Sunday Cummins  Experience nonfiction.


Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 7

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Notice how Maddie reveals more than simply learning facts from the text by comparing prior knowledge about moles’ and shrews’ noses with new information in the text.


She moves beyond the text with the question “I wonder how cats see in the dark?” as cats are not included in the text.


She also appears to be contemplating the author’s idea that animals have features that serve different purposes.

Intermediate Analysis

Maddie, grade 3

Written in response to read aloud of What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? (Jenkins, 2008)

Will elaborates on the main idea, the return of wolves to Yellowstone National Park served to return balance to the ecosystem. While he does not include textual evidence in the written response, he does in his illustration.

Notice the details included to contrast the world “without” and “with” wolves. For example, without the wolves to hunt them, the bison are trampling the young aspens (top left);

with the wolves, the trees are able to mature (bottom right).

Intermediate Analysis

Will, grade 4

Written in response to read aloud of The Wolves are Back (George, 2008)

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Intermediate Analysis

Carolyn, grade 5

Written in response to independent read of One Well: The Story of Water on Earth (Strauss, 2007)

Carolyn has identified main ideas and supporting details (textual evidence). She understands the overall message as she encourages her reader to conserve water in the last paragraph. Many times, though, the reader has to infer why the details support the idea. For example, there is a sentence about water use in Haiti and another about use by North Americans. Carolyn could strengthen her point by elaborating on the contrast between the two and why this is important.

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Middle School Analysis

Jose, grade 7

Written in response to independent read of Global Warming (Johnson, 2002)

This is a barebones response revealing some comprehension of the central idea and textual evidence. Jose’s closing captures his personal interaction with the ideas in the text - that he may have to be a part of the solution.

He has relied heavily on the author’s vocabulary – struggle, good, bad, longer growing seasons and may need to work on paraphrasing. Instruction might also include a focus on how the author develops the idea that global warming is “good and bad” and on organization of a response.

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