Of Moths and Mice: EBSR on "lesson of the moth"

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SWBAT take a poem and connect it thematically to another piece of literature

Big Idea

Moths and mice...and what they can teach us...

Latin Roots Warm Up

10 minutes

This is our daily warm up, wherein students work with two or three Latin roots per day.  The resource that I use to get my roots is Perfection Learning's Everyday Words from Classic Origins.
Every day, when the students arrive, I have two Latin roots on the SmartBoard.  Their job is to generate as many words as they can that contain the roots, and they try to guess what the root means.  After I give them about five minutes, we share words and I tell them what the root means.

The students compile these daily activities in their class journals.  After every twelve roots, they take a test on the roots themselves and a set of words that contains them.

Administering the EBSR

30 minutes

The EBSR (Evidence Based Selected Response) is a question type that PARCC is going to be using on our EOY test, according to sources at the district level.  This is a completely new question type, requiring training for both teachers -- as we write the questions -- and our students -- as they attempt to answer them.

In an EBSR (and, of course, this is my interpretation of my county's presentation of the format), teachers develop two-part questions based on texts to which the students have access during the assessment.

In Part A, the student is faced with an identification item. In the Part B, the students select from a list of quotations from the text to support their choice in the first section.  Again, the construction of these options is such that the students have to reflect and consult the text to really derive meanings and interpretations that are consistent with the text.

This is my student's third crack at the EBSR.  The first time, we practiced with an essay.  Then, the question type was used in a Performance-Based Assessment that all students in the county took.  And this is the third. As such, I had the students do it independently, without any support. To clarify, that means that they read the poem and answered the questions completely on their own. (Note: I did end up doing a lesson after this one, just to help students through the questions and give them a strategy for working through a poem.)

In addition to the multiple choice questions developed my team, I added a short essay question asking students to connect "lesson of the moth" to "Flowers for Algernon."  It is a natural pairing, though not a perfect one.  The two pieces appear together in the McDougall-Littel eighth-grade anthology.