This writing prompt is designed based on the new common core standards and the transitional LEAP/PARCC format for the new 2013-2014 assessments.
It includes a literary story, My Brother Martin, and an informational article about the life of Ruby Bridges. Both passages discuss the Civil Rights Movement, and how Dr. Martin Luther King and Ruby Bridges stood up for their rights.
This writing prompt asks students to write a composition (narrative) of at least three well-organized paragraphs discussing a time when they stood up for something they believed was right. Students are required to use details from both passages to explain their experience. Citing evidence from the passages could begin like: According to the text.., In the story it says., In the passage states….
We used this format last year in fourth grade and 70% of our students received at least 7 out of 12 points on their 2012-2013 LEAP assessment. I firmly believe this was due to our students being familiar with the format and taught how to use it successfully.
Additional Resource: ELA Checklist for Writing
I also included a “student friendly” ELA writer’s checklist. Our fourth graders used the “I, me,” checklist that I recreated for the LDOE. It is broken down, so students understand it better when checking over their compositions.
Additional Writing Resource: Four Square Writing Format with Transitional Words included
At our school, we use four-square writing as a brainstorming strategy. We teach the students the format and pair it with the possible transitional words for each square. It has been very effective with our fourth graders.