"He was afraid and I was afraid, for the PARCC in all its savage efficiency was upon us ... and our preparation for it had fallen some short of the planning."
My apologies for paraphrasing Mary Call's description of winter's arrival in Trial Valley: the dash of melodrama is intended to emphasize the value of this lesson in assessing student mastery of the novel Where the Lilies Bloom, by Vera and Bill Cleaver. In addition to a familiar unit test with multiple-choice and open response (essay) questions, this download includes a practice test using Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) -style questions: Evidence-Based Selected Response, Technology-Enhanced Constructed-Response and Prose Constructed Response. Two tests for the price of one, and both written with Common Core standards in mind!
The answer key for the unit test goes into detail to explain the correct answer for each multiple choice question. I have also written out possible answers for three short written-response questions (a paragraph each) and one long written-response question (essay-length). The answer key for the PARCC-style portion of the download is a table, like those provided with the ELA samples on the PARCC website.
Teachers can use the extensively-annotated answer key in this download as an aide in guiding students through the novel, before a unit test is administered. Additionally, since there is more than enough material for one in-class test, teachers can select some questions for use in "do now" exercises, a quiz or writing prompts.
This download includes a four-page traditional assessment comprised of 14 multiple-choice questions, three questions requiring "thoughtful paragraph" answers (I usually ask students to choose two of the three), and a question requiring a longer answer (3-5 paragraphs). The detailed answer key for this four-page test is eight pages in length. The PARCC section of this download includes two pages of background and an answer key, and four pages of PARCC-like questions. (I tried to closely follow the style and length of sample literary analysis ELA tests posted on the PARCC website in March 2014.)
Test preparation should not cause us to lose sight of the beauty and depth of this classic novel! This download should take some of the drudgery and anxiety out of assessment, allowing you to focus on teaching literature. Just as Mary Call celebrates the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains and their abundant plant life, we can still celebrate the beauty and insight of a well-written work of literature: "We discovered them and it was a fine education."