Task 1 - Comprehension: Purpose and Rhetoric

Common Core State Standards Assessed by Task

RI.9-10.1Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
RI.9-10.6Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.

Rationale

The reading and writing standards stress that students must learn to draw sufficient evidence from a range of different types of complex text from across the disciplines. Evidence-based questions provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their reading comprehension beyond identification of a single provided correct response. This also cultivates students’ ability to evaluate and incorporate evidence. Depending on the text, students are expected not only to determine the main idea, the point of view, and even the meaning of words and phrases as part of gathering and analyzing evidence, but also to identify and articulate the multiple pieces of evidence on which their analysis is based. Many of the constructed responses such as sorting, classifying, categorizing, sequencing and other forms of expressing reading comprehension are readily used in the classroom as teachers determine whether students are able to show that they comprehend deeply grade-level complex text.

Option Sample Items
"Let Us Continue1" by Lyndon Johnson
Item Expectations
1 Summarize how Johnson uses rhetoric to advance his purpose in the speech, "Let Us Continue." This option asks students to write a summary of how the speaker’s use of rhetoric advances his purpose. In this option, students must understand that this task implicitly requires an identification of the speaker’s purpose prior to the analysis of rhetoric. Additionally, students must understand what it means to write a summary of how the speaker’s use of rhetoric advances his purpose. None of the above requirements is explained or delineated in this option.
2 Using Graphic Organizer: Task 1, Option 2 After reading Johnson’s speech:

A. Determine a purpose that is conveyed in Johnson’s speech. Write the purpose as a sentence in the first row of the graphic organizer below. Then, identify three pieces of textual evidence from Johnson’s speech that convey the purpose you determined. Write each of the three examples in the graphic organizer below.

B. Now that you have determined the purpose and identified examples of textual evidence that convey the purpose, summarize how Johnson uses rhetoric to advance his purpose.
Unlike option 1, the steps in this option are delineated. Students must still know what it means to write a summary of how the speaker’s use of rhetoric advances his purpose, but the task is broken into steps by asking students to determine a purpose of the speech and identify textual evidence before summarizing how the speaker uses rhetoric to advance his purpose.
3 Using Graphic Organizer: Task 1, Option 3

Johnson has several purposes in his speech, “Let us Continue.” These purposes include:

  • Explaining Kennedy’s accomplishments and informing the public of his future plans regarding Kennedy’s ideas and ideals for the nation.
  • Persuading the American people to work as a whole to overcome the tragedy and thrive in spite of it.
  • Reassuring the public that despite the tragedy of Kennedy’s assassination, America will continue to prosper.
A. Choose one of the purposes in Johnson’s speech and record that purpose in the left column of graphic organizer below. Then, identify three examples of textual evidence from Johnson’s speech that convey the purpose you chose. Write each of the three examples in the right column of the graphic organizer below.

B. Finally, summarize how Johnson uses rhetoric to advance his purpose.
This option also delineates the steps of the task. Several purposes of the speech are identified for students. Students must choose one purpose and support the chosen purpose with details from the text. This option still requires students to know what it means to write a summary of how the speaker’s use of rhetoric advances his purpose.
1 Johnson, L.B. “Let Us Continue.” American Rhetoric. Nov. 1963. Web. 7 Jun. 2012. <http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/lbjletuscontinue.html>.