High School (Grades 9-10) Sample Performance Tasks for Stories, Drama, and Poetry



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High School (Grades 9-10) Sample Performance Tasks for Stories, Drama, and Poetry
Students analyze how the character of Odysseus from Homer’s Odyssey—a “man of twists and turns”—reflects conflicting motivations through his interactions with other characters in the epic poem. They articulate how his conflicting loyalties during his long and complicated journey home from the Trojan War both advance the plot of Homer’s epic and develop themes. [RL.9–10.3]
• Students analyze how Michael Shaara in his Civil War novel The Killer Angels creates a sense of tension and even surprise regarding the outcome of events at the Battle of Gettysburg through pacing, ordering of events, and the overarching structure of the novel. [RL.9–10.5]
• Students analyze in detail the theme of relationships between mothers and daughters and how that theme develops over the course of Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club. Students search the text for specific details that show how the theme emerges

and how it is shaped and refined over the course of the novel. [RL.9–10.2]


• Students analyze how the Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa in his film Throne of Blood draws on and trans forms Shakespeare’s play Macbeth in order to develop a similar plot set in feudal Japan. [RL.9–10.9]
• Students analyze how artistic representations of Ramses II (the pharaoh who reigned during the time of Moses) vary, basing their analysis on what is emphasized or absent in different treatments of the pharaoh in works of art (e.g., images in the British Museum) and in Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem “Ozymandias.” [RL.9–10.7]

High School (Grades 9-10) Sample Performance Tasks for Informational Texts: English Language Arts
Students compare George Washington’s Farewell Address to other foreign policy statements, such as the Monroe Doctrine, and analyze how both texts address similar themes and concepts regarding “entangling alliances.” [RI.9–10.9]
Students analyze how Abraham Lincoln in his “Second Inaugural Address” unfolds his examination of the ideas that led to the Civil War, paying particular attention to the order in which the points are made, how Lincoln introduces and develops his points, and the connections that are drawn between them. [RI.9–10.3]
Students evaluate the argument and specific claims about the “spirit of liberty” in Learned Hand’s “I Am an American Day Address,” assessing the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence and the validity of his reasoning. [RI.9–10.8]

• Students determine the purpose and point of view in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, “I Have a Dream” speech and analyze how King uses rhetoric to advance his position. [RI.9–10.6]



High School (Grades 9-10) Sample Performance Tasks for Informational Texts: History/Social Studies & Science, Mathematics, and Technical Subjects

• Students compare the similarities and differences in point of view in works by Dee Brown and Evan Connell regarding the Battle of Little Bighorn, analyzing how the authors treat the same event and which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts. [RH.9–10.6]


• Students analyze the role of African American soldiers in the Civil War by comparing and contrasting primary source materials against secondary syntheses such as Jim Haskins’s Black, Blue and Gray: African Americans in the Civil War.

[RH.9–10.9]


• Students determine the meaning of words such as quadrant, astrolabe, equator, and horizon line in Joan Dash’s The Longitude Prize as well as phrases such as dead reckoning and sailing the parallel that reflect social aspects of history. [RH.9–10.4]
• Students cite specific textual evidence from Annie J. Cannon’s “Classifying the Stars” to support their analysis of the scientific importance of the discovery that light is composed of many colors. Students include in their analysis precise details from the text (such as Cannon’s repeated use of the image of the rainbow) to buttress

their explanation. [RST.9–10.1].


• Students determine how Jearl Walker clarifies the phenomenon of acceleration in his essay “Amusement Park Physics,” accurately summarizing his conclusions regarding the physics of roller coasters and tracing how sup porting details regarding the processes of rotational dynamics and energy conversion are incorporated in his explanation. [RST.9–10.2]
• Students read in Phillip Hoose’s Race to Save Lord God Bird about the attempts scientists and bird-lovers made to save the ivory-billed woodpecker from extinction and assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence Hoose presents supports his scientific analysis of why protecting this particular species was so challenging.

[RST.9–10.8]



Sample Performance Tasks for Stories, Drama, and Poetry—from Grade 11 CCR Text Exemplars
• Students analyze the first impressions given of Mr. and Mrs. Bennett in the opening chapter of Pride and Prejudice based on the setting and how the characters are introduced. By comparing these first impressions with their later understanding based on how the action is ordered and the characters develop over the course of

the novel, students understand the impact of Jane Austen’s choices in relating elements of a story. [RL.11–12.3]


• Students compare and contrast how the protagonists of Herman Melville’s Billy Budd and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter maintain their integrity when confronting authority, and they relate their analysis of that theme to other portrayals in nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century foundational works of American literature

they have read. [RL.11–12.9]


• Students analyze how Anton Chekhov’s choice of structuring his story “Home” by beginning in “midstream” shapes the meaning of the text and contributes to its overall narrative arc. [RL.11–12.5]
• Students provide an objective summary of F. Scott’s Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby wherein they analyze how over the course of the text different characters try to escape the worlds they come from, including whose help they get and whether

anybody succeeds in escaping. [RL.11–12.2]


• Students analyze Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote and Jean-Baptiste Poquelin Moliere’s Tartuffe for how what is directly stated in a text differs from what is really meant, comparing and contrasting the point of view adopted by the protagonist

in each work. [RL.11–12.6]


• Students compare two or more recorded or live productions of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman to the written text, evaluating how each version interprets the source text and debating which aspects of the enacted interpretations of the play best capture a particular character, scene, or theme. [RL.11–12.7]T.9–10.8]
• Students compare and contrast the figurative and connotative meanings as well as specific word choices in John Donne’s “Valediction Forbidding Mourning” and Emily Dickinson’s “Because I Would Not Stop for Death” in order to determine how the metaphors of the carriage and the compass shape the meaning and tone of

each poem. Students analyze the ways both poets use language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful to convey the multiple meanings regarding death contained in each poem. [RL.11–12.4]

• Students cite strong and thorough textual evidence from John Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn” to support their analysis of what the poem says explicitly about the urn as well as what can be inferred about the urn from evidence in the poem. Based on their close reading, students draw inferences from the text regarding what

meanings the figures decorating the urn convey as well as noting where the poem leaves matters about the urn and its decoration uncertain. [RL.11–12.1]




Sample Performance Tasks for Informational Texts: English Language Arts-- from Grade 11 CCR Text Exemplars
• Students delineate and evaluate the argument that Thomas Paine makes in Common Sense. They assess the reasoning present in his analysis, including the premises and purposes of his essay. [RI.11–12.8]
• Students analyze Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, identifying its purpose and evaluating rhetorical features such as the listing of grievances. Students compare and contrast the themes and argument found there to those of other U.S. documents of historical and literary significance, such as the Olive Branch

Petition. [RI.11–12.9]


• Students provide an objective summary of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden wherein they analyze how he articulates the central ideas of living simply and being self-reliant and how those ideas interact and build on one another (e.g., “According to Thoreau, how specifically does moving toward complexity in one’s life undermine

self-reliance?”) [RI.11–12.2]


• Students analyze how the key term success is interpreted, used, and refined over the course of G. K. Chesterton’s essay “The Fallacy of Success.” [RI.11–12.4]
• Students determine Richard Hofstadter’s purpose and point of view in his “Abraham Lincoln and the Self-Made Myth,” analyzing how both Hofstadter’s style and content contribute to the eloquent and powerful contrast he draws between

the younger, ambitious Lincoln and the sober, more reflective man of the presidential years. [RI.11–12.6]



Sample Performance Tasks for Informational Texts: History/Social Studies & Science, Mathematics, and Technical Subjects-- from Grade 11 CCR Text Exemplars
• Students determine the central ideas found in the Declaration of Sentiments by the Seneca Falls Conference, noting the parallels between it and the Declaration of Independence and providing a summary that makes clear the relationships

among the key details and ideas of each text and between the texts. [RH.11–12.2]
• Students evaluate the premises of James M. McPherson’s argument regarding why Northern soldiers fought in the Civil War by corroborating the evidence provided from the letters and diaries of these soldiers with other primary and secondary

sources and challenging McPherson’s claims where appropriate. [RH.11–12.8]
• Students integrate the information provided by Mary C. Daly, vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, with the data presented visually in the FedViews report. In their analysis of these sources of information presented in diverse

formats, students frame and address a question or solve a problem raised by

their evaluation of the evidence. [RH.11–12.7]


• Students analyze the hierarchical relationships between phrase searches and searches that use basic Boolean operators in Tara Calishain and Rael Dornfest’s Google Hacks: Tips & Tools for Smarter Searching, 2nd Edition. [RST.11–12.5]
• Students analyze the concept of mass based on their close reading of Gordon Kane’s “The Mysteries of Mass” and cite specific textual evidence from the text to answer the question of why elementary particles have mass at all. Students explain

important distinctions the author makes regarding the Higgs field and the Higgs boson and their relationship to the concept of mass. [RST.11–12.1]
• Students determine the meaning of key terms such as hydraulic, trajectory, and torque as well as other domain-specific words and phrases such as actuators, antilock brakes, and traction control used in Mark Fischetti’s“Working Knowledge: Electronic Stability Control.” [RST.11–12.4]


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