A step-by-step guide for how to teach RL.1 in middle school ELA.
Today, we are talking about explicit and implicit evidence!!
As students get into middle school, they start to see the difficulty of the reading standards increase quite a bit. Once students are in middle school, they are asked to spend a lot more time on Bloom’s higher levels of taxonomy, including both inference and synthesizing information, and this all starts with the first standard for reading literature.
In RL.1, students are specifically looking at citing textual evidence and inference at different levels as they work their way through the middle grades.
We have created resources to explicitly teach each standard, and whether you are teaching 6th, 7th, or 8th grade, we have a resource you can work through with your students to help them master their learning and understanding of each standard.
As we start talking about how to teach RL.1 in middle school, let’s start with the learning targets!
When starting to plan for a standard, start with the learning targets. To get the learning targets, break down the standard into 3-5 parts.
Here are the learning targets on which we developed our resources for RL.1.
6th Grade Standard: Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly, as well as inferences drawn from the text.
6th Grade Learning Targets
- I can determine what the text says explicitly.
- I can make an inference based on what the text says implicitly.
- I can cite from the text to support my analysis.
7th Grade Standard: Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly, as well as inferences drawn from the text.
7th Grade Learning Targets
- I can determine what the text says explicitly.
- I can make an inference based on what the text says implicitly
- I can cite SEVERAL pieces of evidence from the text to support my analysis.
8th Grade Standard: Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly, as well as inferences drawn from the text.
8th Grade Learning Targets
- I can find evidence in a text that supports the main idea.
- I know the difference between explicit and inferred meanings.
- I can find explicit and inferred meaning in a text.
Growing through Middle School
As students move through middle school, this standard asks them to move from simply identifying evidence that could support their analysis of the text to asking them to find several examples and then finally to consider and choose the STRONGEST supports for their analysis.
As we develop projects and practice, we can acknowledge the differences at each level. If a student is only finding one piece of evidence to support their finding in 6th grade that aligns with and meets the expectation of the standard, but if they are only able to identify a single piece of evidence as a 7th or 8th grader, they need more work.
Explicit vs. Implicit
Explicit information is information that is clearly stated in the text and leaves no room for confusion or questions.
Implicit information is information that is NOT clearly stated in the text. It is implied and understood, although it is not directly expressed.
The words explicit and implicit are used in the standards. Although some teachers may try to skirt around using that language in the classroom, it is really better to teach students what implicit and explicit mean and then explain what they mean in the context of the standard.
In each of our resources for this standard, we have included a poster explaining the difference between explicit and implicit information and a lesson you can use to teach and practice finding explicit information.
Resources for teaching RL.1
When picking resources to help teach RL.1 in middle school, you’ll want to make sure the resource teaches, practices, and reviews the standard at the appropriate level for the students you’re teaching.
Each of our resources for this standard…
…teaches the standard from introduction to assessment in a way that allows the teacher to know that their students are getting the information at their grade level.
The resources include posters and resources students can refer to throughout the unit as well as activities and projects that specifically align with their grade level and learning targets.
Activities and Projects for Practicing and Assessing RL.1 in Middle School
- Read a passage and write a short essay response that makes an inference and provides several examples of evidence. You can find a reading passage and a writing prompt designed specifically for this purpose in our 7th grade RL.1 resource.
- Ask students to read a passage and then provide them with a specific main point to gather details about. Ask them to label the details as either explicit or implicit. A passage and writing prompt that aligns with this idea can be found in the 8th grade RL.1 resource.
- Use photos to practice making inferences. This activity can be found in our 6th grade RL. 1 resource.
- Graphic organizers like webs are a great way for students to document and organize explicit information they have located in the text. We do a variation of this in the 7th and 8th grade resources.
Ensuring your students understand and master the standards doesn’t have to be difficult. However, if you don’t break down the standard, figure out and explicitly design your lessons to meet the learning targets, then it’s possible to leave out important parts of the standard (for example, teaching explicit vs. implicit information).