During this sequence of independent tasks, students will be reading and writing about a short story and a narrative poem. They’ll do this work to analyze how different types of narrative genres work to convey theme. Their analysis will prepare them to write an essay that compares and contrasts the two texts in terms of their approaches to similar themes. The two texts utilized for these sample tasks are

Avi. "What Do Fish Have to Do with Anything?" What Do Fish Have to Do with Anything? And Other Stories. Boston: Candlewick, 2004. 9-32. Print.
Hesse, Karen. “Mr. Hardly’s Money Handling.” Out of the Dust. New York: Scholastic, 1997. 17-19. Print.

The Student Support provides support for assisting students to understand what the task requires, and then provides an opportunity for students to reflect on their engagement with the task.

Student Sequence

  • Read short story and complete comprehension tasks:
    • Independent Task 1 – Vocabulary: Meaning
    • Independent Task 2 – Vocabulary: Figurative Language
    • Independent Task 3 – Comprehension: Theme
  • Read poem and complete comprehension tasks:
    • Independent Task 4 – Vocabulary: Meaning
    • Independent Task 5 – Vocabulary: Figurative Language
    • Independent Task 6 – Comprehension: Theme
  • Complete analytic writing task:
    • Independent Task 7 – Analytic Writing
  • Teachers and students can use the same rubric for assessing writing for analytic writing task that is used to assess analytic writing for the guided instruction and practice as well as the PARCC performance-based assessment.
  • The comprehension and vocabulary task items allow opportunities for partial credit. Partial credit items allow for tracking a student's growing ability to discern more from and make fuller use of text. The teacher may then follow-up and work with students in strategic ways to address areas of need and assist them in learning the differences between partial and complete expressions of understanding.
Watch the video for an overview of Independent Tasks