Task 5 - Central Message

Common Core State Standards Assessed by Task

RL.3.1Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
RL.3.2Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.

Rationale

The reading standards stress that students must draw sufficient evidence from a text to support a response. Depending on the text, third grade students are expected to demonstrate their ability to use textual evidence not only by recounting stories, but also by formulating responses that make explicit references to the text. Additionally, developing a deep understanding of a complex literary text expects the ability to identify a central message or messages conveyed through the text and to be able to support the identification of such messages by specifying key details from the text that help convey a particular message. By analyzing how central messages are conveyed in the texts they read and writing explanations that demonstrate comprehension of how such messages are conveyed, students gain practice in developing the skills necessary to deeply comprehend what they read independently. Use of supports such as graphic organizers provides teachers with the opportunity to develop these emerging abilities in third grade students.

Option Sample Items
"My Favorite Donkey1"
Item Expectations
1 Please write an explanation in which you determine a central message in the poem “My Favorite Donkey” and explain how that central message is conveyed through key details in the poem. This option asks students to independently determine a central message and select and explain key details that convey the central message. This expects students to understand that a central message is developed throughout a story.

Organization of the response is left up to the student.
2 Using Graphic Organizer: Task 5, Option 2

A central message in the poem “My Favorite Donkey” is “You can love many creatures equally.” The central message is written in the graphic organizer.

A. Please select 3 key details from the poem that convey the central message. Write the details in the graphic organizer.

B. Then, in the space next to each key detail, explain how each key detail conveys the central message.
This option asks students to independently select and explain three key details that convey the given central message. Students are provided with a graphic organizer that offers structure.
3 Using Graphic Organizer: Task 5, Option 3

A central message in the poem “My Favorite Donkey” is “You can love many creatures equally.” The central message is written in the graphic organizer.
This option asks students to use the given central message as well as the given key details that convey the central message. Students are only writing explanations for how each detail conveys the central message.
1 Taylor, Kathy. “My Favorite Donkey.” Shadow Ridge Donkeys. 11 Apr. 2012. Web. 7 Jun. 2012. <http://www.shadowridgedonkeys.com/donkey_poems.htm>.