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Reading Literature

RL.11.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

RL.11.2 Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.

RL.11.3 Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).

RL.11.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)

RL.11.6 Analyze a case in which grasping a point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement).


This grade 11 assessment titled “HOME BURIAL” cited on is based on a poem by Robert Frost. The assessment is intended to inform instruction about a student’s ability to engage in the close reading of complex literary poem, in order to demonstrate deep understanding. In this assessment there are four text-dependent questions that address the reading standards listed above and one constructed-response question.


Connecticut teachers are cautioned that it is unclear the amount of time it will take for students to complete this assessment. Since there is a writing prompt included in the assessment, writing and language standards that apply should be added and assessed.


This assessment is a good example of how to design text-dependent questions aligned to specific Common Core Standards. The task could be used as a formative assessment to assess students’ abilities to engage in the close reading of a complex poem. Assessment guidelines that provide sufficient guidance for interpreting student performance are included in the Teacher’s Guide along with which standards each question addresses. Guiding questions, discussion questions, paired texts, related media, and a parent guide are included in the assessment materials.