Wednesday, May 7, 2014


I have been working really hard with my students on using evidence from a text to support their answer.  Today, I gave each of my students a copy of an article about koalas that I found on  I also put a copy of it on the Smart Board.

I first had my students use their red, yellow, and blue crayons to highlight answers to questions that I asked in the text.
Use your blue crayon to highlight the two things that Koalas eat.
Use your red crayon to highlight where Koalas get their water.
Use your yellow crayon to highlight what the work Koala means.

Then I asked my students, What would happen to a koala if all of the eucalyptus leaves smelled bad? (This question came with the passage, which you can download for free at

I asked my students to first give their answer.  Then, I had them use part of the question in their answer. Next, they had to add the word because and evidence from the text to support their answer.

Check out some of their answers...pretty good for first grade and only our second time doing this sort of activity.

After my students had attempted their answers I modeled for the students how I would write my sentence.  I used three different colors to break down the three parts of the answer.  Black for my answer, blue for the part of the question restated in my answer, and the green for the evidence from the text.  (They will be using the fancy colors from now on when we do this together. It really seemed to help them visualize what I was asking.)
Here is my answer...

The Koala would die if all the eucalyptus leaves smelt bad because they will not eat eaves that smell bad and eucalyptus is a Koala's food source.  

I explained to my students that you can add more information from your own head or schema, after you have provided evidence from the text. is a free website where you can download grade appropriate text and lesson plans.  You should totally check it out!

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