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Sample Item Scoring Information Return

Standard 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

Indicator 8. Read critically to evaluate literary texts

Objective a. Determine and explain the plausibility of the characters' actions and the plot

Brief Constructed Response (BCR) Item

Read this passage from 'Captain Kate', a novel that takes place during the Civil War. Kate and Seth must take the family canal boat to Washington City to sell a load of coal. Then answer the following.

Explain how the author makes Kate and Seth seem like real people. In your response, use details from the passage that show how Kate and Seth seem like real people. Write your response on the lines below.

Sample Student Response #1

Student Response

Annotation: The reader answers that Seth and Kate are made real "by giving them their own opinion and personality" and continues that "Seth seems mischevious and carefree"…and "Kate…seems like a 'Not until our work is done' person." The reader does answer the question and draws conclusions about the personalities of each character. To improve this response, the reader should use text support that shows how Seth is mischievous and carefree (Seth is eager to explore the city.) and Kate is focused on work (Kate insists upon cleaning the boat). To continue, the reader might explain how their personalities are opposites and that when real people have opposite personalities there is often a conflict just like the experience between Kate and Seth.


Sample Student Response #2

Student Response

Annotation: The reader answers that "description" makes Kate and Seth seem like real people, cites text support "Kate's eyes narrowed, she said, he said, and etc…" and concludes that these are some of the words "that make the characters realistic in the story." The reader answers the question and does provide text support for the answer. To improve this response, the reader could cite further details from paragraph 19 where Kate's eyes narrowing are an initial sign of her anger at Seth. The reader could explain that the physical description is a common sign that a real person is becoming angry just as Kate is beginning to anger.


Sample Student Response #3

Student Response

Annotation: The reader answers that the characters "do real people things by making them have opinions and accidents." The reader does answer the question and offers the thinnest of text support with "opinions and accidents" which does refer to Seth and Kate. To improve this response, the reader should provide specific text support about the accident, Seth's falling from the boat, and opinions, Seth's and Kate's differing opinions about the cleaning of the boat. To clarify this idea, the reader could state that siblings' arguing about responsibility for chores is a real conflict that Seth and Kate experience.


Sample Student Response #4

Student Response

Annotation: The reader answers, "the author made it so you feel the intensity between Seth and Kate" and continues, "when Seth walked away you could feel the tension building in Kate getting ready to explode with anger, fury." The reader answers the question and offers text that supports the answer. To improve this response, the reader could cite further details from the last paragraph of the passage focusing on particular word use that creates intensity. For example, Seth does not walk away; he "saunters" away as if to taunt Kate. Kate is "speechless" at his actions and is "light-headed with anger"…"prepared to attack." The swelling of action and emotion as their argument escalates makes both characters seem real.


Sample Student Response #5

Student Response

Annotation: The reader answers, "the author uses dialogue…the characters have the same possible feelings that real people can have" and uses text support that "Kate is made about Seth moving into her family and that's a true feeling." The reader answers the question and offers an example from the passage of a real feeling about families. To improve this response, the reader should offer text support for the assertion about "dialogue" that makes characters seem real and then draw a conclusion about the merging of conversation and feelings that make characters seem real. For example, the reader might use details from paragraph 26 where Kate's feeling of indignation is emphasized in her words when she defends the distribution of chores by offering that because Zeke does not steer the boat as she and Seth do, Zeke must pick up the chores creates a believable argument between Kate and Seth.


Sample Student Response #6

Student Response

Annotation: The reader responds that Kate and Seth "seem like real people by giving them attitudes towards one another and then offers text support for each character. Kate quietly correcting Mrs. O'Brian about Seth being her brother and becoming angry when Seth leaves her to clean while he explores Washington offers specific support for Kate's attitude while Seth shows his attitude "when he describes who does all the chores." The reader concludes that Seth and Kate "have problems with one another…just like in a real family where family members argue over chores, who is in charge, and trying to get each other in trouble." The reader answers the question, offers specific text support for the answer, and concludes that Seth and Kate are like real family members who have issues with each other and continually battle for that reason. To improve this response, the reader might add that even though Kate clearly states she does not want Seth as a family member, she treats him like a real brother, which makes their characters seem real.


Brief Constructed Response (BCR) Rubric

Print: Scoring Rubric

Score 3

The response demonstrates an understanding of the complexities of the text.

  • Addresses the demands of the question
  • Effectively uses text-relevant1 information to clarify or extend understanding

Score 2

The response demonstrates a general understanding of the text.

  • Partially addresses the demands of the question
  • Uses text-relevant1 information to show understanding

Score 1

The response demonstrates a minimal understanding of the text.

  • Minimally addresses the demands of the question
  • Uses minimal information to show some understanding of the text in relation to the question

Score 0

The response is completely incorrect, irrelevant to the question, or missing.2

Note 1:

Text-relevant: This information may or may not be an exact copy (quote) of the text but is clearly related to the text and often shows an analysis and/or interpretation of important ideas. Students may incorporate information to show connections to relevant prior experience as appropriate.

Note 2:

An exact copy (quote) or paraphrase of the question that provides no new relevant information will receive a score of "0".

Rubric Document Date: June 2003

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