Suddenly, he notice a trail of glitter leading from the cookie tray down the hall to his sister's playroom. He walks in and sees her sitting in a glittery tutu. She turns around, and he notices her hands are covered in chocolate and crumbs. Not only that, but right in front of her teddy bear is a half eaten cookie!
Who ate the cookies?
How do you know?
"Because she has crumbs."
"Because she has chocolate on her..."
What do we call these reasons that help us find out who ate the cookies?
That's the story I've been using to introduce evidence to the kids. Then we go into how authors leave evidence in their writing to help us understand the story or topic better. It's a lot more fun to find evidence when we're detectives than when we're practicing a new literary skill, I'll tell ya that!
This is very fun with magnifying glasses and detective folders. If you'd like to make your own detective folder, here's a link to the PDF below. Just print, glue to a manila folder, & write in your student/child's name! (I haven't made a girl's detective folder yet, but stay tuned!)
Now, we'll need to find a piece of evidence in the text to PROVE that statement. Sometimes this takes a while. That's okay! If this is super challenging, I like to remind students about the cookie mystery. What proved Timmy's sister ate the cookie? What can prove this statement? Use your magnifying glass to "spot" the exact sentence that shows this statement is true.
Here is a third grade reading passage about sharks I found from North Carolina State University and the "Finding Evidence" questions to go with it. (I did add pictures & room for a summary of each paragraph to the passage.) Please feel free to use /edit / share it! This activity links to CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.8.