Thursday, March 31, 2016

How to Teach Text Evidence

cite evidence with inference, prior knowledge, quoting, paraphrasing

How do you teach students to cite evidence in text?  This blog post will take you through A UNIT plan that will get your students citing text evidence!

1.  Start by explaining the meaning of text evidence and how to find it.

Text is written work.
Evidence is proof.
Text + Evidence is citing proof in the text.

2.  How do you find this evidence?  Use ACE after reading the text thoroughly!


A-  Answer the question using prior knowledge and inferences.

Restate the question in your answer. 

Example:  Why did Paul Revere ride through the towns?  
Answer:  Paul Revere rode through the towns because....

Teachers:  Practice restating the question with students.  Provide questions and restate them together.  

Prior Knowledge:  When a reader has previous experience or has already read about a particular topic, he will have some insight or knowledge to the topic before reading it.  Having prior knowledge on a topic will help the reader comprehend it better than someone with no prior knowledge.  It is almost like having the upper hand if someone is already familiar with a topic.  It provides extra support to the reader's thinking process.

Inferring:  It is an educated guess or reading facts and evidence to reach a logical conclusion or opinion.  Making inferences while reading is a strategy that will help you understand the text at a deeper level.  It is best to draw a conclusion or form an opinion by finding two or more supporting details in the reading passage.  It also helps to look for words or phrases that may express a positive or negative tone.  

C- Cite evidence in the text to support your thoughts or opinions.

When answering questions about a reading assignment, look back at the text and find proof for the answers within the text.  Highlighting the text is an effective approach to mark the evidence!  Do you want to motivate your students even more?  Have them color-code the answers.  A little bit of color and they are more interested in their work!   Although it isn't shown below, numbering the question with the highlighted area is also useful especially if you plan to review their highlighted work.

color-coding highlighting text evidence

E-  Explain your answer with evidence by paraphrasing or directly quoting.

Paraphrasing:  The author explains....   The text shows......   Use RAP!

Quoting:  The author says, "..."    The text states, "....."  Quoting is copying exactly what the author is saying in your answer.  Make sure to use quotation marks!

Once students have a firm understanding of ACE, give them an ACE chart for practice.  These TEXT EVIDENCE strategies will allow students to have a deeper understanding of the text.


ACE find evidence in text, answer, cite, explain

I hope you will be able to implement these strategies in your class!

If you find these lessons useful and would like the full TEXT EVIDENCE unit prepped and ready for you, click on the picture below.  It includes lessons, anchor charts, examples, interactive notebook pages, practice sheets, differentiated passages, task cards, ACE charts, and assessment, click below!  Also included is a student version for tablets!

Text Evidence task cards, highlighting and citing text evidence

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