COMMON CORE STANDARDS
Reading Informational Text
RI.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.
RI.7.3 Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events.)
RI.7.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.
RI.7.6 Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author distinguishes his or her position from that of others.
RI.7.8 Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims.
Reading in Science & Technical Subjects
RST.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.
RST.6-8.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text, including an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
RST.6-8.5 Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to an understanding of the topic.
DESCRIPTION OF MINI ASSESSMENT
This grade 7 mini-assessment titled “Chapter 3: From Farm to Factory, an excerpt from The Omnivore’s Dilemma: The Secrets Behind What You Eat by Michael Pollan” from achievethecore.org measures both CCSS Reading Standards for Informational Text as well as Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects. Questions included in this assessment reflect the shift required by CCSS to read text closely, examine textual evidence, and discern deep meaning as a central focus of instruction. The mini-assessment is comprised of six questions designed to measure the degree to which a student can independently demonstrate the major targeted grade level CCSS standards with appropriately complex text.
Connecticut educators are encouraged to give students the time that they need to read closely and write to the source. While it is helpful to have students complete the mini-assessment in one class period, educators should allow additional time as is necessary to accommodate students who are ELL, have disabilities, or read well below the grade level text band.
RATIONALE FOR SELECTION
This mini-assessment is an excellent example of how to design text-dependent questions aligned to specific Common Core Standards for Science and Technical Subjects. An annotated Teacher’s Guide for the assessment gives a specific rationale for each answer option and lists the specific standards addressed. Information about determining text complexity (quantitative and qualitative data) is included with assessment materials. A vetted lesson plan using this same text excerpt is located in the science section of the Connecticut Core Standards website at: http://www.achievethecore.org/page/31/the-omnivore-s-dilemma-the-secrets-behind-what-you-eat-by-michael-pollan.