Grade 6: Excerpts from COUNTING ON GRACE by Elizabeth Winthrop and IQBAL by Francesco D’Adamo


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Reading Literature

RL.6.1 Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

RL.6.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

RL.6.3 Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.

RL.6.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone

RL.6.5 Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot.

RL.6.6 Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.

RL.6.9 Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres (e.g., stories and poems; historical novels and fantasy stories) in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics.


W.6.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.

W.6.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

W.6.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.


L.6.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

L.6.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

L.6.3 Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.


This Grade 6 mini-assessment titled “Excerpts from COUNTING ON GRACE by Elizabeth Winthrop and IQBAL by Francesco D’Adamo” cited on is intended to be completed in one class period. In this mini- assessment, students read two paired-literary excerpts before answering ten text-dependent questions that address the Reading Standards listed above. An additional constructed-response question that addresses Reading, Writing, and Language Standards is also included.


Connecticut educators are encouraged to give students the time that they need to read closely and write to the source.  While it is helpful to have students complete the mini-assessment in one class period, educators should allow additional time as is necessary to accommodate students who are ELL, have disabilities, or read well below the grade level text band. It is strongly recommended that the writing prompt not be made optional to more fully assess each student’s ability to meet the targeted Common Core Standards listed above.


This mini-assessment is an excellent example of how to design rigorous text-dependent questions aligned to specific Common Core Standards using literary-paired passages. An annotated Teacher’s Guide for the assessment gives a specific rationale for each answer option and lists the specific standards addressed. A Scoring Rubric for Text-Based Writing Prompts and information about determining text complexity (quantitative and qualitative data) is included with assessment materials. All materials needed for the assessment are provided.

NOTE: For teachers who wish to assess only Counting on Grace (a single text), a different assessment is available on to meet your needs. The constructed-response prompt targets informational/explanatory writing). Click here.