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Standard 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

Indicator 8. Read critically to evaluate literary texts

Objective a. Analyze the plausibility of the plot and the credibility of the characters

Brief Constructed Response (BCR) Item

Read this passage about a family’s dinner table conversation from the novel Absolutely Normal Chaos.
How does the author use the dinner table conversation to make the characters seem real? In your response, use details from their conversation that make the characters seem real.
Sample Student Response #1

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Annotation: The reader responds that the characters are made real “by having a real life situation” and then describes the situation of Dougie not liking spaghetti and copping an attitude. The reader concludes that in a big family “there’s going to be a lot of comotion & conversation at dinner Because in real life that’s were family comes together.” The reader answers the question, provides text support for the answer, and offers the explanation that dinner is when big families are typically together which sets the stage for emotional conversation that can create a commotion. To improve this response, the reader should indicate how many family members are present at the table and what about the conversation would cause outbursts of emotion.


Sample Student Response #2

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Annotation: The reader responds that everyone is involved in different conversations and correctly generalizes the conversation “some will be talking about something and someone else will be talking about something differnt.” The reader answers the question. To improve this response, the reader should offer text support that shows how multiple conversations are occurring at the table and might propose that because the mother is so focused on her children’s manners she doesn’t immediately understand the news her husband is relaying and this behavior is typical of a person who is stressed.


Sample Student Response #3

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Annotation: The reader responds, “the characters seam real on the way they act, the quotation mark and even the action and tone of the voices of the characters.” The reader answers the question but fails to provide text support. To improve this response, the reader should avoid borrowing ideas from selected response items and focus on the text to provide support for the way the characters act that makes them seem real. For example, the reader might focus on Dougie who is playing with food he does not like, being bothered by his brother, and accidentally tips over his milk.


Sample Student Response #4

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Annotation: The reader responds, “There life are not perfect.” The reader answers the question. To improve this response, the reader might record text that points out the imperfections in the family’s life and clarify how big families contain a lot of different personalities that can create conflict.


Sample Student Response #5

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Annotation: The reader responds “the chariters seem real because he add feeling to the charicters” and offers the example of the Mom yelling at the boys and the Dad being upset at the commotion. The reader concludes ‘that’s something that would happen in real life to a real family.” The reader answers the question, offers text support for the answer, and concludes that this is like real life. To improve this response, the reader might draw a conclusion about the parents’ behavior. For example, each parent is focused on something different—Mom on the children’s behavior and Dad on the news he needs to share that adds to the conflict at the table and emphasizes their emotions.


Sample Student Response #6

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Annotation: The reader responds the author’s use of quotation marks and style of writing makes the characters seem real and that they help “to understand how these people are talking.” The reader offers the example of the mother saying “Radene said what?” that shows her surprise and confusion and helps a reader “feel what and how the mother is talking.” The reader answers the question, offers text support for the answer, and marginally clarifies the text. To improve this response, the reader might clarify what is meant by the style of writing. For example, both parents often speak in phrases rather than sentences. This makes their conversation sound real because it appears informal like family dinner table conversation.


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