Design Student's Enquiry: Teach Claim, Evidence, And Reasoning Like A Pro

13th January 2023

Ever heard your student saying,” I don’t know, I just did” whenever asked to interpret and analyze lab results?

Well, even though we want all our students to think like scientists they often fall short of establishing a connection between science concepts and lab results. Thus, using a CER model of writing strategy will enhance their argumentative writing skills and change all of their “I don’t know” into “Voila!”

A Brief Run Down Of the Claim-Evidence-Reasoning (CER) Model

Now that you know a CER approach is essential in satisfying curiosity, you must be asking what exactly is this CER and how does it work?

Moreover, if you have freshly graduated with an International Teaching Diploma Course, you might look for ways to introduce the CER model to your students. Well, whatever may be your dilemma, allow us to help you out.

To begin with, CER starts with a question proposed by the teacher. The question is often based on a lab experience or phenomenon. The students while answering the question need to include: the claim, evidence, and reasoning for their explanation.

Now, let us look into each of these components individually.

1. Claim

This is the statement that answers the question and is usually of one or two sentences at the max. It does not include any evidence or reasoning and thus does not include any transition words like "because".

2. Evidence

This supports the claim by offering qualitative or quantitative evidence depending on the question. This can be a table or data created by the students and should only represent the evidence that directly supports the claim.

3. Reasoning

This is the explanation of the how and the why of the evidence provided. Students while providing reasoning must include an explanation of the underlying concept that produced the data or evidence.

How To Teach CER Basics To The Students?

The CER method is a structured writing strategy that allows students to think and write scientifically. When students can find evidence to support their claims and provide a proper explanation for doing so, they establish an understanding of the science behind their claims and establish connections.

The Claim

Some tips for teaching claims to students:

  • Begin evidence that contains a claim. Ask them to read passages as they are a good source for getting straightforward statements for evidence.
  • Propose a question to your students and ask them to answer it based on the evidence source provided.
  • Provide snippets of evidence and allow them to practice making claims.
  • Give them different types of source materials like charts, illustrations, graphs, etc to train their brain to come up with various claims.
  • Give them evidence sources without evidence questions so that they can come up with their own claims after studying the evidence.

The Evidence

Some tips for teaching evidence to students:

  • Provide as much variety as you can in terms of evidence resources and model evidence finding in the various types.
  • Give them a framework or structure in terms of how much evidence they are supposed to find.
  • Develop in them a habit of highlighting and annotating the evidence they find to make it easier for them to write the reasoning part.

The Reasoning

Some tips for teaching reasoning to students:

  • Add sentence starters when your students are just learning the CER model. This will allow them to frame their own sentences later on.
  • Make them understand that they do not need to provide long explanations for every part and only 2-3 sentences can also work.
  • You can also use television commercials for teaching reasoning as this can be a fun part of showing them how to practice reasoning based on evidence to prove your claim.
  • You can also use graphic organizers and let them see a visual breakdown of the evidence to explain the reasoning.

The Bottom Line

By teaching CER basics to your students you can differentiate instruction in your class and also change the reading difficulty of the source material to enhance learning. With the continued use of CER, their writing will become more polished and refined eventually. If you are new to the teaching field and want to make your students think and write like scientists, consider pursuing an international teaching diploma course.

Looking for earning an international teaching diploma certificate? If yes then give us a call at +919739615888. You can send us an email on Email: /

Written By : Sanjana

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