Grade 5: “Who was Marco Polo?” by Joan Holub and “The Adventure of Marco Polo” by Russell Freedman


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Reading Informational Text

RI.5.1 Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.   

RI.5.2 Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.

RI.5.3 Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.

RI.5.4 Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.

RI.5.5  Compare and contrast the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts.

RI.5.6 Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.

RI.5.7 Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.

RI.5.8 Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point(s).

RI.5.9 Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.


W.5.1  Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.   


This Grade 5 mini-assessment titled, “WHO WAS MARCO POLO? by Joan Holub and THE ADVENTURE OF MARCO POLO by Russell Freedman” cited on is intended to inform instruction about a student’s ability to engage in the close reading of two complex non-fiction text excerpts on the same subject to demonstrate deep understanding.  In this mini-assessment there are six selected-response questions that address the reading standards listed and one (optional) constructed-response question that addresses the writing standard listed. It is designed to be completed in one 45-minute class session.


It is recommended to Connecticut teachers that the writing prompt not be made optional.


This mini-assessment is a good 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 the school year.  An annotated Teacher’s Guide for the assessment gives a specific rationale for each answer option and lists the standards addressed. Information about determining text complexity (quantitative and qualitative data) is included with assessment materials.