Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Behind the Books: Q & A: The Forgotten Text Structure

Back in 2012, when educators were first starting to teach nonfiction text structures, I often saw students making their own organizers, like this one, to help them remember and identify the various text structures.

But now I’m seeing a lot of fancy pre-made charts like this:

And you know what I notice about these fancy pre-made charts? They’re missing something that I think is really important. The Q &A text structure. I really want to know. What happened to Q &A?

Here are a bunch of great children’s books that make excellent use the Q &A text structure:

And what’s more, this is a text structure that even young children can understand and use successfully. In other words, it’s a great window into text structures, allowing kids to get their feet wet before plunging into learn and use text structures that are more difficult to grasp and differentiate.

So here’s my plea to educators. Let’s bring back Q & A. Let’s recognize that it can be a powerful way to organize information, and if done well, it can make reading more fun by adding an interactive, game-like quality to a text.


  1. I love reading books with a Q&A structure, and these are some of my favorites, especially Bridget Heos's larvae book--it's so hilarious! The only one I'm unfamiliar with is Hatch! so I will remedy that ASAP!

    Thanks, Melissa!

  2. My students adore Q&A text! My most reluctant readers are absolutely captivated by the Who Would Win? series. Now that I think about it, I should probably organize my nf section to showcase other titles that follow this structure.

  3. I think that's a great idea, Mollie--organizing nonfiction books to highlight the dominant text structures. Many students do love Q & A.

  4. Q&A books can even get reluctant readers to contribute to the discussion. A good activity is to have students add additional Q&A to the book