Requiring Evidence

Element 10.7: Require that students support arguments/reasoning with evidence

Why is this important?
In a comprehensive effort to get away from the belief that all opinions are equal and not up for challenge or able to be evaluated, “citing evidence” appears in multiple Common Core ELA standards (R1,7,8; W1,9; SL1,3,4). The concepts of evidence, claim and reasoning form the backbone of scientific study and the importance of evidence can be found throughout the Next Generation Science and Engineering Practices. Evidence is also key component of the Math Practice asking students to communicate their reasoning.  Evidence is used to reconstruct and understand history, is the focus of forensics, and is the core of debate.

You may want to start here:

Read through the quote below.

“Although evidence based research may not play a role in the future careers of all our students, the process of searching out quality resources, evaluating a source and giving credit to original authors establishes responsible research practices that can be applied throughout our students' lives. Students learn to evaluate their sources for reliability and applicability. They must synthesize multiple sources in order to come to a conclusion based on research. The must also give credit where credit is due. All of these tasks will benefit our students as they continue with their education and career.”

We already do this frequently with writing.  Are there other ways/places for students to seek and cite evidence given who and what you teach?

See it in action:
  • Making Claims From Evidence - second grade students use Science and Engineering Practices, explore concepts through the lens of interesting phenomena and provide evidence-based reasoning from the
  • Socratic Seminar: Supporting Claims and Counterclaims - high school ELA class depicting strategies to encourage higher student engagement and individual participation, assist students in learning to respectfully express ideas and use socratic seminars to address the content being taught from the
  • Citing Evidence from Complex Text - focus on key instructional shifts in high school ELA class using structured evidence-based discussion of Shakespeare's Macbeth from EL Education.
  • Character Detectives - highly interactive elementary lesson guiding students to examine characters' speech, actions, thoughts and feelings through use of evidence from the
  • Using Text Features to Gather Evidence - second grade science class based on key details about soil. Shows use of background knowledge, analysis of text features before reading and template to organize evidence from the

Sample lesson plans:
  • "Where's Your Proof?" Teaching Kids to Use Evidence - 13 strategies for developing students' ability to use textual evidence from the Great Books Foundation.
  • Research and Writing site from Baltimore County Public Schools
  • Text Evidence workshop materials from the Maine Content Literacy Project, accessed through the content literacy materials at

After exploring this high impact strategy:

1. What are your most important takeaways?

2. In what ways do you anticipate this will impact or shift your practice?

3. What questions do you have at this point?