COMMON CORE STANDARDS
Reading Informational Texts
RL.4.1 Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
RL.4.2 Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
RL.4.3 Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.
RL.4.4 Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.
W.4.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
W.4.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
W.4.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
W.4.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
L.4.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
L.4.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
L.4.3 Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
DESCRIPTION OF ASSESSMENT
This grade 4 annotated mini-assessment titled “WALK TWO MOONS by Sharon Creech” cited on achievethecore.org is based on a text excerpt by the same title. It is intended to inform instruction about a student’s ability to engage in the close reading of complex text in order to demonstrate deep understanding. In this mini- assessment there are six selected-response questions that address the Reading Standards listed above. There is also an optional constructed-response item, which is aligned to the Reading, Writing, and Language Standards. The writing prompt requires students to write an informative/explanatory essay explaining what a character’s actions from a part of the story reveal about her beliefs about life. Students are asked to give specific examples showing how the author develops this character’s belief.
This mini-assessment is designed to be completed in one class period; however, educators are encouraged to allow students additional time as necessary to read closely, answer the questions, and write to the source. It is strongly recommended that the writing prompt not be optional. Teachers are cautioned that the CCSS W.4.1 “Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.” is listed in the materials, but is not evaluated in this assessment.
RATIONALE FOR SELECTION
This mini-assessment is an exemplary example of how to design text-dependent questions aligned to specific Common Core Standards. It could be used as a formative assessment at the start of a school year and/or to assess the growth in students’ abilities to engage in the close reading of a complex text. An annotated Teacher’s Guide for the assessment gives specific rationale for each answer option and lists which standards it addresses. There is an aligned rubric for the writing prompt as well as assessment guidelines. Information about determining text complexity (quantitative and qualitative data) is included with assessment materials.