Reflection: Concrete Evidence and Commentary - Section 3: Teaching Concrete Evidence and Commentary


It can be difficult to determine how much commentary is needed for each piece of concrete evidence.  The English teachers at my school have had many, many, many conversations about this issue.

At first, we thought that sixth graders should write one set of concrete evidence and commentary, seventh graders should write two sets, and eighth graders should write three sets.  However, we quickly realized that that would get us quantity, but not necessarily quality.  In the end, we went with the ratio that Jane Shaffer herself recommends. In sixth grade, we expect a ratio of 1:1 at the very least.  For seventh grade, we expect a ratio of 1:2.  Therefore, students are expected to write two sentences of commentary for each piece of concrete evidence. 

I also had a mini-math lesson here to help support the math teachers.  We use the greater than/less than symbols to show how much commentary/concrete evidence is necessary.It was all very exciting!

  How Much?
  How Much?
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Concrete Evidence and Commentary

Unit 1: Laying the Foundations: Teaching Routines, Procedures, and Expectations through Authentic Activities
Lesson 9 of 11

Objective: Students will be able to develop a topic with concrete evidence and commentary utilizing a reference sheet, analyzing a sample paragraph, and writing original sentences.

Big Idea: An effective topic sentence isn't worth a thing without the solid support of concrete evidence.

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