Teaching students how to make inferences from textual evidence can be daunting, at first. As the first reading standard, it provides a critical foundation for the other standards. If students don’t get this concept under their belts, they will struggle as they move on to more multifaceted standards. I get a fair amount of emails from teachers looking for ideas to introduce and help students to understand the connection between implicit ideas in the text and supporting evidence.
Here’s a great way to practice Reading Standard 1 (Textual Evidence)with your students. One of the key things to remember about this standard is that you want your students to be able to cite evidence from their reading to support their analysis of what the text says. This requires that you teach your students how to make inferences to uncover the implicit messages in the text.
Your students will love using the Quote It! graphic organizer! To use this organizer with your students, simply choose a text (in our example here we used Walter Lord’s A Night to Remember, but there are many great texts to choose from). Ask students to “quote” an excerpt from the text. Below the arrow, have your students explain what inference they made from that section of the text. Your students should then be able to see a clear and direct relationship between text and implicit meaning. This is a great way to scaffold students towards longer and more in depth analysis.
It is also a good practice to think-aloud as much as possible when you model this organizer. Students really need to see the connection between claims, inferences, & textual evidence. This organizer works well with basal or leveled readers using the same text and with independent reading. Students can use this with any type of text. This organizer also makes a great large-scale reference chart for the class.
CLICK HERE to download a blank copy, like the one pictured below, to use in your classroom.
Have fun, and good luck!