Lesson Plan

Citing Textual Evidence

Supporting one's analysis of the text
Kevin D.
Classroom teacher
Urban Assembly
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My Grades 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts

Students will be able to...

  • Analyze and create their inferences about the text.
  • Support their thinking using evidence from the text.
English Language Arts
Grades 6 – 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

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Post the following prompt on the students’ LightSail Class List so they can respond publicly by using the 'Think' annotation feature in their own book.



Who is the main character? What have you learned so far about their personality, character, and/or temperament? What parts of the text support your thinking?


“We all analyzed our characters by thinking about their actions and drawing evidence from our text. As we read, we have to be detectives, because there is much that an author tells us without really telling us. We call this an inference when we make conclusions about what is actually happening or why it is happening.”

2 Direct Instruction

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Teach and model making a text-supported inference using a book from your LightSail Library and the Think feature, which allows you to make annotations as you read. 


“When we infer, we can look for clues in specific ways: What is the setting? What are the characters (or narrator) saying? What are the characters doing? What do you know about the characters (like age, gender, personality)? Let’s take a look at this excerpt from The Giver by Lois Lowry, a book which is in my LightSail Library.”




Excerpt from The Giver, Page 14:

During the past year he [Jonas] had been aware of the increasing level of observation. In school, at recreation time, and during volunteer hours, he had noticed the Elders watching him and the other Elevens. He had seen them taking notes. He knew, too, that the Elders were meeting for long hours with all of the instruction that he and the other Elevens had had during their years of school.


“When I saw this, I recorded my thought by holding this quote in my digital book with my finger and tapping Think.” 


Have this thought annotated in your example text. To reveal the thought, tap Past Thought. The LightSail Think feature allows you to record your annotation, and mark the Common Core Standard you are practicing.


Here is what I wrote for my Think:

From earlier in the chapter, I know that Jonas is about to go through an incredibly important ceremony where he learns what his permanent role will be. I also know that the Elders assign him this job; he doesn’t get to pick it. This section of the text says that the Elders are meeting with his teachers and watching him more frequently. Because the Elders match every Eleven with a job, I think the Elders are observing and meeting with teachers to get to know the Elevens better so that everyone can get a well-matched job.


“Notice that the first section of my Think describes my background knowledge from earlier in the chapter. The second part explains what this particular passage tells the reader. The third parts explains what this text makes me think. Last, I tagged my thought to RL.1 which stands for the Common Core standard of making inferences and citing evidence from my text.”

3 Guided Practice

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The students say possible annotations that involve making an inference and supporting their thinking with textual evidence.


“Now it’s your turn. I’m going to put a passage on the board. After you read it, I want you to figure out why Jonas is worried about Asher.”


Excerpt from The Giver, page 16:

“I worry a little about Asher’s Assignment,” Jonas confessed. “Asher’s such fun. But he doesn’t really have any serious interests. He makes a game of everything.”


“Turn and talk to your partner. Tell them what you can infer from this passage and what part of the text supports your thinking.”


Students share their thinking in partners. Have two students share their answers aloud. For this passage, students should infer that Jonas is worried that Asher will be assigned a bad job because he just fools around all the time.  Record using your Think feature for the whole class to see.

4 Independent Practice

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Students read their own checked out books aligned to their Lexile measure (reading level) from their personalized LightSail Library, while taking the Common Core aligned clozes and assessments that automatically pop up in their text. They stop and record inferences using the Think feature, and they tag their Think to Common Core Standard RL.1. Have Today’s Think Task posted.


“Now it’s your turn to practice this in your book. Record your Think privately and tag it to RL.1. Use Today’s Think Task for your response.”


Today’s Think Task:

Write one Think note about an inference you made. Tag your thought as RL 1.


Formula for an Inference:

What I knew before + What the text says = What I think


Suggested Sentence Starters:

I think _____ because in the text it says _____.

In the text it says _____. This makes me think _____.


While students read independently, monitor what students are doing via your Class Thinking. Meet with students who are struggling by selecting on a particular student in your Class List and using LightSail’s Conference Template. You can share your notes with students and establish future goals for them in the Conference Template, which students can access in their LightSail Goals or their LightSail Previous Instruction tab. 

5 Wrap-Up

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Have students make public their best annotation for Today’s Think Task. Use your Class Thinking to identify two or three exemplary responses; have those students share out. As a group, discuss what makes a good/deep/genuine text-based annotation.