In December I got an email from a teacher who said that the concept of teaching textual evidence and having it stick was overwhelming and too much for her weaker readers. We emailed back and forth and I sent her some resources. To introduce her students to textual evidence, I told her to remove the text and just focus on the skill of supporting inferences with evidence with picture books. For one week she spent 15 minutes each day discussing what it means to make an inference and support it. Then, she modeled it with a picture book.
Today I got an email where she introduced a challenging text to her third graders and they were able to dive right in and back up claims with textual evidence. The lesson? Don’t ‘hide’ skills in the text. Model it and explain it as a skill and then teach students to apply it to text. This changes the accessibility and lets all students have access to the skill set regardless of their reading capabilities. Scaffold in the text and gradually increase the complexity then.
These are the step by step instructions I gave her as she introduced it to her class from a picture book a day for a week and built from there.