Researching Different Kinds of Evidence About Issues By Using Non-fiction Texts

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SWBAT will research the topic of their choosing with a question in mind in order to find different kinds of evidence for their essay using print sources.

Big Idea

What's Your Evidence?

Lesson Opener

10 minutes

In my lesson openers I always have a "connect" in which I connect students' thinking about yesterday's lesson to today's lesson. I then have a "teach" in which I model for students the lesson of the day and also have them try it out. When I think about my modeling I use three categories; skill, strategy, and process. I model by stating the skill to the students, then giving them a strategy in which to use the skill, followed by the process to try out the strategy.

Connect: I will say,”Yesterday came up with possible issues you would like to research. Today you are going to research one of those issues using informational texts.”

Teach: I will say, “In order to build upon our research skils, we are going to practice gathering information from non-fiction sources. I am going to practice the skill of gathering different kinds of evidence about my topic and the strategy of using questions that I generated from yesterday. The process I will use is as follows:

1)      Review my questions from yesterday

2)      Annotate the text at when I see evidence that can answer my question and label the type of evidence or make up a new question when I see an interesting piece of evidence

3)      Gather my evidence under one central idea on my Four Types of Evidence gathering sheet.doc.”

I will read over the four different kinds of evidence that are used in research. Here is one of my students Frankie explaining the four kinds of evidence.

I will model for the class how I take my questions I have about an issue I chose and read an informational text. I will stop and jot by using the stem, "_________evidence for....For example I would write “Anecdotal evidence for, “Why do people bully?”

When I find a piece of text that I did not have a question for I will stop and say, "Hmmm.....I question I have about this piece of evidence is...."

Active Engagement

25 minutes

I will pass out the articles surrounding Issues (my students chose issues from bullying to getting older). I have based on students choices from the day before. I will have found informational texts either from the internet or books based on what my students wrote on the previous days exit ticket.  “Now you are going to read a text with your questions in mind.”

I will conduct this active engagement in one of three ways.

1) If students have a common interest with another student, I will have them read the text together and annotate together 


2) I will have students read individually and complete their annotations individually.


3)I will have students read individually and then compare annotations with a partner.

I will make the decision based upon how they annotated last time, their ability to work in a group or with partners and which strategy will help student complete their best thinking.

I will check for understanding by looking over the shoulder of every level of learner (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard). I will ensure that students are finding evidence that relates to their question.

Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember, writers practice the skill of gathering evidence about their topic and the strategy of using questions to annotate the text when I see evidence that can answer my question in order to gather my evidence under one central idea.”

Independent Practice

10 minutes

Students will be directed them to gather all of their evidence onto the planning sheet. I will model for the students how I take my annotations and place them under a central idea. I will show them how I cite the author and title of the article/book in which I found the information.

As I write, I am also pointing out that I am thinking through my sentences as I am writing (even when generating). Writing while using a variety of sentences (simple, compound and complex) was something my students are still struggling with and I want to ensure, that every time we write, we are constantly practicing sentence structure.

I will confer with them as they write using the possible conferences for gathering evidence for the research essay.


As students are going out the door, they will turn their one page of evidence gathering in so that I can see what my next steps are for tomorrow’s lesson.