Short Answer Response

Challenge by Allen Stephen

what grade would you give this response? Why?

Due to the student’s lack of participation in class, the author assumed he could not understand English, but she was proven wrong by his test, as she says, “I had never before sat transfixed in disbelief over a student paper.” The author called upon the mysterious student to explain his silence. “He was in a war, he said, and…was lost for a long time in the jungles of Vietnam…And after that”, he said, “…he couldn’t. He just found it hard to be with people. To speak to people.” She does not press the young man, but finds herself with a new perspective. This young man shared some of his suffering with her, and she learned that you didn’t have to be killed in a war to lose your life.

The answer

A 3 because both the student’s ideas and choice of text evidence are strong. It is this combination that demonstrates the student’s depth of understanding.

what grade would you give this response? Why?

From her experience with the traumatized student the author learns that war has the power to inflict invisible wounds. After being lost “in the jungles of Vietnam,” this brilliant student cannot speak in classroom discussion and withdraws “as if attempting a disappearing act.” Even though his wounds don’t bleed, they cause him to feel pain and isolation.

The answer

A two because The student’s text evidence does not support the idea strongly enough to show a deep understanding; usually because there is not enough evidence presented.

what grade would you give this response? Why?

The author of “The Spoils of War” learns from her experience with the student that nothing can really help him because of the jungle. The boy stated, “Nothing can help” (paragraphs 15 – 19).

the answer

A one because the student includes both an idea and text evidence, but instead of supporting the idea, the text evidence merely repeats, or “ECHOES,” the idea.