This close-reading guide and follow-up reading comprehension assessment of Toni Cade Bambara’s short story “Raymond’s Run” will save you hours of time. Know ahead that the reading assessment is an open-text variety—it assesses reading skills and not necessarily recall. The students will need to have their stories open during the assessment. I suggest using the short story as a mentor text for an interactive read aloud. Before you begin, !) set the context for your students by reviewing a map of Manhattan with the different neighborhoods delineated; 2) discuss the art and background of “playing the dozens”; 3) review the different ways that authors reveal characterization; 4) review the elements of fiction and literary devices.
In this package, expect to find detailed close-reading questions, which I created to help students return to the story to uncover deeper meaning. I use these to generate literary discussion between peers, but teachers can use these, too, for a whole-class review. In the follow-up reading assessment, you will find fifteen questions and a complete answer key. I designed the questions with the Common Core in mind. Although the assessment has just fifteen questions, it is four pages because there is quite a bit of reading for the students to do. Also, some questions are formatted similar to the PARCC; they have two parts and multiple answer stems the student will have to select. If students practice with this format throughout the year, there will be little need to spend weeks on standardized test prep before the PARCC.
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Carolann Reznick~Literacy Rigor
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