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What will students experience in a Quill Reading for Evidence activity?
What will students experience in a Quill Reading for Evidence activity?
Updated over a week ago

Quill's newest learning tool, Reading for Evidence, is designed to support students in building both language and reading skills. Students read a nonfiction text and build their comprehension through open-ended writing prompts, supporting a claim with evidence from the text. Designed for students in 8th-12th grade, each activity takes 15-20 minutes to complete. Activities are relevant to ELA, social studies, and science, with a particular focus on 21st-century real-world issues.

In each activity, students are prompted to read the text, highlight sentences about a key idea, and finally, to write 3 sentences using the connectives because, but, and so. As they submit responses, Quill's Feedback Bot, powered by cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI), coaches students to improve the accuracy and specificity of their evidence, refine their logic and syntax, and correct any grammatical or mechanical errors. Like in Quill Connect, students can make up to 4 revisions for each prompt, and teachers can see all of students’ revisions in the Activity Analysis report.

Table of Contents:

Demo video

In the following video, one of Quill's Professional Learning Managers demos the heart of a Reading for Evidence activity—writing and revising in response to feedback.

Student Onboarding Pages

When students begin a Quill Reading for Evidence activity, they will click through four onboarding pages that will walk them through important things to know about the tool. Once a student has completed 3 Reading for Evidence activities, they will no longer see these onboarding pages at the beginning of activities.

The first page tells students what they will be doing in a Quill Reading for Evidence activity:

  1. Read and highlight a text;

  2. Write sentences using what they read;

  3. Revise their sentences based on feedback.

Students will click the “Next” button on the bottom of the page to go to the next page.

First onboarding slide with the next button highlighted

The second page tells students that the activity is not graded. We want students to focus on understanding the text and revising their sentences based on feedback, not on the grade they will get on the activity.

Students will click the “Next” button on the bottom of the page to go to the next page.

Second onboarding slide with the next button highlighted

The third page tells students that they will receive their feedback from a feedback bot. This is our way of explaining to students that the feedback they get in Reading for Evidence activities is powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, which means it’s not a human teacher and it won’t always give perfect feedback. Please let students know we very much want to know if they receive feedback they think is off or unhelpful—they can do this right under the feedback when they receive it by clicking the “Report a Problem” button (pictured below). They can also share feedback at the end of every Reading for Evidence activity.

Screenshot of Quill Reading for Evidence feedback with "Report a Problem" highlighted.

Third onboarding slide with the next button highlighted

The final onboarding page tells students that they will have up to four attempts to revise their sentences. Just like our other activities, students will get specific, targeted feedback on their responses.

Students will click the “Start” button at the bottom of the page to begin the activity.

Final onboarding slide with the start button highlighted

Reading the Passage

Before students begin reading the passage, they will see a list of the steps they will take in the activity.

Students will click the “Start” button at the bottom of the page.

Screenshot of directions in a Quill Reading for Evidence activity

Then, students will see directions to read the passage and highlight two sentences related to a specific key idea--it may be helpful to know that this key idea will usually be relevant to the first stem students are asked to complete (the because stem).

Students will click the “Got it” button to begin reading the passage.

Students will read the passage by scrolling on the left side of the screen. Once students get to the bottom of the passage, the “Read the whole passage” step will be checked off. If a student tells you they can’t click the “Done” button, they most likely haven’t scrolled through (read) the whole text.

Highlighting Sentences about a Key Idea

To highlight the sentences in the text, students will click on the sentence they would like to highlight. The sentences they click on will appear highlighted in the text, as well as on the right side of the screen underneath the “Highlights” section.

Scrolling to the bottom of a Quill Reading for Evidence activity and selecting two sentences to highlight

Students will click the “Next” button to move on.

Next button highlighted at the bottom of the page

Completing and Revising the Sentence Stems

After students read and highlight the text, they will see the checklist with the first step checked off.

Students will click the “Next” button to begin completing the first sentence stem (”because...”).

Next button highlighted at the bottom of the page

Students will now be in the heart of a Reading for Evidence activity. Note the layout of the page: the text will be on the left side, and students can scroll up and down to view the whole text; the prompts and sentence stems will be on the right—this is where students will write and receive feedback.

Quill Reading for Evidence activity showing the passage on the left and the text box on the right

Students will click in the text box to begin drafting a sentence. When you are ready to submit, click the “Get feedback” button.

Sentence submitted on a Quill Reading for Evidence activity with the feedback underneath

Just like other Quill activities, students will receive targeted feedback on each submission. The tool will provide feedback on the accuracy and relevance of evidence, use of the conjunction, the quality of paraphrasing (discouraging plagiarism), and use of opinion (encouraging students to only use textual evidence). Only when students have corrected any issues in these areas will they get feedback on grammatical or mechanical errors.

As much as possible, the feedback will try to lead the student to make a revision without directly telling them what to do. However, scaffolds are also designed in the feedback for when students are struggling. For example, if students are having trouble identifying a relevant piece of evidence, a section of the passage will be highlighted for the student to re-read.

Example evidence highlighted in the passage of a Quill Reading for Evidence activity

“Hints” provide annotated exemplars. For example, students may see an annotated exemplar of an effective use of “because” if they are struggling to provide evidence of a reason for the stem.

Screenshot of Reading for Evidence hints appearing below the feedback

If students do not submit a strong, evidence-based sentence by the fifth attempt, they will see examples of strong sentences submitted by other students.

Final attempt screen with example sentences at the bottom of the page

If students do submit a strong, evidence-based sentence, they will see a green box with a checkmark.

Strong sentence feedback with a check mark

Final Reflection

After students complete the last sentence stem, they will be brought to a reflection page that celebrates their efforts. Note that, as indicated in the onboarding section of the activity and reiterated on this page, students won’t see any grade or score for their responses, but they will get to see their 3 final revisions alongside exemplar responses for each stem (2 exemplars per stem). This is a great page to leverage for class discussion!

Completed activity screen for a Quill Reading for Evidence activity

Following the reflection page, students can also complete an optional emoji survey on what they think of the activity. Our team reviews these responses and revises activities accordingly, so please encourage your students to provide their feedback here!

Emoji survey following a Quill Reading for Evidence activity

Additional Resources for Teachers

We also encourage you to explore our other resources designed to support your implementation of Reading for Evidence, such as:

Sharing Your Feedback

This is a new tool, and we are eager to hear from you! Please share your feedback or requests here.

Reporting Issues

Please email to report any issues you or your students have with Quill Reading for Evidence activities. Please include: the date/time of the issue, the name of the activity, and the name of the class and/or student(s) who experienced the issue.

Have more questions?

Please feel free to message us through the green message bubble on the bottom right corner of the screen or email us at

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