Lesson plan

Statements About Text: Supported or Unsupported?

Students will think analytically about nonfiction texts by providing evidence for supported or unsupported statements.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

Students will be able to determine if statements about a nonfiction text is supported or unsupported by evidence.

(5 minutes)
  • Recite the beginning of the nursery rhyme: "Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow, and everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to...” leaving the last word out.
  • Ask your class what the last word of the nursery rhyme is. Many students will know that the missing word is.
  • Then ask your students what color the lamb’s fleece was. Expect that many students will answer "white."
  • Challenge this answer. “Is that supported with evidence from the text?”
  • Display the the beginning of "Mary Had A Little Lamb."
(10 minutes)
  • Ask your students what evidence, or proof, there is in the nursery rhyme to tell whether this statement is supported or unsupported.
  • Define supported as something that can be proven to be factually correct, and unsupported as something that can be proven as incorrect.
  • Explain that the lamb’s fleece is white because it is supported in the text and there is evidence to prove it.
  • Explain to your class that the lesson objective is to be able to explain how a statement about a text is either supported or unsupported with information from the text.
(15 minutes)
  • Give a copy of the Famous Olympic Moments Worksheet: Cassius Clay to each student.
  • Read the worksheet aloud with your class.
  • Hand out a copy of the Supported or Unsupported: Cassius Clay worksheet to each student.
  • Go through each statement on the the Supported or Unsupported: Cassius Clay worksheet by calling on students to tell you whether each statement is supported or unsupported.
  • Fill in the missing information with appropriate text evidence. See the Supported or Unsupported: Cassius Clay answer sheet for appropriate answers.
  • Have a discussion about how an author’s point may be implied (suggested) or explicit (the text states specific evidence). Author point #2 on the Supported or Unsupported: Cassius Clay worksheet is implied, while all of the other author points are explicit. Explicit points can be proven or disproven by text that supports or contradicts a point.
(15 minutes)
  • Instruct your class to complete the Determining Supported or Unsupported Statements worksheet using the Famous Olympic Moments: Cassius Clay text, drafting different statements about the text. Answers may be supported or unsupported, but each instance requires evidence as proof.
  • Answer any clarifying questions about the assignment.
  • Explain your work time rules and expectations before releasing your class to work.
  • Enrichment:
  • Challenge students to draft versions of the Determining Supported or Unsupported Statements worksheet where all the statements are unsupported. This provides an opportunity for students to provide nuanced statements that can be refuted with contradictory evidence from the text.

  • Support:
  • Pull together a small group of students to support during independent work time, using five potential author points that you’ve selected in advance.
  • During independent work time, walk around class and check in with students. Offer insights by asking leading questions like: How does your evidence support or discredit your statement?
  • A class roster with extra columns is a great resource for making quick notes as you visit briefly with your students during independent work time.
  • Assessment is embedded in work time. Alternatively, you may review finished student work later.
(10 minutes)
  • Have students volunteer to share their work by reading their Determining Supported or Unsupported Statements worksheet at the end of work time.
  • Instruct each person to turn to a neighbor and tell them something they learned in the lesson and something that challenged them. Walk around and listen in for feedback to note for future lessons.

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