This lesson will help your students begin to think critically about what they read and start to find evidence in their reading.
I've made some statement charts for several nonfiction books in my classroom library. I chose nonfiction texts for this lesson because nonfiction texts are full of facts. The books I used in this lesson were differentiated based on students reading ability. The entire class will be completing the same work, however each will be challenged appropriately because I have assigned them a text that is challenging to them based on their reading level. This addresses standard RI1.10. I made statements about the book, some of them true and some not. Students will have to go into the text and determine if the statements are true or false and mark the page number where they found their evidence on the statement chart.
I frequently tell my students that I was never specifically instructed in looking at nonfiction text features when I was young and I missed information because I skipped over labels and captions. It also took me a long while to find information because I never utilized a table of contents or index. I purposely took information from captions, labels, and graphs so students would get used to using the nonfiction text features as they look for evidence to encourage students to pay attention to these features.
I have included the statement charts for you (Learning to Find Evidence) based on the books I had in my classroom library. I put students in groups of 3 for the independent work so I made 3 copies of each statement page so each student could record their own information. Most of the books I bought are popular so the likelihood that you have these are great. If you don't have these books, you can easily make statement charts for the books that you have in your classroom. It will just take a little preplanning on your part. You will also need either the Smartboard ants.notebook or Activboard Ants.flipchart lesson for the guided practice portion of the lesson. You will also need the books for each of the statement pages so student groups can use the text to find their evidence.
I started the lesson by saying, "Today we are going to learn to find evidence in our reading. I am going to divide you into groups today and you will see if these sentences on your chart are true or not. You will also have to put the page number where you found your evidence. I am going to model some strategies that might help you work faster and efficiently."
I had reserved the statement page for the book "Ants"by Margaret Hall for myself to model the guided practice so I made sure not to assign the book to any of my groups. I read all the statements on my statement chart.for this book. I said, "Some of these statements are true and some are not. It is my job to look for evidence in the book. I will check yes if the statement is true and I will check no if the statement is not true. Then I will write the page number where I found my evidence."
I had the book copied onto the Smartboard lesson. I explained to the students that using a Table of Contents or an Index would be a good tool to use so you are not just turning pages aimlessly trying to find evidence. I purposely mixed up the sentences on the statement chart so the students wouldn't just start on page 1 and then continue on in numerical order. I wanted the activity to be challenging and rigorous. That's why I showed them how to use both a table of contents and an index. I also knew that some of my students would be receiving a more challenging book than what we had practiced. I said, "Some of you are going to get some books that also have labels, captions, and graphs. Don't forget to look at those things too because they give you information as well."
We worked together through all the statements. I modeled how to go to the index and find the correct page number. Then we read the page together. I had the students discuss whether the statement was true or not based on the evidence we just read. Then we would put a check mark for whether the statement was true or false and we recorded what page we found our evidence on.
After we had done our guided practice, it was time for my students to do some independent work with small groups. I divided my students into groups of 3 based on their reading ability. I differentiated this activity so everyone was doing the same activity, yet they were being challenged with appropriate text levels.
Each group received their book and each student received their own list of statements for their book. Students worked together to find evidence and I circulated around the room to assist children if needed. For some of my struggling readers I offered support. You will see me in the video telling a student to have one of the other students take a turn. You may have some students in your class who want to sit back and let others do work. To handle this problem I assigned each student a number. Person 1 takes a turn, then person 2, then person 3. I will offer support to struggling readers but no one gets to sit back in my class and do nothing.
To have a better understanding of how the lesson went, check the video here: Working In Groups Finding Evidence.mp4.
I was crazy enough to teach this rigorous lesson the day before we went on Thanksgiving break. After exerting a great deal of energy on reading and finding evidence, my students were just about done. So, I opted to just ask some really simple questions of them for today's closure. These questions included, "What did we learn today? What tools did you learn about to help you find evidence? How did we show proof of our evidence?" I will be very honest with you. I had to pull the answers out of them. They really faded fast but at least I tried. Some days are like that I guess!