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 e. Identify and explain relationships between and among characters, setting, and events

Assessment limit: In the text or a portion of the text or across multiple texts

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


Explain how well Julian and Huey play together. 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: The reader answers the question that the boys "play good together" and continues that they are "nice to each other," "get along with each other," are "good buddies," who stick together. These ideas are derived from the text but are not directly stated in the text. Because the comments are vague, the text support is only minimal. To improve this response, the reader should return to the text to find specific examples of how the boys are nice to each other, are good buddies, etc. For example, to support the idea that the boys stick together, the reader might cite how the boys smooth the top of the pudding so it appears untouched and that they hide together away from the ruined pudding.


Sample Student Response #2

Student Response

Annotation: The reader answers that "they play together kind of bad and kind of good" and then supports both answers from the text. The good play is when they guard the pudding, and the bad play is when they eat the pudding. To improve this response, the reader could show how the good behavior led to the bad behavior. Huey and Julian's intense guarding of the pudding and their remarks during the guarding led to the innocent tasting of the pudding, which led to eating too much of the pudding.


Sample Student Response #3

Student Response

Annotation: The reader responds that "Huey and Julian play great together" and then continues that the same reason, "they both copy each other", helps them play well together but also creates problems and gets them into trouble. The reader supports this thought "one ate a finger lick of pudding the other did to." Next, the reader clarifies the thought by stating that the tasting "got so out of control the hole pudding was gone" and finally draws the conclusion that the situation "was really funny." To improve this response, the reader could be clearer that the reason for the great behavior and the troublesome behavior have the same source: matching the other's behavior. In addition, the reader might extend the idea that the situation is funny by offering an explanation for the comedy. For example, the boys were so intent on copying each other's behavior that they did not realize the pudding was disappearing with each taste.


Sample Student Response #4

Student Response

Annotation: The reader responds that the boys "played bad together" because neither boy wanted the other to have something that the other did not have. This is supported from the text "but since you did it, I'll have a taste." Finally the reader clarifies the behavior "so Julian was kind of jelous that Huey got some and not him" and that this "is wrong." To improve this response, the reader could more firmly connect the jealousy to the bad behavior by showing that jealousy led to escalating bad behavior, which ultimately led to both boys being in trouble with their father.


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