How do I do it?
After reading a text, introduce the idea of crowd surfing, perhaps with a quick video clip of a musician crowd surfing (explain that this is dangerous...) Talk about how each person helps to hold up the surfer and without enough people to hold the surfer up, they will fall. The same is true of a main point that an author will make. The author must give enough evidence for their main point or no one will believe it - essentially, it will fall to the ground. For example, if the main point is, “Rock music is interesting” then the author must support that claim with evidence like, “It has a long history. There are many types of rock music.” etc. Together with students, utilizing a document camera or overhead/LCD projector, identify the main point (the surfer) and the evidence (crowd members).
Variations & Extensions
Students can work in pairs to identify a “surfer” (main point) and “crowd members” (evidence) that will hold the surfer up. Lower proficiency students should be able to do this task in their first language in order to attain the concept before attempting it in their second language. After students have identified a main point and evidence, ask if they think the surfer will stay up or fall. Essentially, you are asking them if their is sufficient evidence for the main point.