Please make sure you are not using our custom header option and enabled theme builder setting. See here for more information:
Home » Blog » Literacy » 5 Ways to Help Kids Find Nonfiction Text Evidence

5 Ways to Help Kids Find Nonfiction Text Evidence

Comprehension, Literacy

Written by: Jess Dalrymple

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.

Download this Classroom Expectations Poster HERE

#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: How to Use the 5W’s To Teach TexT Evidence, 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.

Download Digital Toothy HERE

#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. 


Download Nonfiction Text Evidence Passages HERE

Related Posts

⇒ Read THIS POST for more text evidence teaching ideas.

⇒ Read THIS POST for powerful strategies that will improve your students’ reading skills.

Use the image below to save this post to your Pinterest board for future reference.



  1. Temple

    Do you have a link to the “Class Expectations” poster? I love that! Or is it in a packet on TPT? Let me know. Thanks!

    • Jess Dalrymple

      Thanks for your interest in the class expectations poster! We’d be happy to share this with you! Classroom Expectations


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hey there!  I’m Angie, owner of Lucky Little Learners. Our #1 goal is to support K-2 teachers.  We provide unlimited access to over 15,000 printables that are aligned to your standards.