School Improvement in Maryland

Sample Item
Brief Constructed Response Item for Grade 7

Standard 2.0 Comprehension of Informational Text

Topic A. Comprehension of Informational Text

Indicator 4. Analyze important ideas and messages in informational texts

Objective c. State and support main ideas and messages

Assessment limit: In the text or a portion of the text

Read the article 'A Lifeline for Lions' and answer the following question.


Explain whether the title helps a reader understand an important idea of this article. In your response, use information from the article that supports your explanation.


Sample Student Response #1

image of student response

Annotation: The student connects the title to an important idea in the article, that the lions were given help to survive. As support, the student states that, "to help lions they would give dogs distemper shots." However, the connection between the distemper shots and the lions' survival is not explained.


Sample Student Response #2

image of student response

Annotation: The student states that the title helps the reader understand an important idea in the article by stating that "the lions did need …help [to] survive distemper." Although the student understands that the lions are in need of help, an explanation of how this help was given is lacking.


Sample Student Response #3

image of student response

Annotation: The student addresses the question by stating that the title does help a reader understand the main idea of the article. The student identifies the main idea, "lions were dying and since people helped, they aren't anymore," and supports this statement by explaining that the lifeline for lions is the vaccination of the dogs. The student begins to address the complexity of the text by connecting the project's title, Project Lifelion, to the title of the article, A Lifeline for Lions. This connection also illustrates how the title helps a reader.


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