"A Long Walk to Water" - 17 page pdf file to use while reading and for the final assessment. Updated 2016
Although my seventh graders and I enjoyed reading and participating in the NYS ELA7 Module One; Unit One, I felt the final assessment was a little too broad for a seventh grader to organize and answer in the way the state was asking.
What I did is I took the essential question from the unit, “How do culture, time, and place influence Salva/Nya’s identity?” and created a detailed outline for the expectations in each paragraph. One of the primary strategies in this unit was gathering evidence from the text and used these details to clarify thinking and deepen understanding. My students did a good job gathering the evidence, but it was difficult for them to make the connection between the evidence and using that as support to answer the essential question. So, I created this outline to allow the students to organize their papers and have the expectations clearly stated for each paragraph. I used a method introduced by Jim Burke and students completed an outline giving a detail from the text then explaining what the author meant and why that mattered. This is known as what the author "Says, Means, and Matters". It really helped the students make the connection in using a text based detail to answer the question. Ultimately, they were able to use them in their final essay.
I also rewrote the final assessment in a way that I felt was much more “user friendly” for a twelve year old. I put the first outline, for paragraph 2, on this site for teachers to view and see if this would work for you. Then, I put all of the outlines combined with the final assessment as one large document. I used the NYS 4 point rubric to assess the extended response.