Breaking Down the Prompt

State Testing is soon approaching for my 5th graders, so we are buckling down and preparing for the upcoming tests. This week our focus was on point of view and writing in response to a text about the different viewpoints of the characters and how their point of view influences the events in the story.

Monday and Tuesday this week we read and analyzed the text. Monday we read the text the first time to get the gist and students worked in cooperative pairs on text dependent questions. Then we went back and analyzed the text for the main character/speaker's point of view about the text on Tuesday. Students made a 3-column chart in their notebook, noting the three characters, their point of view on the topic, and evidence from the text supporting their point of view. Finally, today we took on writing in response to the text.

Before we begin writing there are a few steps we must take when approaching the writing prompt.

Our learning goal is I can draw evidence from a literary text to write an extended response by :

  • reading the prompt
  • analyzing and breaking down the prompt
  • making a plan 
  • writing in response to the prompt
First we chorally read the prompt. (Prompt taken from i-Ready workbook) 

Then we closely read the prompt for testing verbs and broke down those key words in the prompt for better understanding. We make our plan in the margin and then have a discussion of the text with our partners and share out with the class our thinking on what we may include in our response also noting evidence in the text to use in our response to support our answer. 

Tonight students will re-read the text and tomorrow they will begin their writing response. 

What techniques do you use with your students to break down lengthy prompts? 

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