School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 8

Reading/ELA | Informational | Literary | Writing | Language | Listening | Speaking

Sample Assessments: Each sample assessment item gives an idea of how an assessment item on the MSA might be presented. The items appropriately measure the content of the State Curriculum and may be formatted similarly to those appearing on the MSA; however, these are sample items only and have not appeared on any MSA form.

Standard 2.0 Comprehension of Informational Text

Indicator 1. Apply and refine comprehension skills by selecting, reading, and analyzing a variety of print and non-print informational texts, including electronic media

Objective a. Read, use, and identify the characteristics of primary and secondary sources of academic information such as textbooks, trade books, reference and research materials, periodicals, editorials, speeches, interviews, articles, non-print materials, and online materials, other appropriate content-specific texts

Assessment limit: Grade-appropriate primary and secondary texts

Brief Constructed Response (BCR) Item

Read these articles about a secret language, 'Codetalking' and 'The Navajo'. Then answer the following.

Explain whether knowing that the passage from "The Navajo" is non-fiction makes the article easier to understand. In your response, use information from the article that supports your explanation. Write your answer on your answer document.


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Selected Response Item

Read the passage 'The Lost People of Mesa Verde.' Then answer the following.

Which sentence from the text most clearly identifies this article as nonfiction?

  1. As food became scarce, people grew weaker.
  2. Anasazi is a Navajo word meaning "the ancient one."
  3. They lived by hunting and by growing corn and squash.
  4. Mesa Verde, the beautiful green table, was no longer a good place to live.

Correct Answer:

Resources for Objective 2.A.1.a: