Writing Tasks 3 Understand your purpose, audience, topic, and form. Ask yourself: Why am I writing? For whom am I writing? What am I writing about? What kind of writing am I doing (letter, story, report, or…)?
Speculative Prompt 4 presents a brief scenario as a springboard for writing a story two formats: a brief verbal prompt or a poem elaborated by a brief verbal prompt describe, discuss, or explain using personal experience to develop ideas
NJ ASK: Sample Speculative Prompt(Grades 3-5) When the school bell rang, Katie and Pablo grabbed their books and raced out of the classroom. They had been looking forward to this afternoon all week long. Today they were going to go on an adventure. Write a story about the adventure Katie and Pablo had after they left school. 5 How would youmodel this for your students? Purpose, audience, topic, and form?
Speculative Prompts for 5th Grade 6 Imagine that school has closed due to a snowstorm that has passed through your town and left behind ten inches of snow. Write a story about an adventure that takes place in this snowy weather. How would youmodel this for your students? Purpose, audience, topic, and form?
Poem Prompt 7 MOON-CATCHIN’ NET by Shel Silverstein I’ve made me a moon-catchin’ net, And I’m goin’ huntin’ tonight, I’ll run along swingin’ it over my head, And grab for that big ball of light. So tomorrow just look at the sky, And if there’s no moon you can bet I’ve found what I sought and I finally caught The moon in my moon-catchin’ net. But if the moon’s still shinin’ there, Look close underneath and you’ll get A clear look at me in the sky swingin’ free With a star in my moon-catchin’ net. Has there ever been something you wanted very much that you may or may not have been able to get? Write about what you wanted. Include the following: • What did you want to have? • Why did you want this? • If you got it, explain how it happened. • Explain why you were successful in getting it. • If you didn’t get it, explain why not. • Explain how you might be successful in getting it in the future.
EXPLANATORY/EXPOSITORY PROMPT People enjoy playing games. Some take games they know and change the rules while others invent their own board games, ball games, or other games. Write an essay about a new game you created or might like to create, or an old game for which you changed the rules. Be sure to explain your game by using details and examples to support your explanation. 8 How would youmodel this for your students? Purpose, audience, topic, and form?
NJ ASK: Sample Expository Prompt(Grades 3-5) Most people have a special activity or hobby that they enjoy. Some people collect things while others like to read or play games. What activity do you like to do? Write a composition describing what you enjoy doing. Explain why that activity is special to you. 9 How would youmodel this for your students? Purpose, audience, topic, and form?
Grade 3 10 Which type of writing does this prompt require? How would you model this for your students? Purpose, audience, topic, and form? Your local newspaper’s Kid Section is sponsoring a contest for the best class trip. Write an article telling what you liked about your field trip and why others should visit this special place. The winners will receive funding to go on their next field trip.
11 Students write to their school librarian, requesting that a specific book be added to the school library collection. Which type of writing does this prompt require? How would youmodel this for your students? Purpose, audience, topic, and form?
Grade 4 12 You woke up one morning and learned that it was snowing. School was closed for the day! It was a dream come true. Suddenly you had time to take a break from the usual routine and do what you wanted to do. Write a story about a snow day off from school that you remember. Give enough details in your story to show what you did and how wonderful the day was. Which type of writing does this prompt require? How would youmodel this for your students? Purpose, audience, topic, and form?
13 One morning a child looks out the window and discovers that a huge castle has appeared overnight. The child rushes outside to the castle and hears strange sounds coming from it. Someone is living in the castle! The castle door creaks open. The child goes in. Write a story about who the child meets and what happens inside the castle. Which type of writing does this prompt require? How would youmodel this for your students? Purpose, audience, topic, and form?
14 We all have favorite objects that we care about and would not want to give up. Think of one object that is important or valuable to you. For example, it could be a book, a piece of clothing, a game, or any object you care about. Write about your favorite object. Be sure to describe the object and explain why it is valuable or important to you. Write sentences of varying lengths and complexity, using descriptive words. Which type of writing doesthis prompt require? How would youmodel this for your students? Purpose, audience, topic, and form?
15 A young boy busily collected everything he would need to take with him. The next day, as he began to set up his equipment, he realized he was missing a very important piece. He has to decide how to solve this problem. Write a story about the boy, his problem, and what he does to solve it. Which type of writing does this prompt require? How would youmodel this for your students? Purpose, audience, topic, and form?
16 Carlos had only a few things that he really treasured, but he often misplaced them. When he got home from school one day, he could not find his favorite game. He thought he had left it in his room. Think about Carlos’ problem, and then write a story about what happens next. Which type of writing does this prompt require? How would youmodel this for your students? Purpose, audience, topic, and form?
Writing Task The young girl spent an hour packing her backpack. She checked her list one more time before falling into bed. She had remembered everything. Now all she had to do was wait for morning. The young girl wondered whether the rest of the group was as excited as she was. When her alarm rang at 6 a.m., she jumped out of bed, pulled on her clothes, andrandown the stairs with her backpack. Write a story about what you think the young girl is about to experience. 17 Which type of writing does this prompt require? How would youmodel this for your students? Purpose, audience, topic, and form?
The girl got out of Her bed and put Her clothes on a brong Her checklist she went Hillcrest school and Had fun the end. Score Point: 1
insufficient writing to demonstrate any planning or organization
“Come on mom! Get up! It’s six! We got to go!” screached Samantha. She was so excited to go to her camp over night with her best friends. “Mom, hurry up!” Samantha yelled again. “I’m coming, I’m coming. Get in the car, I’ll be down in a minute.” her mom said. While Samantha was waiting for her mother, she had breakfast and she cheked over her list again to make sure she had everything. Once her mom was ready, they got in the car & was off to camp. Everyone said bye when they got there & Samantha met up with her friends. “Hey Sam!” said Jessica “Hey guys!” Sam said back. “Lets go on a hike after we find a place to put our stuff.” “That sounds great!” everyone said. So, once they found their camp site and they were settled in they went on a hike. It started to get dark after a while though so they turned back. Now, because it was getting darker and darker, it was harder to see everything. As they were on their way back to camp, they made a wrong turn on the trail. They all noticed this when the saw that they had went around in a circle. “We’re lost” screamed Jessica. “I don’t think we are.” said Sam. “I remember seeing this weird rock on our way here. Let’s go back this way, it should lead us back to camp.” So, because Sam was the smartest out of everyone, they all followed her and it turns out that it was the right way to go. They got to their tents, went to bed, and the next morning, had a quiet ride home. 19
The young girl was on her way to school. She was at school when she relized she forgot her camra. She got to school and the bus was there. She raced to it and got on. She promised her cousin she would take pictures. She was at the camp. She hoped out and raced over to her friends. She begged them to give her the camra. They pushed her away and said no. How was the girl going to find a camra now? The group walked and went on three trail hikes before lunch. The group finally walked through a gooey slushy swamp, and through the thin brush to the dining hall. Next to the hall was a gift shop. The young girl dashed ahead and into the shop. She had her money just in case. She saw one camra left. She said to the cashier I would like that camra. She turned around and out the door. She took pictures of everything. Then she turned to see her mom, with her camra. Score Point: 3
RIIING!!! My alarm clock buzzed. My light blue eyes slowly opened. I burst out of bed to my feet. The butterflys were rapidly fluttering around in my stomach. It was my first day of third grade…. I put on my white button down short sleeved blouse and a plaid pair of Bermuda shorts. I had spent an hour packing my backpack and I have had my outfit set since the begining of August. When I finished getting dressed I grasped my backpack, threw it over my shoulder and ran down the hardwood starcase. As I devourered my pancakes with mapple syrup my mind was fastened to the thought,—were the rest of my friends as excited as I was? “Goodmorning Ally, are you nervous?” my mom said in a cheerful tone. “No, not really, I lied trying not to giggle. “I sure am,” whispered my little sister Annabelle from across the tabble. “Oh, my gosh! 6:45. I am going to be late!” I realized as I looked at the clock. “Okay, Ally, Bye!” they shouted to me as my little legs carriedmeacross the yard just in time to get on the bus. When I arrived I thought—I was nervous and in a hurry for this! I got the WORST teacher ever! Mrs. Grumpthrop. She was pointing at people (just random people) and saying “You Detention! “ Just like that I knew the whole third grade was going to change… She also had an apple on her desk perfectly round and red. You would get 3 days after school detention for evan looking at it!!! RIIING! an alarm clock went off. My alarm clock. I realized it was just a dream. I rolled over in my warm cozy bed to find a perfectly round, red apple on my dresser…. 22
One day a little girl named ying was going to school it was the first day elemtry school. Ying was very nice to every body but kids in her class were not some kid threw a pice of gum at her. The boy siad “Ha HaHaHaHa “ Ying siad “Why do people do this.” The kids looked at Ying like she did something to them. Score Point: 2
Writing Task Each year, there is a week called “TV Turn Off Week.” During this time people are asked to turn off their televisions and not watch any programs for one week. This year, the principal of your school has asked students and their families to take part in “TV Turn Off Week.” Write a letter to your principal explaining why you would or would not want your family to take part in “TV Turn Off Week.” Use examples and give reasons to support your decision. 25
Dear Principal, In my opinion, “TV Turn Off Week” is a great idea. I would love to take part in this event. To me, it is very important to have a break from watching television. There are so many other things to do, such as listen to the radio or just play a card or board game. Fifty years ago, there weren’t that many TV’s, so families that had one would always be watching together. Now, families have many televisions at home. This keeps them separated all the time. Personally, I’m the one in my family who needs to stop. I spend a whole lot of time on my couch, and if I’m not watching television, I’m probably playing video games. Before, I just had local channels. That’s why I didn’t spend as much time in front of the screen. There was never anything good on to watch. I just recently got all of the channels back. Since then, I’ve been watching TV non-stop. I rarely read books now, because there are so much other things to do. I would want to stop watching television, but it is not that easy. I could probably do it, but maybe my family wouldn’t want to. I appreciate your idea, but I’m not so sure that other people would want to. Ever since people started buying many TV’s for their households, families have been apart. A television set became like a magnet, attracting people, and not letting them go. Anyway, one weekprobablywouldn’t be enough. Neither would one month. Now, maybe one year would work, but nobody would quit watching television for a year. People in this world just need to see what life was like before the invention of the television, and try to re-live it. I’m not saying that they have to live like they are in an Amish country, but just forget that the TV was ever invented for a year, or for as long as they can. So, I would definitely want my family to take part in “TV Turn Off Week”! 26
Dear Mr. _____, Some kids don’t like t.v and Some do and we should have “TV Turn Off Week”. The kids should have that for a week Cause we need to stop watching TV and go do something else like play with ower friends our Dogs and pets that we have an dour family membreas that will be good if we don’t watch TV for a week and when you play with your friends then your friends say do you want to go and watch some TV then you say Ummnm NO we should not have to watch boarding tv we should not watch tv for a week then your friends or friend says ok we will not watch tv for a week then you can keep on playing with your friends. Then you play with your other friends then those friends say I am board do you want to go and watch so t.v.. Then you say NO we shoud stop watching t.v for a week then your friend says I don’t know it will be hard for me to stop watching tiv for a week. Then you say I am doing it to then your friend says ok I will stop watching t.v for a week then you guys start playing then your other friend comes then she said I am not watching t.v for a week then you say kool do you want to play with us then your friends ok. Then your friends father was coming outside to see on the gurls then the gurls father said do you gurls want to watch some t.v then you say NO we are not watching t.v for a week then the father said can I try to stop watching t.v for a week then the gurl said ok you can then the father was so happy then there was alot of people not watching t.vther the show “TV Turn off week” that show had alot of people in it then the little gurl that made it up she was very happy that all these people were joing the club “TV Turn off week” and her friends were happy to than a few moths later veryone liked it people were happy that they never watched TV agin. 28
Dear principal, I am afraid that I do not feel comfortable and am not completely satisfied with the idea of my family and I not watching TV this week. My family and I will not be taking part in “TV Turn Off Week.” This isn’t just to say that I love to watch TV and I need it to survive, (which frankly, I don’t) but TV is a source of very important information as well as personal entertainment. If we didn’t have TV for a whole week we would miss out on a lot of important aspects in our lives. Not just the fact that we would miss our favorite shows, or miss a movie that might never come on again, but the information TV can provide is very valuable. The news can tell us what the weather will be like for today, and for the rest of the week. Sure, we could just step outside and test the weather, but it’s not as efficient and reliable as weathermen and women who are specialists at predicting weather. Also, if you were planning some kind of outing or event later on in the week, you could check the weather forecast onTVto see if you would have to rescedule your plans or if they could stay as is. If you were planning some kind of outdoor picnic, you probably wouldn’t want to have it during a thunder storm. Definitly not. TV can also broadcast cultural or non cultural events. If say you couldn’t attend some kind of concert or holiday parade in New York, you could turn on the TV and watch it second hand. TV can overall just tell you what’s going on in the world. The war in Iraq, protest marches, new products on the market, or even medical breakthroughs. Without TV, we wouldn’t be completely clueless about worldwide events, but we can get much more information from TV than newspapers, without even leaving the comfort of our homes. Even entertainment is provided by TV. Movies, TV shows, such as cartoons or self-help, or game shows. All of our many enjoyments in one three-dimensional box. So do you see my principal? How greatly effected our lives are by TV? It is a good idea, but no matter how much people want to say TV is bad for you, in some ways it isn’t. So my family and I will not be taking part in “TV Turn Off Week.” At least, not this year.... 30
Dear Principal, I am not concernd with your Idea of “Tv Turn off week. I think that you have made a right choice. Evrey family should participate in “Tv Turn off week because they could set examples for the smaller and younger Children. I agree with your idea. I also think that people would have time to do other things rather that sit there like a cooch potato and watch television. Television is not good for you. It is very bad. If you go to the T.v to go watch it you can gain weight. you have to exersise daily to be in shape so thats why television is horrible for you. A lot of children in America are overweight because of television. Every one watches it. So every one is Guilty. Children can have healthier lifestyles without television. children would get bored and will have to go outside and play. It would be healthier for them because they would be outside being active. They would run, and play. Insted of being planted on the sofa watching television ALL day. They would gain weight. And alot of it. At least the children can try one week without watching television. Then they would improve their lives and they would get healthier. Yes, they would want to watch t.v. but they cant. So, then they can be more active and be in very, very good shape. I am trying to persuade you to agree with “t.v. Turn off week” because I think It would be better for all of us. To conclude what I’m trying to say is that please agree with “Tv turn off week”. Children will come to school ready for the day and not coming and fall asleep in class. That’s why I agree with “Tv Turn off week”. Sencirely, 32
begins to repeat the reason about improvement in health in each paragraph.
Dear: John I heared that you want my family to be apart of TV turn off week but I sorry I can’t do that let me tell you why first things first my mom needs to watch the knews so that im not wearing hot sweat pants on a sunny day, The second reason is a need to watch my tv shows or I could go crazy because I think Imadicted Its like the tv is controlling me. Third thing is my sister is six years old and she realy can’t wake up in the morning without her tv on its likinposible she would cry so much that we would have a floud rushing through are house. Fourth reason is that my family just can’t live without tv. Im sorry If this gets you upset but we need tv to live and we can’t live without it so Im done talking and all I got to say is bye. P.S maybe next time. Score Point: 2
some attempt to with opening and closing statements,
Poem Prompt 35 My brother has a slide trombone— He plays it every day. I’d like to dig a great big hole And hide the thing away! His blasts assault my brain cells Until they’re black and blue! My eardrums cry in agony Long after he is through! As if the horn weren’t bad enough, More racket fills my head— The constant whimpers from our dog Who trembles ‘neath my bed! Someday I’ll play a tune myself; Just wait till my turn comes! I hope that we still share a room WHEN I TAKE UP THE DRUMS! In “The Horn I Scorn,” the poet Jill Esbaum writes about a problem that comes from having to share. At one time or another, most of us have to share something with someone else. Write a composition about the difficulties of having to share something you value. In your composition, be sure to: • describe what it is you have to share. • discuss the problems that come from having to share it. • explain how you solved the problems.
Here is a checklist for you to follow to help you do your best writing. Please read it silently as I read it aloud to you. Writer’s Checklist Remember to ❏ Keep the central idea or topic in mind. ❏ Keep your audience in mind. ❏ Support your ideas with details, explanations, and examples. ❏ State your ideas in a clear sequence. ❏ Include an opening and a closing. ❏ Use a variety of words and vary your sentence structure. ❏ State your opinion or conclusion clearly. ❏ Capitalize, spell, and use punctuation correctly. ❏ Write neatly. After you write your composition, read what you have written. Use the checklist to make certain that your writing is the best it can be. 49
Resources 50 The Department of Education offers four sources of information about the NJ ASK: • Web site: http://www.state.nj.us/education • Web site: http://www.ets.org/njask • Web site: http://www.njpep.org/assessment • Office of State Assessments 609-341-3456 Mailing address: New Jersey Department of Education P.O. Box 500 Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0500 http://www.neaq.org/scilearn/kids/babypeng.html http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/2009/release/ http://www.doe.virginia.gov/VDOE/Assessment/Release2008/index.html http://www.nj.gov/education/njpep/assessment/3_4/grade3_4.html http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/resources/online/2009/taks_g04_read/4reading.htm