Claim / Support / Question
A routine for clarifying truth claims

1. Make a claim about the topic
Claim: An explanation or interpretation of some aspect of the topic.
2. Identify support for your claim
Support: Things you see, feel, and know that support your claim.
3. Ask a question related to your claim
Question: What's left hanging? What isn't explained? What new reasons does your claim raise?


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Purpose: What kind of thinking does this routine encourage? The routine helps students develop thoughtful interpretations by encouraging them to reason with evidence. Students learn to identify truth claims and explore strategies for uncovering truth.

Application: When and Where can it be used? Use Claim Support Question with topics in the curriculum that invite explanation or are open to interpretation.

Launch: What are some tips for starting and using this routine? The routine can work well for individuals, in small groups and for whole group discussions. Begin by modeling the routine: Identify a claim and explore support and questions in a whole group discussion. On the board make one column for SUPPORT and one column for QUESTIONS. Ask the class for evidence that either supports a claim, or questions the claim and write it in the appropriate column. Take turns using the routine so that each student makes a claim, identifies support and asks a question.

Following each person's report, take a moment as a group to discuss the topic in relation to the claim before moving on to the next person. Be patient as students take a few moments to think. You may need to probe further by asking: What are some other questions you might want to ask about this statement? or Can you think of reasons why this may be true? Encourage friendly disagreement -- once a student comes up with an alternative perspective about a claim, encourage other students to follow. The questions can challenge the plausibility of the claim, and often lead to a deeper understanding of the reasoning process. Let students know it is fine to disagree with one another's reasons and encourage them to come up with creative suggestions for support and questioning.

After everyone has had a turn, reflect on the activity. What new thoughts do students have about the topic?