When evaluating the strength of an argument, students are often told to examine the supporting details. The challenge with this directive is that many students are unclear what supporting details really look like. This chart serves as a visual to help students see six specific ways that an author might use to support an argument. This helps students to hone in and look for specific elements within text.
Creating this Chart:
I used 6 x 8 sticky notes to write the different words on. I like writing on the red sticky notes to represent bricks. Make the connection that these are like the bricks in a house. These different things help to build the foundation for an argument. Students should be able to use this same concept when they discuss a text. How strong is the argument? What types of support does the author have to develop his or her ideas? Students can quantify what they are reading and classify it using the blocks.
1. If you have a cinderblock wall in your classroom consider skipping the chart paper altogether. Use the actual wall to create a wall anchor chart using the sticky notes alone.
2. Create a checklist for older students. List each of the six areas and ask them to simply check off what the author used in the text.
3. Extend the checklist activity and ask students to look for different types of support that they notice in a text. Students can craft an informational writing piece about the reading.
What do you do to help your students think about evidence and support?