These daily assessment includes 21 pages of 484 short response questions covering the entire Inferno poem. There are between ten to fifteen questions for each reading scene, designed to elicit a one word answer or a short phrase response. Most of the questions center on the basic plot of the text, with a few technical questions put in the mix.
We’ve had great success over the years using this approach for all major works because the students quickly learn the teacher’s expectations that they are to read closely each night and retain the information for the next day’s lesson. It helps to set the routine for the day’s lesson: each day the kids know they will have a short quiz on the nightly reading. The daily assessments are also a useful tool to see which kids are routinely reading and those who are skipping the reading assigned for homework.
The grading is simple: I mark them right or wrong, hand back the paper the following day for the next quiz. The kids add the next batch of answers to the same sheet. Again, I collect and mark right or wrong and return them. We keep going like this until the play is finished (usually between 75-100 questions total). Then, I use one of those cheap slide percentages to figure out a single, holistic grade based on the total number wrong. For my class, that single grade is the equivalent of a major test grade since it would be about a month of total reading.
Once the questionnaires are collected, I go over the answers with the class and it helps to focus the kids on the upcoming lesson and it offers a general review for anyone who was absent or didn’t read.
The questions are easy to moderate in nature, for example:
Which mythological creature guards the ring of the violent sinners? Minotaur
Which of the three beasts seems emaciated? The she-wolf
At whose request does Virgil come to guide the Pilgrim? Beatrice
If the students read, then the answers are usually quick and easy. But, if they didn’t read, it will be obvious that they are merely guessing at the answers.
Usually after three or four reading assignments, I can tell who is getting the play and who is not and I can approach the students in need of assistance and address their individual concerns.
Again, it’s quick and easy and designed to effectively monitor the close reading skills of the class or individual students.
An answer key is included.