School Improvement in Maryland

Sample Item
Brief Constructed Response Item for Grade 3

Standard 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

Topic A. Comprehension of Literary Text

Indicator 6. Determine important ideas and messages in literary texts

Objective a. Identify and explain main ideas and universal themes

Assessment limits:

  • Main ideas of the text or a portion of the text
  • Message, moral, or lesson learned from the text
Read the poem 'When You Can Read'. Then answer the following.


Explain a lesson about reading that a reader can learn from this poem. In your response, use details from the poem that support your explanation. Write your response on the lines below.
Sample Student Response #1

Student Response

Annotation: The reader answers, "that ther is many thing you can do when you can read" and clarifies slightly that "it can help you when you get older." To improve this response, the reader should return to the text for support about exactly what things you can do when you can read. For example, the student can reference map skills, cooking skills, or writing letters. To further strengthen the clarification about reading helping you as you get older, citing map reading or reading directions as a skill for some jobs would show a deeper comprehension.


Sample Student Response #2

Student Response

Annotation: The reader answers, "You can't learn without reading a book." and offers two pieces of text support—that "you can learn how to built things" and "you get an letter from an friend you can read it." The first support works with the reader's stated lesson, but the second support is less effective. To improve this response, the reader might offer additional text support by referencing cook books as means of learning how to bake and cook or the reader might use the first support about building things and state how building model planes could change over time into building more complex items.


Sample Student Response #3

Student Response

Annotation: The reader offers the lesson "if you read more you can do more things!" and uses text support from lines 2 and 3 about reading maps and reading directions and explaining them. The reader suggests the author's purpose is to get kids to read "so they can be more smart when they finish reading this poem." To improve this response, the reader might connect the assertion about reading allowing a person to do more things specifically to the text support. For example, reading directions helps you complete many tasks, cooking, building, etc., but when you can read and understand directions, you can also help others by explaining to them, which makes you seem smarter.


Sample Student Response #4

Student Response

Annotation: The reader answers that "you need to know how to read or you can't" continue through school grades because you lack basic skills, spelling, pronunciation, and writing bills or letters. The reader concludes that if "you cant read you cant learn." To improve this response, the text support should be strengthened with more direct text rather than alluding to the text. Next, connecting the assertion that there are things you need to learn through reading or you will not advance in schools, which is a viable extension, with the firmer text support betters the response.


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