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 3. Use elements of narrative texts to facilitate understanding

Objective b. Identify and explain the elements of a story

Assessment limit: Main problem, sequence or chronology of events, and solution to the problem

Read the article 'The Pudding Like a Night on the Sea' and answer the following question.


Explain a problem in this story. In your response, use details from the story that support your explanation. Write your response on the lines below.
Sample Student Response #1

Student Response

Annotation: In response to the request to explain a problem in the story, the reader simply retells the story and does not identify a problem. To improve this response, the reader could review the retell and locate the portion that indicates a problem. For example, the section that records the continual eating of the pudding connected with mother asking where the pudding might be could evolve into a statement of the problem. Once a problem has been identified, the reader should return to text to locate support for the problem statement.


Sample Student Response #2

Student Response

Annotation: The reader identifies the problem as "the boys droped the pudding and made a mess" and then proceeds to tell a personal story that is like the incident involving Huey and Julian. The reader does see that the dropped pudding is like the spilled drink but the inclusion of the personal story neither adds nor detracts from the initial sentence in the response. Therefore, the response simply answers the question but contains no text support and fails to show any comprehension above the most basic. To improve this response, the reader needs to support the dropped pudding as a problem. Using text support like the clean-up not being well done, the hole remaining from the dropped pudding being smoothed, during that process eating more pudding till very little remains could connect to the initial dropped pudding as being the beginning of a very big problem. Or the reader might show that the boys were told not to touch the pudding and that because they disobeyed, the pudding was dropped. Either approach will provide text support for the stated problem.


Sample Student Response #3

Student Response

Annotation: The reader identifies the problem "that the mom didn't get her suprise" and does keep text support focused on the mother—the pudding is for the mother, she comes home and asks about the pudding, she did not know her boys had eaten the pudding. To improve this response, the reader might reference why the mother did not get the pudding. Connecting why she did not get a surprise with the boys' actions would show a greater degree of comprehension.


Sample Student Response #4

Student Response

Annotation: The reader identifies the problem "Huey knonked the pudding of the table" and provides text support about the pudding; it was for their mother, dad had told the boys to leave the pudding alone, the pudding was spilled. Next, the reader asserts that Huey was not honest about what he had done until the father called for the boys. The reader does clarify the boys' behavior by declaring it dishonest. To improve this response, the reader could address how Huey was not honest by telling how he smoothed the top of the pudding so it would appear it had not been touched.


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