Lesson plan

Color Coding Nonfiction Text

Jazz up your nonfiction reading and add a little color! Use this lesson with your students to teach them to cite text evidence as they answer questions by color coding.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Evidence as a Statement pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
Grade Subject View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Evidence as a Statement pre-lesson.

Students will be able to find text evidence in nonfiction text to support their answers.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(3 minutes)
  • Have students take out a whiteboard and whiteboard marker. Tell them that they will have one minute to write down an answer to the question displayed on the board.
  • Display the following question: When is a time you were asked to explain yourself?
  • Have students share their answers in small groups. Then, call on nonvolunteers to share something that was discussed in the small groups.
  • Explain that in school and our everyday lives outside of school, we are asked to explain ourselves, or provide proof. Proof is any material that proves that something is real or true.
  • Share that today’s lesson will be a fun way to practice finding proof for our answers as we read nonfiction text.
(15 minutes)
  • Explain that when you find proof as a reader, you are being asked to find text evidence, which is the information from the text that helps to answer a question. As readers, it is important to use text evidence to make sure our answers are correct. Text evidence also helps us self-check our comprehension and determine whether we understand the reading or not.
  • Display the Coding Nonfiction Text: History of Crayons worksheet and read it aloud. (Note: Ignore the instructions for Part 1, and simply focus on the text.) Model using a colored pencil to underline the evidence for the first question. Then, use the information from the text to write an answer in your own words. Be sure to model writing a complete sentence.
  • Model answering one or two more questions based on the needs of the class. For each example, use a different colored pencil to underline the text evidence.
(15 minutes)
  • Pair students in A-B partnerships and explain that they will each have different roles. Partner A will be the leader in finding the text evidence for the odd questions, while Partner B will be the leader in writing complete sentences for the answers on the odd questions. The partners will switch roles for the even questions.
  • Display and distribute a copy of the Color Coding Nonfiction Text: Bears worksheet, and read it aloud to the class.
  • Give students time to complete the worksheet, and circulate while they work. Offer feedback as needed.
  • Gather the class’s attention and check answers by calling on nonvolunteers. Ask, “How do you know that is the correct answer? What does the text say?” Have students come up to the document camera to underline the text evidence. Listen to students' answers and record them on the teacher copy of the worksheet.
(15 minutes)
  • Distribute a copy of the worksheet Color Coding Nonfiction Text: Fidget Spinners. Instruct students to read the text independently and cite text evidence for each of the answers. In addition, tell students to pay attention to the directions about color coding the text evidence.


  • Guide a small group of students through the Guided Practice questions.
  • Provide sentence frames for students to use when answering each question on the worksheets.


  • Instruct advanced students to read a more complex nonfiction text and come up with their own questions. Then, have them trade their questions with another advanced learner and color code the text evidence. Be sure to give each student a unique text.
(10 minutes)
  • Give each student a Frayer Model graphic organizer and have them complete it for the term text evidence. Allow students access to reference materials as they gather the appropriate information.
(2 minutes)
  • Ask students to share their Frayer Model graphic organizers in small groups.
  • Call on learners to finish one of the following sentence stems: “Text evidence is important because…” or “I should find text evidence because…”

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