When kids begin to use fiction and nonfiction text evidence to support their ideas, arguments, opinions, and thoughts, discussions are richer, writing is better, and ELA standards are met!
Read on for activities and ideas you can use to help your lucky little learners use text evidence as they read a nonfiction text.
#1 Read the Room
You can get kids practicing nonfiction evidence in conversation first, and save what it looks like to do this with a text for later.
Refer to an anchor chart displayed in the classroom. Then, ask volunteers to explain different parts of the chart. As volunteers are answering, prompt them to refer back to the anchor chart to make their answers even stronger.
Here’s what this conversation could look like using a class expectations anchor chart:
Teacher: Tell us what it means to “be respectful”?
Student: Be nice.
Teacher: Keep going. Can you use the information on our anchor chart to make your answer more detailed?
Student: If you listen to your teacher, you are being respectful.
#2 Use the 5Ws
Teach students to cite textual evidence by paraphrasing, quoting, or simply referring to the specific part of the text that answers a basic who, what, when, where, why question.
Read THIS POST to see what it looks like to use the 5Ws to teach text evidence with a fiction text. This activity will work equally well with nonfiction text!
#3 Practice Text Evidence With Text Features
Model asking text-dependent questions about the photos or diagrams or other visual aids in a nonfiction text.
If you are reading a text about food chains, you could ask, “What is the predator in a food chain?” Students can refer to the diagram, like the one in the image below to answer the question using direct evidence from the text.
#4 Model with Short Nonfiction Reading Passages
Begin with a short nonfiction passage that’s not difficult for your students to read. Show students how to look back in the reading passage to locate and underline evidence in answer to text-dependent questions. Check out these leveled nonfiction reading passages. Short, leveled text and questions are all included and ready to use right away! Digital versions included.
#5 Color Code the Text
You can use printed nonfiction reading passages to practice rereading a text to find multiple pieces of proof that an answer to a question is correct. Try a color-coding system to help your students visually track all the places in the text that provide evidence in answer to a question. If there are five questions, choose five different colors.
⇒ Read THIS POST for more text evidence teaching ideas.
⇒ Read THIS POST for powerful strategies that will improve your students’ reading skills.
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