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Text Evidence: A Lesson for Upper Elementary Students

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Text Evidence... it's of huge importance in the upper elementary grades! After all, it's the first standard listed for Reading: Literature and Reading: Informational Text in grades 3, 4, and 5. For those of you who work with the Common Core standards, 4th and 5th grade students are expected to be able to answer text questions by pointing to a section of the text...
    1.)  that provides the exact answer
and 
2.) that helps them to infer an answer

I created the following lesson to use with upper elementary students. If you would like to replicate the lesson to use with your own students, click on the image below. You can download all of the printables shown in this blog post for free!


Teach students to support their answers by citing text evidence.This blog post includes free printables so that you can replicate the entire lesson with your upper elementary students.

Part 1: Anchor Chart

Prior to the start of the lesson, assemble the top half of the anchor chart so that it is ready to go when class begins. (Do not include the questions or answers shown at the bottom of the anchor chart.)

To begin the lesson with students, point to the anchor chart title, and then discuss what the dot dude characters are thinking. Ask a student volunteer to read the paragraph aloud for the rest of the class. Tell students that two questions follow this text. Read the first question to the students and ask them whether it is a "right-here-in-the-text" question or an "infer-with-text-clues" question. Write the question on the correct side of the anchor chart, and then have students help you answer the question. Repeat the process with the second question.

This text evidence anchor chart reminds students that some answers are explicitly stated, and some answers must be inferred. This blog post includes free printables so that you can replicate the anchor chart!

Part 2: Introduce Sentence Starters 

After you complete the anchor chart, pass out the bookmark papers to your students, and tell them that the two types of questions require slightly different sentence starters. 
These free text evidence bookmarks remind students that some answers are explicitly stated, and some answers must be inferred. This blog post includes free printables so that you can replicate the anchor chart!
The set of five sentence starters on the left is useful when the answer is explicitly stated in the text. The set of five sentence starters displayed on the right is especially valuable when students must infer in order to determine the answer. 

Tell students to cut around the outside box and then fold it in half to create a two-sided bookmark. This bookmark can now be used as a reference tool throughout your text evidence unit, and throughout the school year.
These free text evidence bookmarks remind students that some answers are explicitly stated, and some answers must be inferred. This blog post includes free printables so that you can replicate the anchor chart!

Part 3: Practice with a Partner

For the final part of this large group lesson, have students work with a partner. To begin, tell them to quickly decide which of them is Partner A, and which is Partner B. Hand each group a dry-erase board, marker, and eraser. 
1.  Place "The Cobra" passage under your document camera and invite the groups to read it quietly
     to themselves. (I recommend covering the questions for now.)
2.  Tell students that for this passage, Partner A will write on the clipboard while Partner B will 
     handle the bookmarks. 
3.  Display Question #1.
4.  Tell partners to discuss whether it is a "right-there" question or a "stop-and-infer" question and 
     then answer the question.
5.  Partner A should write the answer on the whiteboard. (Students must use one of the sentence 
     starters from the bookmark, as well.)
6.  When all of the groups are done, have them display their answers. Partner A should hold up the 
     whiteboard, and Partner B should hold up the bookmark so that the question type that they
     identified is facing you.
7.  Display Question #2 and repeat steps 4-6.
8.  Display Question #3 and repeat steps 4-6.
Free Text Evidence Passages! Teach students to support their answers by citing text evidence.This blog post includes free printables so that you can replicate the entire lesson with your upper elementary students.

When you have completed the first passage, place the second passage under the document camera and repeat the entire process outlined above. Instruct the partners to switch roles for this new passage. Partner B is now the writer while Partner A is in charge of handling the bookmarks.
Free Text Evidence Passages! Teach students to support their answers by citing text evidence.This blog post includes free printables so that you can replicate the entire lesson with your upper elementary students.

TEXT EVIDENCE... MORE PRACTICE OPPORTUNITIES!

In case you are interested, I have created a number of Text Evidence teaching resources that are available in my TpT store. Just click on the images to take a closer look at them!


Teaching students to find text evidence to support their answers is an important reading strategy and test taking strategy. Use this Text Evidence PowerPoint to teach your students this important skill.

Teaching students to find text evidence to support their answers is an important reading strategy and test taking strategy. This post contains a FREE text evidence lesson!  It includes text evidence sentence starters, a free reading passage, and other text evidence activities.


Thank you for stopping by!
~Deb


Pin for future reference:
Teach students to support their answers by citing text evidence.This blog post includes free printables so that you can replicate the entire lesson with your upper elementary students.

Figurative Language Anchor Chart Activity {freebie}

Friday, February 14, 2020
Today's figurative language anchor chart is a little different than most of my other anchor charts because it is completely interactive, and it actually involves a cooperative activity. Also, you can download the materials and recreate this figurative language chart yourself!!
This figurative language anchor chart includes a cooperative activity. Visit this post to download the FREE materials and replicate this interactive lesson in your upper elementary classroom!

I would use this anchor chart as a cooperative test prep activity, when students have already studied each type of figurative language in-depth earlier in the school year. On standardized tests that I have viewed, students are given a sentence, a stanza, or a paragraph, and are asked to identify the literary device used within that piece of writing. This is entirely different from writing your own example sentence containing a given literary device, and I have witnessed students struggle with this type of test question. My hope is that by doing this type of figurative language analysis as a cooperative activity, students will be better prepared to analyze a sentence for a literary device independently.   

To prepare this activity (download here), I printed the first page- the literary device terms- in lime green. I printed the second page- the definitions- on pink paper, and I printed the final three pages- the examples embedded in sentences- on orange paper. Then I cut out all of the pieces.

I glue the terms on my chart paper prior to the start of class.
This figurative language anchor chart includes a cooperative activity. Visit this post to download the FREE materials and replicate this interactive lesson in your upper elementary classroom!

At the beginning of class, I pass out the remaining cards with the example sentences and the terms, one to each student.

Visit this post to download the FREE materials to do a figurative language sorting activity in your upper elementary or middle school classroom.

I explain that they must walk around the room, looking for their three partners. When they approach a potential partner, they must first exchange their cards without saying anything and read the sentence (or definition that was handed to them). After both partners have finished reading, only then can they discuss whether their cards are part of the same group. (I am hoping that the reading-before-talking requirement will force everyone to be actively engaged and fully participating.) Also, I require both students to make a comment before they move on.

Eventually, students will be gathered in groups of four, with one definition & three examples.
Visit this post to download the FREE materials to do a figurative language sorting activity in your upper elementary or middle school classroom.

Finally, groups take turns coming to the front of the room, placing their cards under the document camera, and naming their literary device. At this time, I also ask students to underline the words in the sentences that is a type of figurative language. After a group is done presenting, we tape the cards to the appropriate area of the anchor chart, and then it's another group's turn to present.  This figurative language anchor chart includes a cooperative activity. Visit this post to download the FREE materials and replicate this interactive lesson in your upper elementary classroom!



If you are looking for additional figurative language activities, feel free to check out my TpT store! This HUGE bundle is available to purchase, or you can buy individual items.

Figurative Language Activities for the upper elementary or middle school classroom! Includes a PowerPoint, games, craftivities, worksheets, partner plays, and more!!



~Deb

Pin for later:
This figurative language anchor chart includes a cooperative activity. Visit this post to download the FREE materials and replicate this interactive lesson in your upper elementary classroom!

My Favorite Test-Taking Strategy

Friday, January 31, 2020
When you think of the test-taking strategies that you discuss with your students, which ones would you rank as the most critical? I can think of several important strategies, including eliminating answers you know are incorrect and finding evidence in the text to support the answer you have chosen. If I were asked to choose a favorite, however, another strategy stands out to me. In my experience, students respond well to this strategy and it improves their test-taking experience. What is it? Teach your students to read through the questions before reading the passage. Reading the question stems first allows students to get a general idea as to what the passage is going to be about. It also alerts them to details they should be looking for as they read.


There are many valuable test-taking strategies to teach upper elementary students before they take a standardized reading test. Check out this blog post to read about the test strategy that I think is most beneficial for students. It includes a FREE reading comprehension practice passage!


When I introduce this strategy to students, we begin by working through a few passages as a group. I ask students to help me pick out key words and phrases in each question stem, and we highlight them.

There are many valuable test-taking strategies to teach upper elementary students before they take a standardized reading test. Check out this blog post to read about the test strategy that I think is most beneficial for students. It includes a FREE reading comprehension practice passage!

After having gone through each question, students know that this passage is probably going to be about a sport named pickleball, and if they are not familiar with pickleball, they will know that it uses a net. Furthermore, students know to look for information about pickleball rules and about the height of the net. They also know to watch for the term "pickle boat". They probably won't remember all of these topics, but chances are good that they will recall one or two. For example, when Ben reaches the end of the first paragraph in the passage below, he might remember the question about the net being lowered to 36 inches, and highlight the sentence since he knows that it likely contains the answer to one of the questions. Later, when he encounters the term "pickle boat", he might highlight it an read that sentence a little more carefully. Then, when the time comes for him to answer the question, he will easily be able to find the sentence in the passage that contains "pickle boat".

There are many valuable test-taking strategies to teach upper elementary students before they take a standardized reading test. Check out this blog post to read about the test strategy that I think is most beneficial for students. It includes a FREE reading comprehension practice passage!
Also, when we run across questions like Question #5, I stress to students that this is one of those questions that they can likely answer without even reading the text. It is not related to the content of the passage. Rather, it is testing the student's knowledge of vocabulary and relationships between words.

Do you want to test this tip with your students? Click HERE to download this pickleball passage!

If you are looking for reading passages to use with your upper elementary students, feel free to check out the following links- just click on the images below! (The first three sets are written for students reading at a 4th/5th grade reading level. The final set is written at a lower readability level ideal for third-grade readers.)

These 20 reading passages are ideal if you are looking for test prep resources! This packet includes fiction passages, nonfiction passages, and a poem, and are written for fourth and fifth grade readers.  These 20 reading passages are ideal if you are looking for test prep resources! This packet includes fiction passages, nonfiction passages, poems, and a play, and are written for fourth and fifth grade readers.


These 20 reading passages are ideal if you are looking for test prep resources! This packet includes technical texts, historical texts, scientific texts, poems, and dramas, and are written for fourth and fifth grade readers.  These 20 reading passages are ideal if you are looking for test prep resources! This packet includes fiction passages, nonfiction passages, and poems, and are written for third grade readers.


Thank you for stopping by!





Pin for future reference:
There are many valuable test-taking strategies to teach upper elementary students before they take a standardized reading test. Check out this blog post to read about the test strategy that I think is most beneficial for students. It includes a FREE reading comprehension practice passage!


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