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14 Power Strategies

to Boost Reading & Writing Achievement on Standardized Tests


Synthesize ideas within extended responses offers dozens of authentic text excerpts with text-dependent questions and extended-response prompts for free. Each is labeled by grade-level appropriateness and also comes with suggested lesson plans.

Understand how standardized-test writing prompts have evolved.

12. Respond to a narrative task

Demonstrate comprehension in a written story

Expose students to four types of narrative-writing tasks that are all rooted in reading.

Comprehend the original story

Continue the story following a similar plot.

Continue the story

Continue the Story | Example

Rewrite the story from a different perspective

Prewrite POV | Prewrite ExampleTemplate

Rewrite the POV | Example

Fractured Fairy Tales for Rewrite from a different point of view

Insert a missing part or page

Insert the missing page | Primary Template

Insert the missing part | Example

We Forgot Brock

Write fiction based on fact

Excerpt | Read & Succeed Levels 1-6

Garbage-Patch Facts Collected | Template

Fiction based on Fact | Example

13. Respond to a literary analysis task

Analyze to inform or argue an idea

These extended responses often require students to analyze why or how the author did what he did.

Strategy #8 | Strategy #9 | Strategy #10 | Strategy #11

14. Respond to a research task

Supersize Yes, MA’AM to craft an extended response

The Yes, MA’AM strategy can be adapted to fit the requirements of an extended reading response.

Craft the introduction

This Teaching Channel video introduces the parts of an essay, including how to rework the prompt to serve as the introduction.

Infer multiple reasons or main ideas

Teach students how to collect, cut, group, and rank details. Download a list of statements for/pro and against/con genetic engineering.

Observe a 30-minute lesson and activity executed in a Concord Junior High science class.

Introduce each organization type with a series of 3 mini-posters

Utilize the Organize It Table Tent to select the appropriate order of information. Simple assembly.

Sort information per viewpoint

Collect details for all perspectives

Identify details, facts, pros/cons, strengths/weaknesses, etc. for all sides.

Collect details to infer reasons

Present both sides