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Short Response Scoring Examples #4

Read the following passage. Then scroll down to see examples of student responses for scores of 2, 1, and 0.

The Gift
By W. J. Buckley

"Isn't he nice, Gram? Can I keep him?" Pierre asked hopefully reaching down to pat the dog's head. The dog wagged his tail and licked Pierre's hand. "I want to call him Red."

"He doesn't look very red to me," Gram said, as she set the plates on the table. "Just very muddy and wet."

"But I'll take care of him, I PROMISE," Pierre said. He had found the dog outside the store where he had gone to buy milk. Mr. Scott, the owner, said the dog had been wandering around the store for a week and seemed all alone. The dog was dirty and wet, but he was friendly, too. He followed Pierre home.

"You can keep Red for a few days," Gram replied, "so you can look for his owner, but he can't stay here long. We don't have room in the house for a dog, and there isn't a backyard. Also, your Aunt Angela will be back soon, and animal fur makes her cough and sneeze."

Red stayed with Pierre for three weeks, and Pierre took very good care of him. Pierre fed Red and filled his water dish, and he also brushed Red's coat until the dog's fur was shiny and golden red.

Each day, Pierre played on the sidewalk with Red and showed the dog how to pick up sticks and fetch them. Red seemed to enjoy that game best of all.

Red soon became Pierre's best friend. Red went everywhere with Pierre and sat beside Pierre when he watched television. Red had the habit of whimpering softly whenever he heard other animals on the TV screen. That made Pierre and Gram laugh. Sometimes Red put his head in Pierre's lap and licked his hand, and sometimes Red stood on his hind legs and crossed both paws over Pierre's arm in a hug. That made Pierre feel very loved. Although Pierre put "Found" signs at the store and on the street posts and also told some neighbors, nobody asked for Red. That made Pierre very glad.

However, one day Gram told Pierre that Red would soon have to go. "Aunt Angela is coming back on Saturday, and she is allergic to animals. The fur makes her ill."

"No!!!" Pierre yelled. He rushed outside and sat on the porch steps with Red beside him. Pierre's heart ached, tears rolled down his face, and his throat had a big lump. He did not want to have to part with Red. He was also worried. "What will happen to you, Red?" he asked. Red looked up at Pierre with large, sad eyes and licked his hand.

Gram came outside and sat beside Pierre and put her arm around him. "I am very sorry about this," she sighed, "and your Aunt Angela will be sorry, too. Red is a good dog, a very special dog, and you have kept your promise. You have taken good care of him." She sat quietly for awhile. "Let's think about what we can do. How can we see that Red has a good home?"

They sat together with the dog. Then Gram said quickly, "I know. We can ask Mr. Henry if he would like to have Red. Maybe Red can stay with Mr. Henry to help him, and you can still take care of Red. Mr. Henry has a small yard for Red to play in, so the dog would be fine while you are at school."

"Hmmm," said Pierre slowly. Pierre was not sure at all that Mr. Henry would like the idea. Mr. Henry lived alone down the street and was very old. He sat on the porch in his wheelchair and watched the children, but he did not talk much. However, Pierre was willing to try just so Red would be near him.

Pierre went with Gram to ask Mr. Henry. At first Mr. Henry was doubtful that Red would be able to help him. He was also not certain that he would like to have a dog stay with him. Finally, however, Mr. Henry agreed that Red could stay with him for awhile until they all saw how everything worked out. So Pierre took Red's dishes and blanket to Mr. Henry's house, and he also took Red's new nylon bone. He felt sad at leaving Red at Mr. Henry's house that first night, but every morning before school, Pierre went to feed Red and to clean his water dish.

Every day after school Pierre went to play with Red. Instead of throwing sticks for Red, Pierre showed the dog how to bring the paper back to Mr. Henry. Pierre practiced often with Red, and Red learned quickly. When Red did a very good job, Pierre rewarded him with one of the dog treats that Aunt Angela had bought after hearing the story about Red. Soon Red was even carrying Mr. Henry's slippers to him. "What a good dog!" Mr. Henry said with pleasure. Red wagged his tail. He seemed proud of doing his chores.

Mr. Henry liked talking to Red and patted the dog often. Red also liked Mr. Henry and followed him everywhere in his wheelchair. Soon, too, Mr. Henry and Pierre were talking together a lot each day about many things. Sometimes they even watched television together with the dog sitting between them. Whenever Red whimpered at the sound of animals on television, Mr. Henry laughed with Pierre.

One day Gram walked down the street to watch Pierre playing with Red near Mr. Henry's porch. Gram was very pleased. "I see that sharing Red with Mr. Henry has worked out very well," she said. "He has been a gift for both of you."

"Oh, yes," said Mr. Henry, nodding his head. Pierre smiled and reached down to pat Red. Red, who also had the gift of a good home and some very good new friends to take care of, seemed to agree. He barked happily and crossed his paws over Pierre's arm in a hug.

Question: In the story, Mr. Henry and Pierre are helpful to each other. Using details and information from the story, explain how they help each other.

Example responses for a score of 2:

This response is accurate and complete. It includes support and examples how Mr. Henry helps Pierre and how Pierre helps Mr. Henry.

This response indicates that the student has an understanding of what Mr. Henry does to help Pierre, and what Pierre does to help Mr. Henry. Details and examples are included.

Example responses for a score of 1:

This response explains how Mr. Henry helped Pierre and how Pierre helped Mr. Henry. It does not include sufficient support and examples from the text for 2 points.

This response indicates that the student has some understanding of how Mr. Henry and Pierre are helpful to each other. Details and support for what each did are limited.

Example responses for a score of 0:

This response is inaccurate

This response is confused and does not respond to the question.

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4th Grade Reading Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test
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College of Education, University of South Florida ©2013.