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COMMON CORE STANDARDS
Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies
WHST.11-12.1(a) Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of the claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that logically sequences the claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
WHST.11-12.1(c) Use words, phrases, and clauses as well as varied syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims.
WHST.11-12.2 Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/experiments, or technical processes.
WHST.11-12.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
WHST.11-12.8 Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the strengths and limitations of each source in terms of the specific task, purpose, and audience; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and overreliance on any one source and following a standard format for citation.
WHST.11-12.9 Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
DESCRIPTION OF ASSESSMENT
This Grade 12 assessment titled “Evaluating Gender Equality in Today’s Society: A Critical View” created by Chevalier for the New Hampshire Task Bank is a curriculum embedded task that takes approximately two weeks to complete. This end-of-semester assessment is intended to measure student ability to: conduct sustained research to answer a self-generated question; gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources; use oral and written communication skills to express ideas. The task requires students to independently write an argumentative essay answering the essential/guiding question: To what extent has our society achieved gender equality? Students then present their arguments to their peers, communicating effectively with their audience—using conventions and proper format.
Connecticut teachers are cautioned that the task assumes that students have knowledge of how to: develop a thesis statement; use graphic organizers to organize research and reasons in support of a claim; analyze texts of varying media, rhetorical techniques, propaganda techniques; use transitions in writing; present ideas effectively to an audience. Students also need to have background knowledge of the definitions of gender and gender equality prior to starting this task. If this assessment is used as an introductory formative assessment task to be repeated later in the year to more fully assess student proficiency in developing an argument through research, supports for students who are ELL, have disabilities, or read well below the grade level text band may be needed. Computer access is required to carry out this assessment as intended. If this task is used in an English class, the standards listed above will need to be replaced with the English Language Arts/Literacy Standards. Since the task also aligns with the Social Studies C3 Frameworks Standards, these standards could also be added. For direct links to these sources, see below:
English Language Arts/Literacy Standards, Writing Grades 11-12
Connecticut Elementary and Secondary Social Studies C3 Frameworks
RATIONALE FOR SELECTION
This performance task is a good example of how to provide for authentic assessment, application of literacy skills, student-directed inquiry, analysis, evaluation and/or reflection. Using media and technology to deepen learning, it expects students to draw evidence from texts to produce clear and coherent writing that informs, explains, or makes an argument. Materials include Teacher/Student Directions, Instructional Materials-Graphic Organizer, and a Gender Equality Argumentative Essay Rubric that provides sufficient guidance for interpreting student performance. The task aligns with the Connecticut social studies frameworks for secondary grades and could be used to complement an existing unit in an a number of upper level elective courses.