November 5th, 2007
Written by: Karen Vitale
Writing Extended Responses Writing Workshop
This week I went to the ISBE website and Writing workshop at East is very strong
studied the 3rd & 4th grade ISAT Rubric for this year. Our students are all writing
Extended Response Writing. I combined the and enjoying the process. Our future
Original State Rubric with the State’s Student
ISAT scores depend on our teachers at
Friendly Rubric. You can print and use this
rubric if you like; it is attached to this
East providing a solid foundation. They
newsletter. have noticed throughout the years that
students are coming to us with less
The other document I have worked on and writing experiences and they are
attached is an updated Extended Response working extremely hard to provide that
Graphic Organizer. 3rd and 4th grade foundation for Kellar Central. Thank you
teachers please review this new graphic Kellar East!
organizer and let me know what you like ISAT Writing vs. Writing for Fun
and don’t like. Let’s work together to Mr. Turner is also excited about the
create an effective and easy to use tool for
increased writing experiences we are
giving to our students. He told me he
One change was the text reference section. believes getting students to enjoy the
Several teachers were tired of the canned, writing process is equally as important as
“In the text it says….” So I included other giving our students the tools they will
examples, but also added that this section is need to successfully complete the
mainly for Key Ideas and Support from the writing required by ISAT. Let’s work on
text. Students may use words from the text balancing our writing experiences
but a higher level skill would be to draw together.
conclusions and identify and state key ideas
from the text.
Fun Writing Prompts
The Daily Spark: Writing warm-up activities
The reconnection is not specifically stated in
by Spark Publishing.
the rubric, but I have been told it is crucial
to the extended response. Students can
eliminate our canned statement, “This is The And Challenge: Write a short story
related because…” if their interpretations and do not use the word and.
(inferences) are so closely related to the
text, that by reading their supportive details, Storytime: Write a bedtime story for a
the reader should be able to know how the small child. Try to make the story
interpretation/ connection/ inference interesting, but also soothing.
relates to the text references. We need to
explain why our Serene, Scary, Suspenseful? Change
the sentence below six times to create
related to the key ideas immediately after
we state them.
different moods. Choose your favorite
mood setting sentence and write a
I have also attached extended response paragraph for that mood.
question stems to help you put OC prompts
in ISAT Format. I found this on Rockford Henry walked quietly and listened to
Public Schools website. Reference: the sounds of nature in the woods.
Reader demonstrates an accurate understanding of important information in the text
by focusing on the key ideas presented explicitly and implicitly.
• I explain the main ideas and important information from the text.
Reader uses information from the text to interpret significant concepts or make
connections to other situations or contexts logically through analysis, evaluation,
inference, or comparison/contrast.
• I connect my own ideas or experiences to the author’s ideas.
Reader uses relevant and accurate references; most are specific and fully supported.
• I use examples and important details to support my answer.
Reader integrates interpretation of the text with text-based support (balanced).
• I balance the author’s ideas with my own ideas.
Topic Sentence: answer the question without adding any details,
you may even be able to rewrite the question into a statement.
Key ideas and support from the text Your interpretation with supportive details
Identify or draw conclusions to state Be sure that your interpretation or
key ideas from the text. Support connection is relevant (makes sense)
conclusions/key ideas with text to the topic sentence and answers
references. the prompt/question.
You may use the author’s words interpretation/connection with details
straight from the text; just give credit to to explain and support.
the author or text. This lets the reader Reconnect back to the text after
know where this information came each interpretation if needed.
Have a balance of key ideas from
Ex. The author wrote…. the text and your interpretations
In the text it stated ….. /connections.
Conclusion: moral or summary statement of what you learned
Extended Response Question Stems
Promotes Higher Level Thinking.
Gathered by Karen Ruffner from old ISAT materials. Rockford IL http://webs.rps205.com/curriculum/title1/reading_coach_resources.html
These are sample question stems that have been used for the ISAT passages over the years. They could be
adapted for any reading format (read aloud, shared, guided, and independent) and could be responded to orally or
in written form. All of them would be followed by: “Use information from the story and what you know to
explain your answer.”
1. Would a person like __________best be described as __________ or not? Explain why.
2.________ had a problem. How did he/she solve that problem and why did that solution work?
3. _________________made decisions in this passage. Which decision was best?
4. The characters in this story made decisions. Which do you think was the most difficult?
5. How does __________ show __________throughout his/her life?
6. How do __________and __________depend on each other?
7. How are ___________and ____________alike and different?
8. How and why does _____________ change throughout the story?
9. How did ___________change _________’s life?
10. What parts of _________’s personality and life choices led to his/her success?
11. Based on this article, would _______be good for the future or not?
12. What are some ways __________and people are alike?
13. Based on this story, will ______________treat him/her any differently now?
14. How and why do ____________’s feelings change during the story?
15. How does the author show that _____________ is _____________?
16. Why is ____________remembered as being ____________?
17. Explain why and how people’s feelings about _________change in the passage.
18. Explain why _______________ did ___________.
19. What lesson did ___________learn?
20. How have(has) _____________been ____________?
21. How does _____________know _____________?
22. Do you think this is a realistic picture of how ________________?
23. Why is ______________ a good title for this story?
24. In life and in this story, sometimes bad things lead to good. Use specific information from the story to show how this is true.
25. Do you think ______________ is a good __________?
26. What did _____________mean when he/she said,“_______________________”?
27. If ___________moved into your neighborhood, would you like it?
28. Why does ____________feel that it is so important to