EL Support Lesson

Prove it With Evidence

Use this lesson to teach your students to cite evidence from the text with introductory phrases. This lesson can stand-alone or be used as a pre-lesson for the <a href="https://www.education.com/lesson-plan/reading-comprehension-and-evidence-based-terms/" target="_blank">Reading Comprehension and Evidence-Based Terms</a> lesson.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for theReading Comprehension and Evidence-Based TermsLesson plan.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for theReading Comprehension and Evidence-Based TermsLesson plan.

Students will be able to use text evidence to prove their answers to comprehension questions.


Students will be able to refer explicitly to text with introductory phrases using sentence stems.

(2 minutes)
Glossary Template Teach Background Knowledge TemplateWrite Student-Facing Language Objectives ReferenceVocabulary Cards: Prove It With Text EvidenceIntroductory Phrases: Cite the EvidenceIntroductory Phrases: A Way to Begin
  • Activate prior knowledge by asking students where they get information. Allow them to talk to a partner before sharing out to the whole group.
  • Facilitate a class discussion about where we get information (e.g., movies, books, conversations with family and friends, experiences, television) and point out that a lot of what we learn comes from some form of text. We can often pick out the exact words in a text that helped teach us something.
  • Go over the language objective with the class, and explain that today's lesson will be about picking out the EvidenceFrom a text that helps us answer questions.
(10 minutes)
  • Introduce the tiered words for today's lesson by displaying the Vocabulary Cards with the definitions and images covered. Ask students to give a thumbs up if they know the word, thumb to the side if they have heard the word but don't know it, and a thumbs down if they do not know the word at all. Call on students with a thumbs up to share a quick definition of each word.
  • Distribute a copy of the Glossary Template to each student, and instruct them to record the words and definitions. Engage the class in a discussion about what visuals would be helpful to remember each definition. Give students time to sketch an image for each word.
  • Instruct students to write a related word in the last column of the Glossary Template. For example, PredictIs a related word for Expect.
  • Model using the word ExpectIn a sentence. Then, give students time to talk about the words with a partner. Have them pick two of the vocabulary words to use in an original sentence. Call on nonvolunteers to share with the class.
(10 minutes)
  • Write the following sentence on the board: "After dinner, we went outside for a walk."
  • Circle the introductory phrase (After dinner,), and be sure to include the comma.
  • Explain that the circled portion of the sentence is called the Introductory phraseBecause it introduces the rest of the sentence. This phrase can not stand alone as its own sentence, and it sets the stage for the rest of the information that comes in the sentence.
  • Distribute a copy of the Introductory Phrases: A Way to Begin worksheet to each student and go over the information at the top. Provide additional examples of sentences with introductory phrases if necessary.
  • Model how to identify the introductory phrase in the first two examples. Read the sentences aloud with a slight pause at the comma to show how these sentences should sound. Have students choral read the sentences after you read them aloud. Put students into partnerships to complete the remainder of the first section. Call on nonvolunteers to share their answers.
  • Read the directions for the second section, and guide students through the first two examples. Underline context clues in the sentence that help you figure out which introductory phrase best fits the sentence. Then, choral read the completed sentence, pausing slightly at the comma.
  • Instruct students to work with their partner to complete the last two examples. Call on nonvolunteers to share their answers. Ask students to do a think-pair-share about the following question: "Why are introductory phrases found at the beginning of sentences?"
(10 minutes)
  • Explain to students that introductory phrases are used in sentences about many different subjects, but that they are now going to focus on how they are used when citing text evidence in an answer.
  • Hand out a copy of the Introductory Phrases: Cite the Evidence worksheet to each learner. Review the information at the top, focusing on the example sentence, which uses an evidence-based term as the introductory phrase. Emphasize that this is an example of the types of phrases that help us clarify that we used the text to prove our answers.
  • Read aloud the text with the class and have them circle any unfamiliar words they want to discuss. Define them with a student-friendly definition and visual as needed. Ask students if they see any of the tiered vocabulary words from earlier in the lesson, and have a student volunteer remind the class about the definitions.
  • Model how to complete the first question by going back into the text to find the answer. Underline the answer, choose an introductory phrase from the word bank, and write the answer on the lines.
  • Put students into partnerships and have them complete the two remaining questions in the same way. Then, scramble the partners and have the new partnerships check their answers with each other. Go over these as a class, making sure to read aloud the answers with the slight pause after the introductory phrase.


  • Allow access to reference materials in home language (L1).
  • Provide a partially completed Glossary Template for students.
  • Give students a sentence frame to use as they answer the Sentence Level discussion question: "Introductory phrases are found at the beginning of sentences because ____."
  • Allow learners to use different colored highlighters as they find the text evidence on the Introductory Phrases: Cite the Evidence worksheet.
  • Pair students with an advanced EL.
  • Ask ELs to repeat instructions before beginning group or independent work.


  • Allow learners to utilize glossaries and dictionaries for unfamiliar words.
  • Choose advanced ELs to share their ideas first in group and class discussions.
  • Have learners repeat instructions and key vocabulary, summarizing important information for the class.
(5 minutes)
  • Give each student an index card and have them keep their Introductory Phrases: Cite the Evidence worksheet out so they can access the text.
  • Inform learners that they will answer an additional question with an introductory phrase and text evidence on the index card as an Exit Ticket. They will use the same sentence structure pattern as they did on the worksheet
  • Display the following question: "Where did Jamir get his lucky pencil?"
(3 minutes)
  • Go over students' answers to the Exit Ticket question and record an exemplar answer on the board. Review the parts of the sentence, pointing out the introductory phrase and the comma.
  • Remind students that introductory phrases set the stage for the rest of the sentence. These phrases help to make our writing more interesting and detailed, and as readers, they help us as we answer questions and provide text evidence.

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