Show Me the Evidence!

a detective in a green coat and hat smoking a pipe and looking at a question mark through a magnifying glass

Purpose:  to help learners begin to use evidence from a text to make inferences and support answers

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Materials Needed:  A picture, sets of questions


  1. Show the learners a picture that relates to the topic they are studying in class.
  2. Ask the learners to describe what they see out loud as a whole class.
  3. Put the learners into pairs and have them describe what they see to a partner.
  4. Pass out a short set of questions about the picture. The questions should require the learners to look at the picture to find the answers. They should need to think critically about the picture (questions where the answers aren’t immediately obvious and the learners need to make inferences about what they see). See the attached handout Beginning Level Text Dependent Questions for suggestions for questions.
  5. Have the learners work with a partner or with a small group to answer the questions.
  6. Bring the class back together to check the answers. After each question, ask the class, “How do you know that’s the answer? What’s the evidence?” Have a volunteer come up to the board to circle the evidence in the picture.

This activity addresses College and Career Readiness Standard Reading Anchor 1A.

Want to see this activity in action? Watch the CCRS in the ABE Classroom: Beginning ESL video at


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