COMMON CORE STANDARDS
RL.7.1 Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
RL.7.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
RL.7.3 Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).
RL.7.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.
RL.7.5 Analyze how a drama’s or poem’s form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning
RL.7.7 Compare and contrast a written story, drama, or poem to its audio, filmed, staged, or multimedia version, analyzing the effects of techniques unique to each medium (e.g., lighting, sound, color, or camera focus and angles in a film).
W.7.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
W.7.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
W.7.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
L.7.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
L.7.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
L.7.3 Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading or listening.
Speaking and Listening
SL.7.2 Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic text, or issue under study.
DESCRIPTION OF ASSESSMENT
This grade 7 mini-assessment titled “’From The Wave’ by Thom Gunn” is cited on achievethecore.org. It is based on a poem that 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. Students will first independently read the poem; then they will listen twice as a class to an audio recording. There are eight text-dependent questions that address the Reading Standards listed above. There is also an optional constructed-response item, which is aligned to the Reading and Writing Standards listed above. The writing prompt requires students to write a first-person narrative about surfing based on details from the poem.
Connecticut teachers are cautioned that although this mini-assessment is designed to be completed in one class period, 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.
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.