In order to prepare my students for the New York State ELA test in the spring, I used data from the practice tests to determine the area they most needed to work on. Students needed practice with multiple choice questions, short answer questions, essay questions, or to simply raise their reading levels. Based on this information, they were assigned differentiated homework. For one or two days a week, students substituted their independent reading homework for one of these test-prep homework packets.
This product includes the five weeks of essay practice. The idea was for students to read a story (usually a typed version of a picture book), responding to the essay prompt with a five paragraph essay. The format of these questions follows the format of those found on the NYS tests.
My goal with this once weekly essay practice was to have students get used to quickly reading and writing evidence-based long responses. I used these questions with 6th graders, but given the level of reading and questioning, depending on your purpose, I think this bundle could be used in grades 4 through 8.