Authors’ Use of Reasons and Evidence

Authors’ Use of Reasons and Evidence introduces students to the concept of explaining why authors use reasons and evidence. Students will learn how to identify evidence and accurately tie it to the correct point that the author makes.

In the “Options for Lesson” section, you will find suggestions to either add to or alter in your lesson plan. One option is to let students use current informative content, news articles, blogs, and so on to practice identifying and explaining authors’ points and supporting evidence. Then they can write essays that explain the information they gathered. Another option is to list or display points or supporting evidence the students make throughout the day about random things.

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What our Authors’ Use of Reasons and Evidence lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Authors’ Use of Reasons and Evidence teaches students to explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support certain points in a text. Students will learn to identify which reasons and pieces of evidence support which points. They will discover that adding these details helps readers understand why an author made those points.

The lesson contains two pages of content. The first page starts out with a short informative paragraph for you to read to the students. After you finish reading, you ask students what points the write made. Students will learn how to identify the main point and other points in a text. Then they will learn about evidence and reasoning.

Students will discover why authors use evidence to support their points. They will learn that reader need to know why authors make the points they do.


Students will work with partners for the activity. However, you may want to have your students work in groups or by themselves. For the activity, students will choose a nonfiction topic and list five points that show evidence and reasons that support the topic. They will list the points in the table on the worksheet. They can use the lines below the table to write a rough draft of a short essay that includes the information they found. After they review their rough draft, they will write a final draft and share their essay with another pair of students.


The practice worksheet requires students to read 10 different statements. To the right of the statements is a list of supporting evidence or reasons. Students will match the evidence or reason to the statement it relates to.


For the homework assignment, students will read an informative passage. They must identify and list five points that the author makes about the topic. Then they will provide the evidence or reasons that support the five points they chose.

Additional information


5th Grade


Language Arts

State Educational Standards


Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.