Are your students having trouble finding answers and citing evidence in their reading? This STEP-BY-STEP process scaffolds through reading strategies to help your students be successful! Students will learn the acronyms for ACE, RACE, and RAP to provide them with the proper tools for citing evidence effectively along with tips to keep them engaged!

To teach the following lessons, each student will need a reading passage they can highlight, a pencil, a notebook for taking notes, a variety of colorful highlighters, and magnifying glasses (optional).  Follow these steps in this suggested order:

1.  Explain the meaning of text evidence.

Text is written work.

Evidence is proof.

Text + Evidence is citing proof in the reading.

2.  Read through the text thoroughly.  

It is helpful to read through the text independently and then together. That way struggling readers will be able to hear words that they may not have understood or read correctly.


Provide an anchor chart for your visual learners. Display it so the whole class can see. Discuss each letter and tell your students that they will be using this acronym when they become ACE Detectives. This will get them excited to learn about ACE! Some teachers use RACE. The R stands for Restate the Question. This is helpful if you don’t already ask students to restate questions in their answers.

A-  Answer the question using prior knowledge and inferences.

Restate the question in your answer.

Example:  Why did Paul Revere ride through the towns?

Answer:  Paul Revere rode through the towns because….

Teachers:  Practice restating the question with students.  Provide questions and restate them together.

Prior Knowledge:  When a reader has previous experience or has already read about a particular topic, he will have some insight or knowledge to the topic before reading it. Having prior knowledge on a topic will help the reader comprehend it better than someone with no prior knowledge.  It is almost like having the upper hand if someone is already familiar with a topic.  It provides extra support to the reader’s thinking process.

Inferring:  It is an educated guess or reading facts and evidence to reach a logical conclusion or opinion.  Making inferences while reading is a strategy that will help you understand the text at a deeper level.  It is best to draw a conclusion or form an opinion by finding two or more supporting details in the reading passage.  It also helps to look for words or phrases that may express a positive or negative tone. Learn how to infer HERE.

C- Cite evidence in the text to support your thoughts or opinions.

When answering questions about a reading assignment, look back at the text and find proof for the answers within the text. Highlighting the text is an effective approach to mark the evidence!  Do you want your students engaged in this activity? Provide magnifying glasses. You can get a class set pretty cheap HERE! Students will get excited to dig deeper in the text to search for the evidence!

Do you want to motivate them even more? Have students colorcode the answers.  A little bit of color and they are more interested in their work!   On the example, you will see numbers. Numbering the highlighted area is useful especially if you plan to discuss or review their highlighted work.

E-  Explain your answer with evidence by paraphrasing or directly quoting.

Paraphrasing:  The author explains….   The text shows……   Use RAP:  Read, Ask yourself questions, Put the information in your own words.

Paraphrasing RAP

Quoting:  The author says, “…”    The text states, “…..”  Quoting is copying exactly what the author is saying in your answer.  Make sure to use quotation marks!

4. Take Notes

Students should take notes on all of the acronyms. It is a valuable tool for them to use with future assignments. Interactive writing notebooks are a great way to get students motivated, but if you don’t have the materials or time is a factor, I have two suggestions. Students can take traditional notes from the anchor charts, or you can make mini anchor charts for students to paste into their notebooks.

5. Practice

Once students have a firm understanding of ACE, give them an ACE chart for practice as a whole group, small group, or partners. Review the correct answers together.


6.  Apply

Students now have the strategies to use when providing text evidence from their reading. They should be able to apply this knowledge when answering questions!


I hope you found the TEXT EVIDENCE strategies in this post useful and your students become ACE detectives with a deeper understanding of the text!  

Another related post you might want to check out: STRATEGIES TO TEACH TEXT DEPENDENT ANALYSIS



If you find these lessons valuable, learn more about the full TEXT EVIDENCE UNIT prepped and ready for you. It includes lessons, anchor charts, examples, interactive notebook pages, practice sheets, differentiated passages, task cards, ACE charts, and assessment!  It also includes a student version for tablets! I INCLUDED A RACE VERSION!!!! CLICK ON IMAGE BELOW TO LEARN MORE.  I ALSO HAVE A PRIMARY VERSION YOU CAN FIND HERE.


Are you looking for a bundle of reading units? This bundle includes Inference, Text Evidence, Theme, Mythology, and Cause and Effect! Click below to learn more.

If you are looking for READING COMPREHENSION passages created with TEXT-DEPENDENT questions (open-ended and multiple choice) for ALL reading standards click below! The one below links to the fourth grade version, but I have them for Grades 2-5. You can learn about them HERE.