Lesson plan

Find Author’s Claim with Reasons and Evidence

In this lesson, your class will identify an author’s claim in nonfiction text by identifying evidence and reasons.
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Students will be able to cite an author’s point, a supporting reason, and evidence from a nonfiction text.

(5 minutes)
  • Tell your class that they’ll be exploring answers to questions about a text, such as: What point was the author trying to make? How do you know? Where’s the evidence?
  • Explain that an author’s point is an idea she or he is trying to make in their writing and that evidence is the proof that supports their point.
  • Read the first of three nonfiction text selections. The selections should be no longer than a paragraph in length and include an author’s point with two instances of supporting evidence.
(10 minutes)
  • Have students discuss what they think the author's point is, along with evidence that supports it.
  • Set up the completed Author’s Claim, Reason, and Evidence teacher model covering everything but the title and author.
  • Go over the first section of the read-aloud, moving from author’s point, to reason, then evidence, revealing the previously filled out answers as you discuss each part.
(10 minutes)
  • Hand out the second of three nonfiction text selections for each student to read.
  • As they finish, have your class think, pair, and share the author’s point, reasons, and evidence with a partner.
  • Have your students fill out section B of the Author’s Claim, Reasons, and Evidence worksheet in their partnerships.
  • Review class answers and provide feedback on clarity and accuracy of their responses.
(20 minutes)
  • Explain to you class that they will then perform this activity on their own with a third nonfiction text selection.
  • Instruct them to fill in sections A and B of the Author’s Claim, Reasons, and Evidence worksheet.
  • Hand out a copy of the Author’s Claim, Reason, and Evidence worksheet to each student.
  • Answer any clarifying questions about the assignment.
  • Post the Volunteer Sign-Up sheet for student groups or individuals to share their finished work during review time.
  • Explain your class work time expectations and protocols.
  • Instruct students to begin working.


  • Offer these students copies of the Author’s Claim, Reasons, and Evidence worksheets with a prescribed text selection and author’s point so that they can focus on the reason and evidence.
  • Classmates can work in strategic partnerships at your discretion.


  • Students may choose their own text selections from the prescribed text or a different text during work time.
  • Walk around during work time and check in with students to see that they have valid points, reasons, and supporting evidence.
  • Ask leading questions to assist as needed. Examples include: Where is the evidence in the text that supports the author’s point? What’s the point and how do you know?
  • A student roster with blank columns can be helpful for taking notes on each student as you perform quick check-ins.
  • Assessment time is embedded into class work time. However, student work may be collected for review at a later time.
  • Feedback forms at the closing of the lesson can be reviewed at a later time to evaluate how the lesson was received and to gather future teaching recommendations.
(10 minutes)
  • Allow class groups or individuals from the Volunteer Sign-Up sheet to share their finished work.
  • Have your class work in partners to complete their End of Lesson Feedback Surveys and collect them.

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