How do I explain evidence?

Class began the usual way with students completing a WA and then reading. However, the WA was a little different because it was them reading over their next writing assignment! This assignment is Letters About Literature, and I have attached the handout the students received; however, I’ll also provide the additional information students received in class.

LAL student handout 2017

  • Students need to have the book they are planning to use for this. We went to the library today, so students could check the book out or put it on hold. They have two and a half weeks to re-read the book in whole or in part before we begin the project.
  • We will start the actual writing process the first week of December.
  • All students will be submitting their letter to the contest, so it should be a very polished and professional piece of writing.
  • Students who write to an author that is still living will be encouraged to send the letter to him/her as well! Many students have received letters back from authors in the past. How cool!
  • Students should see me with any questions or concerns.

After going to the library to finish IR and for students to check out books, we returned to class, and I introduced students to an incredibly important concept of explaining evidence. Students picked up a note sheet (extras available in the room), and they walked around the room where the answers to the blanks were posted and worked to figure out what goes where. What they should have come up with is below:

Part 1: Explain the SIGNIFICANCE of the evidence

  • Most detailed (at least two sentences)
  • HOW does the evidence show the theme?
  • What is important about the evidence?
  • What inferences are being drawn?
  • Be careful not to summarize

Part 2: Connect back to the big idea (theme)

  • One sentence
  • Begins with a transition word or phrase

After students checked their work on this and looked at the example on the bottom of the handout, we reviewed RACER from the beginning of the year. Using the RACER format and their new knowledge about explaining evidence (the E in RACER), students got onto google classroom to complete an assignment that asked them about the theme in the story “Ruthless” from yesterday. This was to be completed and turned in by the end of the period.

When students finished, they went onto the vocabulary study section of this website in order to review their vocab for the quiz on FRIDAY.


  1. Read for 25 minutes.
  2. Review vocabulary for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Book talk reflections due tomorrow for those that went last week.