After teaching this novel for a couple of years now, I created these in-class assessments for use during the course of reading the novel. You might find that they are best suited for use after reading each of the four sections of the novel.
This is one unit I do not do a final essay for, and it seems fitting that like the book, the writing is broken up into four shorter essays. Since we read the book in four weeks, I set up the prompts to correlate thematically with each section of the book.
+NARRATIVE: The first week is a personal (reflective) narrative
+CULTURE CLASH: The second week is about cultural expectations of the mothers or the daughters
+AMERICAN GIRLS: The third week is about challenges for the adult daughters
+MOTHERS & DAUGHTERS: The fourth week is about the mothers and how the daughters helped shape who they are
Each sheet has a section detailing the prompt, an example to help with specificity, an area to plan/outline, what should be included in each part of the essay, suggestions for proofreading, and a rubric.
You will find two sets of prompts here; they are both the same, except for the rubrics. One set has a letter grade rubric: A, B, C, D, F/M (missing), and the other has a 5, 4, 3, 2, 1/M rubric.
On each sheet it tells students that they may hand write or type, but to follow instructions for the class. You may only choose to have them hand write it, but it’s up to you.
Each sheet also states that the essay is due before the end of class. I used to allow students to finish at home, but found that timed writing, especially fairly short essays, were totally doable in a block period, after all warmups/intros and explanations were given. Most of the time, my students are working with approximately 1:30-1:45.
I hope you and your students find these valuable and interesting. Sometimes I think having shorter, timed writing assignments forces students to think more directly, and I have had some very well-written essays handed in as a result.
Teacher in the Rye