RACE Strategy for Reading Comprehension – Peas in a Pod Lessons

Are you looking for ways to teach your students reading comprehension strategies that actually stick? Constructed response questions can be intimidating, but with the RACE strategy for reading comprehension, your students will be using text evidence to answer questions in no time!

What exactly is the RACE strategy?

The RACES acronym that helps students remember which steps to take in writing a constructed response.

The RACE strategy can help students excel at finding text evidence to write short answers. It’s a step-by-step template that guides students on how to write constructed responses.

When teaching the RACES strategy, illustrate each step with a a graphic organizer. Start with shorter passages and allow ample time for practice. Students will confidently and master the skill of using text evidence to write constructed responses in no time!

R = Restate the Question

The first step in using the RACES strategy in writing is to teach kids to restate the question.

  • For example, “Who was George Washington Carver?” the answer would begin with: “George Washington Carver was……..”

A = Answer the Question

The second step in using the RACES strategy for writing is to finish the sentence and answer the question.
Students may infer from text evidence to find the answer.

A few suggestions to offer:

  • Sometimes questions have more than one part. Every part of the question should be answered.
  • Students need to list the character’s name before using a pronoun like she/he/they.

C = Cite Text Evidence

Citing text evidence can be tricky for some students.
First, kids need to find relevant evidence to support their answer.
Next, they must use a correct simple sentence starters. Once kids memorize a few question stems, this part of the RACES writing strategy goes smoothly.

E = Explain It

Finally, students use text evidence to prove their point and complete their short constructed response.
Again, sentence stems help. (For example: This means ……., This is an example or……, This shows that….)

When it comes to teaching my students how to ace their reading comprehension, I’ve found that Restating and Answering go hand-in-hand, so I teach them together.

Citing text evidence can be a bit trickier to grasp, but color coding it in the text helps. And once we’ve covered that, Explaining seems to come naturally.

But let’s not stop there! To really solidify what we’ve learned, we dive into a fascinating text as a class, putting all the components together to make magic happen. I love to see students shine!
Teaching the RACE strategy is easy when you break it down into separate parts and teach each one before putting it all together. Start with short passages and work your way up to longer ones. With plenty of practice and the right approach, they’ll be writing constructed responses like champs!

With the RACE strategy for reading comprehension your students will become masters of using text evidence to write well crafted short answer responses!

You might also like “5 Quick Tips – Getting Students to Follow Directions.

Happy Teaching!

~ Melissa

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