allows the student to read closely and determine explicitly what the text states. This is the first anchor standard for Common Core.  If students cannot grasp the text explicitly, they will struggle with the textual analysis, so the PQR organizer serves as a formative assessment for the teacher.

WHEN do I use PQR?

  • PQR is used as a before reading and after reading activity.  It is also used with nonfiction text. One nonfiction resource I like to use is from the Hot Topics articles from Evan Moore.

Nonfiction Article
By Evan Moore Publishers

HOW do I use PQR?

Before Reading:

  • I introduce the topic and we discuss the title and the features of the nonfiction text. (i.e. realistic illustrations, headings, captions, charts, diagrams)
  • Then I read a brief introduction from the text.
  • model how we generate questions by using the sentence starter I WONDER…
  • We record the question I modeled in the middle column of the organizer.  Then I ask the students to generate at least two more questions they have about the topic. Yes, I start with the middle column of the organizer.  I don’t know why; I just do. 🙂 In order to promote discussion, each student shares one question they generated.
  • Next, I distribute the article and I model how I preview the text and generate a prediction. We record my prediction in the first column. The students are then asked to preview the text by skimming and scanning. They need to generate two more predictions and use the sentence starter I THINK I WILL LEARN.  Once again, we promote discussion by having the students share one prediction they recorded on their organizer.

After Reading:

  • We discuss if any of our questions were answered and if our predictions were correct.  Then we discuss any interesting facts we learned from the text.  There are always a plothera of facts, but I ask the students to record three facts using the sentence starter I LEARNED
PQR Complete

Student Sample of PQR

PQR works well for my students so I hope you will give it a try and experience success with it too!

Thanks for Visiting My Blog!

4 thoughts on “What Works Wednesday {1/9/13}

  1. Love, love, love this graphic organizer and will definitely be using it with our history textbook that is so dry I feel that it might disintegrate at any moment into a pile of dust. 🙂

    Thanks for this awesome idea. I like the way you modified the kwl. I also love using the word “wonder” which is what I really need to be teaching my students how to do. That will make them lifelong learners. 🙂


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