Assessment Tools – Standards

STANDARD 1.7: RESPONSE TO LITERATURE
Shows that you understand and can analyze a piece of literature, historical document or text.

CONTEXT OR PURPOSE:
Your purpose is clear. You do not just retell the author’s ideas. You really think about what the author said and put it clearly within an historical context.

  • You get into the author’s time and mind to understand his/her point of view.
  • You use quotes and concrete details from the piece to explain the author’s point of view.
  • You analyze various parts AND the main idea of the piece as a whole.
  • You give your own interpretation of something that affected you personally, keeping in mind the historical context.

ORGANIZATION:
The manner and the order in which you present your ideas make it easy for people to understand your thoughts. You clearly tie your ideas to the social studies concepts in the piece.

  • Your opening is clear and makes people want to read more.
  • The order of your work and your transitions make it easy for people to understand your thinking. (Creative patterns are fine as long as they are understandable!)
  • You use different types of sentences (some short and simple, others longer
  • and more complex).
  • Your conclusion is based on the information in your piece of writing and the important social studies concept(s).

ELABORATION/CREATIVITY:
Your writing shows the creative use of words and sentences. You have used appropriate details and images to support your point of view.

  • The language you use helps to “paint a picture” for the reader.
  • You use specific social studies language appropriate for the topic.
  • You use various strategies to get across your point, e.g contrasts, similes
  • and metaphors, review the history, or create historically accurate scenarios.
  • Your ideas show deep thinking about the piece and (perhaps) new ways
  • of looking at people, cultures or societies.

STANDARD 1.8: WRITING TO INFORM
Shows that you can organize, analyze and communicate information effectively and accurately.

CONTEXT OR PURPOSE:
Your purpose for informing on this topic is clear. Your writing does not just repeat facts but gives a strong point of view on a social studies topic and concept.

  • Your purpose gives the reader direction from the beginning and is a thread throughout the report.
  • You analyze and reflect on the information and give your own judgment.
  • You write like an authority on the topic, using the exact language of the social studies.

ORGANIZATION:
The manner and the order in which you present your information make it easy for people to understand your thoughts.

  • Your opening is clear and makes people want to read more.
  • Your information is accurate and related to the specific time and place of the topic.
  • The order of your work and your transitions make it easy for people to understand your thinking. (Creative patterns are fine as long as they are understandable!)
  • Your conclusion is based on the information in your report and gives the reader a deeper understanding of important social studies concept(s).

ELABORATION/CREATIVITY:
Your writing shows appropriate and creative use of language. It shows deep thinking about the information.

  • You present your ideas in various ways: describe, compare, contrast, use examples, use quotes, tell historical stories, review history, and so on.
  • You write in an entertaining way, avoiding a list of dry facts.
  • The way you use information shows you really thought about important social studies concept(s).
  • You may have come up with a new way of looking at people, cultures or societies: ideas you created, not just ones you read about.

STANDARD 1.9: NARRATIVE WRITING
Shows that you can tell a good story (either fictional or actual) in an historically accurate way.

CONTEXT OR PURPOSE:
Your setting and purpose is clear. We know where you are, when & why, and the importance of the events to the eventual outcome.

  • You clearly and accurately “paint a picture” of the time and place.
  • You portray the characters in a way that helps the reader “see” them and get to know what makes them tick in an historically accurate way.
  • You clearly express the conflict or problem that is the focus of the story.
  • You have a narrator or characters who think about and analyze the importance of events.

ORGANIZATION (PLOT):
The events of the story are in a logical order and build up to a high point (climax). The action sequence might use chronology, flashbacks and foreshadowing.

  • Your opening makes people want to find out what happens.
  • A series of dramatic actions lead logically to a climax and help the reader understand the importance of the events.
  • Your ending ties together all the loose ends in a satisfying way.

ELABORATION/CREATIVITY:
Your story is lively and dramatic. You “paint” images rather than just giving facts. Your language helps the reader to see, feel and understand the times, characters, and events.

  • You create a believable world (either fiction or real, past or present) that the reader can see and understand.
  • You use a variety of sentence structures and lengths.
  • Your verbs are lively and you use details and creative language (such as similes and metaphors) to create images.
  • The action is dramatic and exciting; characters talk, think, act, and relate to others in an appropriate way for the time and place.
  • Characters grow and change during the story.

STANDARD 1.10: PROCEDURES
Shows that you can instruct the reader on how to make or do something using a clear, step by step process that is historically accurate.

CONTEXT OR PURPOSE:
You help the reader understand why and when people used this procedure and how to succeed.

You explain the value of knowing this skill in the specific time and place you are studying.
You let the reader know when this procedure was appropriate.
Your list of materials helps the reader get set up to begin.
You give hints for success and provide warnings on potential dangers.

ORGANIZATION:
The order in which you present your directions makes it easy for the reader to understand.

  • Your steps are clear, logical and historically accurate.
  • As you move from one step to another, the transitions are clear.
  • Each step advances the reader’s understanding of the process.
  • Your conclusion might give new information about the time and place or help the reader extend the skill.

PRESENTATION STRATEGIES:
The manner in which you present your procedure helps the reader visualize and understand the information and evokes the era under study.

  • Your format is attractive and inviting. It reminds the reader of the time and place under study.
  • Your images, use of white space, diagrams, print etc. help the reader visualize the process.
  • The presentation on the page appeals to different learning styles (e.g. verbal, visual).
  • Your descriptions may include comparisons to other times and places to help the reader understand how to make or do something.

STANDARD 1.11: PERSUASIVE WRITING
Shows that you can take a clear position and use arguments, data, and emotions to persuade others.

CONTEXT OR PURPOSE:
Your topic and stand on the topic is clear and grounded accurately in a particular time and place.

  • You present a clear topic: a problem or concern.
  • You maintain the focus on the topic throughout the writing piece.
  • Your arguments clearly show your point of view and reflect the attitudes of the times about which you are writing.

ORGANIZATION:
The manner and order in which you present your arguments make it easy for people to understand your point of view.

  • You have a strong introduction that gets people interested in your topic.
  • You present your arguments in a reasonable order. (The order may be unusual or surprising as long as it helps people to understand your viewpoint.)
  • You support your point of view with evidence, data and emotional appeals that are historically accurate.
  • Your conclusion calls people to action or suggests a way to solve the problem.

ELABORATION/TONE:
Your details and forceful tone persuade people to your point of view.

  • Your precise historical language and confidence make you seem reliable and knowledgeable about the specific time and place.
  • You express your views in a passionate way, appropriate for the times.
  • Your details and depth of explanations help the reader understand your point of view as well as the historical era.
  • You use a variety of examples, anecdotes, informational sources, personal experiences and reflections to persuade the reader to your way of thinking.

STANDARD 1.12: PERSONAL ESSAY
Shows that you can explore the social meaning in an experience: something you read (real or imagined), saw, overheard or experienced.

CONTEXT OR PURPOSE:
The experience upon which you are reflecting is clear throughout the piece. You have really thought about a broader meaning connected to human societies or cultures.

  • You present the occasion clearly and vividly. (It may be a single experience or a web of connected experiences.)
  • Your thinking about the occasion connects it to a bigger realization or new understanding of human societies that you got from the experience. (This realization may have come slowly or quickly like an “Aha!”)
  • You analyze your ideas from different points of view and go into depth about your thoughts.

ORGANIZATION:
The manner and order in which you reveal your thoughts helps the reader understand your growing awareness or deepening understanding of an important idea.

  • Your opening does NOT contain your controlling idea, the final realization. It invites the reader to explore with you.
  • Your organization slowly reveals thoughts and insights about the experience, like a flower bud opening.
  • Your conclusion may involve a sense of wonder or a sense that your reflections are ongoing.

ELABORATION/CREATIVITY:
Your writing shows the creative use of language and details. It shows deep thinking about the experience and its meaning.

  • You use a variety of strategies, such as vivid details, sensory language, exciting action, similes & metaphors, contrasts, conversations, history and historically accurate scenarios.
  • You use the precise language of the social studies that best describe the experience and your realizations.
  • Your ideas show complex thinking and leave the reader with more to think about.
  • You may have helped the reader look at the world in a new way!