Sample Texts for Grade 7: “Franklin D. Roosevelt Biography”, “Disney The American Presidents: Franklin D. Roosevelt”, “Biography: Franklin D. Roosevelt”
The Research Simulation Task is an assessment component worthy of student preparation because it asks students to exercise the career- and college- readiness skills of observation, deduction, and proper use and evaluation of evidence across text types.
In this task, students will analyze an informational topic presented through several articles or multimedia stimuli, the first text being an anchor text that introduces the topic. Students will engage with the texts by answering a series of questions and synthesizing information from multiple sources in order to write two analytic essays.
This passage set represents a complete Research Simulation Task (RST) for 7th Grade. It contains nine items that are Evidence-Based Selected Response (EBSR) items, and one Prose Constructed Response (PCR) item. Students will read a purpose setting statement for the task and then read the first passage. After answering EBSR items, the students will watch a video. They will answer the EBSR items that follow. Finally, students will read a second passage and answer additional EBSR items and one PCR item.
This Research Simulation Task aligns with standards: RI.7.2, RI.7.3, RI.7.5, RI.7.6, RI.7.8, W.7.1, W.7.2, W.7.3, W.7.8, W.7.9
Today you will read one excerpt, watch one video, and read one article about the life of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States. As you read the excerpt and article, and watch the video, you will answer questions and think about what the texts reveal about Roosevelt’s character. After you read, you will write two analytical essays about the excerpt and article.
Read the following excerpt from “Franklin D. Roosevelt Biography” and answer the questions that follow.
1 He entered politics in 1910 and was elected to the New York State Senate as a Democrat from his traditionally Republican home district.
2 In the meantime, in 1905, he had married a distant cousin, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, who was the niece of President Theodore Roosevelt. The couple had six children, five of whom survived infancy: Anna (1906), James (1907), Elliott (1910), Franklin, Jr. (1914) and John (1916)
3 Roosevelt was reelected to the State Senate in 1912, and supported Woodrow Wilson's candidacy at the Democratic National Convention. As a reward for his support, Wilson appointed him Assistant Secretary of the Navy in 1913, a position he held until 1920. He was an energetic and efficient administrator, specializing in the business side of naval administration. This experience prepared him for his future role as Commander-in-Chief during World War II. Roosevelt's popularity and success in naval affairs resulted in his being nominated for vice-president by the Democratic Party in 1920 on a ticket headed by James M. Cox of Ohio. However, popular sentiment against Wilson's plan for US participation in the League of Nations propelled Republican Warren Harding into the presidency, and Roosevelt returned to private life.
4 While vacationing at Campobello Island, New Brunswick in the summer of 1921, Roosevelt contracted poliomyelitis (infantile paralysis). Despite courageous efforts to overcome his crippling illness, he never regained the use of his legs. In time, he established a foundation at Warm Springs, Georgia to help other polio victims, and inspired, as well as directed, the March of Dimes program that eventually funded an effective vaccine.
5 With the encouragement and help of his wife, Eleanor, and political confidant, Louis Howe, Roosevelt resumed his political career. In 1924 he nominated Governor Alfred E. Smith of New York for president at the Democratic National Convention, but Smith lost the nomination to John W. Davis. In 1928 Smith became the Democratic candidate for president and arranged for Roosevelt's nomination to succeed him as governor of New York. Smith lost the election to Herbert Hoover; but Roosevelt was elected governor.
6 Following his reelection as governor in 1930, Roosevelt began to campaign for the presidency. While the economic depression damaged Hoover and the Republicans, Roosevelt's bold efforts to combat it in New York enhanced his reputation. In Chicago in 1932, Roosevelt won the nomination as the Democratic Party candidate for president. He broke with tradition and flew to Chicago to accept the nomination in person. He then campaigned energetically calling for government intervention in the economy to provide relief, recovery, and reform. His activist approach and personal charm helped to defeat Hoover in November 1932 by seven million votes.
THE GREAT DEPRESSION
7 The Depression worsened in the months preceding Roosevelt's inauguration, March 4, 1933. Factory closings, farm foreclosures, and bank failures increased, while unemployment soared. Roosevelt faced the greatest crisis in American history since the Civil War. He undertook immediate actions to initiate his New Deal programs. To halt depositor panics, he closed the banks temporarily. Then he worked with a special session of Congress during the first "100 days" to pass recovery legislation which set up alphabet agencies such as the AAA (Agricultural Adjustment Administration) to support farm prices and the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) to employ young men. Other agencies assisted business and labor, insured bank deposits, regulated the stock market, subsidized home and farm mortgage payments, and aided the unemployed. These measures revived confidence in the economy. Banks reopened and direct relief saved millions from starvation. But the New Deal measures also involved government directly in areas of social and economic life as never before and resulted in greatly increased spending and unbalanced budgets which led to criticisms of Roosevelt's programs. However, the nation-at-large supported Roosevelt, and elected additional Democrats to state legislatures and governorships in the mid-term elections.
8 Another flurry of New Deal legislation followed in 1935 including the establishment of the Works Projects Administration (WPA) which provided jobs not only for laborers but also artists, writers, musicians, and authors, and the Social Security act which provided unemployment compensation and a program of old-age and survivors' benefits.
9 Roosevelt easily defeated Alfred M. Landon in 1936 and went on to defeat by lesser margins, Wendell Willkie in 1940 and Thomas E. Dewey in 1944. He thus became the only American president to serve more than two terms.
10 After his overwhelming victory in 1936, Roosevelt took on the critics of the New Deal, namely, the Supreme Court, which had declared various legislation unconstitutional, and members of his own party. In 1937 he proposed to add new justices to the Supreme Court, but critics said he was "packing" the Court and undermining the separation of powers. His proposal was defeated, but the Court began to decide in favor of New Deal legislation. During the 1938 election he campaigned against many Democratic opponents, but this backfired when most were reelected to Congress. These setbacks, coupled with the recession that occurred midway through his second term, represented the low-point in Roosevelt's presidential career.
WORLD WAR II
11 By 1939, with the outbreak of war in Europe, Roosevelt was concentrating increasingly on foreign affairs. New Deal reform legislation diminished, and the ills of the Depression would not fully abate until the nation mobilized for war.
12 When Hitler attacked Poland in September 1939, Roosevelt stated that, although the nation was neutral, he did not expect America to remain inactive in the face of Nazi aggression. Accordingly, he tried to make American aid available to Britain, France, and China and to obtain an amendment of the Neutrality Acts which rendered such assistance difficult. He also took measures to build up the armed forces in the face of isolationist opposition.
13 With the fall of France in 1940, the American mood and Roosevelt's policy changed dramatically. Congress enacted a draft for military service and Roosevelt signed a "lend-lease" bill in March 1941 to enable the nation to furnish aid to nations at war with Germany and Italy. America, though a neutral in the war and still at peace, was becoming the "arsenal of democracy", as its factories began producing as they had in the years before the Depression.
14 The Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, followed four days later by Germany's and Italy's declarations of war against the United States, brought the nation irrevocably into the war. Roosevelt exercised his powers as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, a role he actively carried out. He worked with and through his military advisers, overriding them when necessary, and took an active role in choosing the principal field commanders and in making decisions regarding wartime strategy.
15 He moved to create a "grand alliance" against the Axis powers through "The Declaration of the United Nations," January 1, 1942, in which all nations fighting the Axis agreed not to make a separate peace and pledged themselves to a peacekeeping organization (now the United Nations) upon victory.
1. Part A: “Other agencies assisted business and labor, insured bank deposits, regulated the stock market, subsidized home and farm mortgage payments, and aided the unemployed.” What is the meaning of the word regulated as it is used in paragraph 7?
D. stabilized Part B: Which detail from the paragraph supports the answer to Part A?
A. “…resulted in greatly increased spending and unbalanced budgets…”
B. “These measures revived confidence in the economy.”
C. “…involved government directly in areas of social and economic life as never before…”
D. “To halt depositor panics, he closed the banks temporarily.”
2. Part A: “Despite courageous efforts to overcome his crippling illness, he never regained the use of his legs.”
In Paragraph #4 of “Franklin D. Roosevelt Biography,” how does this quotation contribute to the meaning of the paragraph?
It demonstrates that Roosevelt was determined to persevere through his hardships.
It suggests that Roosevelt went into politics due to the fact that he never regained the use of his legs.
It illustrates how Roosevelt’s disease inspired him to return to private life out of the public eye.
It shows that Roosevelt took on the responsibility of protecting others who suffered from polio.
Part B: In what other paragraph in the excerpt does a quotation about Roosevelt contribute to the reader’s understanding of his character in a similar way as does the quotation in Part A.
3. According to the excerpt from “Franklin D. Roosevelt Biography”, which events had a significant impact on Roosevelt’s life?
From the list, create a summary by choosing four significant events and placing them in chronological order into the table.
A. Roosevelt is elected President during The Great Depression and WWII.
B. Roosevelt received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Harvard University in only three years (1900-1903).
C. Roosevelt entered politics in 1910 and was elected to the New York State Senate.
D. Roosevelt passed recovery legislation during The Great Depression which set up the Agricultural Adjustment Administration to support farm prices, and the Civilian Conservation Corps to employ young men.
E. Roosevelt was appointed Assistant Secretary of the Navy from 1913-1920.
F. Roosevelt created a “grand alliance” of a peacekeeping organization now known as the United Nations. G. Roosevelt was nominated by the Democratic Party for Vice President in 1920 (and lost).
Watch the following video “Disney The American Presidents: Franklin D. Roosevelt” and answer the questions that follow.
(Video) Disney The American Presidents: Franklin D. Roosevelt (End at 3:26)
4. Part A: “…FDR used the radio to help people understand his policy decisions.”
What is the meaning of the word policy as used in the video (3:01)?
C. act of power
D. administrative approach
Part B: Which detail from the video supports the answer to Part A?
A. “…some felt that Roosevelt was exercising too much power…” (3:19-3:22)
B. “…his signature opening was my friends, and they believed him.” (2:58-3:02)
C. “…he inspired confidence…” (3:13-3:14)
D. “…the New Deal provided a financial safety net for many Americans…” (3:15-3:19) 5. Part A: “It took a man on crutches to teach a crippled nation how to walk again.” (1:30-1:37)
What is most likely the intended effect of this statement, based on the information presented in the video?
A. To show that the country felt fearless having Roosevelt as Commander in Chief because he faced personal hardships and was able to overcome them.
B. To highlight that the country’s morale was low due to the fact that Roosevelt faced physical hardships.
C. To explain how Roosevelt’s presence had a calming effect on the American people.
D. To illustrate how Roosevelt’s determination helped the nation recover from The Great Depression.
Part B: Which other statement from the video was included for a similar purpose as in Part A?
A. “…he was our longest serving president, elected four times, some say he was the closest we ever had to a King…” (0:48-0:55)
B. “Franklin D. Roosevelt came to office at a terrible time in America…” (1:41-1:45)
C. “Roosevelt decided that the only way to get the economy going again was for the government to spend a lot of money…” (1:52-2:00) D. “…during the Roosevelt administration, people generally believed there was plenty to be afraid of…” (0:20-0:25)
6. Part A: Which two statements describe central ideas of the video?
A. Roosevelt implemented many new programs as President to help change the course of the War.
B. The American people reelected Roosevelt for two terms because of all of his accomplishments as President during The Great Depression, which made him very popular.
C. Roosevelt saved the economy by creating the “New Deal,” which was crucial for the unemployed.
D. The American people looked at Roosevelt as a President who related to their problems. E. The American people embraced Roosevelt’s innovative tendencies, such as radio broadcasts, which reformed the way the President communicated news to the public.
F. Roosevelt rose to the challenges life presented him, both personally and professionally.
Part B: Which details provide the best evidence for Part A? Choose one quotation for each answer in Part A.
A. “…his signature opening was my friends, and they believed him.” (2:58-3:02) B. “…FDR used the radio to help people understand his policy decisions…” (3:01-3:06)
C. “…the news media entered into a conspiracy of silence.” (1:26-1:31)
D. “…the New Deal, which created programs like social security, unemployment insurance, and massive public works projects designed to provide jobs for Americans.” (2:08-2:18)
E. “The only thing people weren’t afraid of during the period from 1932-1945, was the task of remembering the name of a new president because it was always Roosevelt…” (0:37-0:48)
F. “…Roosevelt’s own personal hardships helped him understand the hardships of regular Americans…” (1:00-1:07)
Read the following article “Biography Franklin D. Roosevelt” (from PBS) and answer the questions that follow.
1 Roosevelt was a hugely popular figure.
2 Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected by a huge majority in 1932, winning all but six states. The wealthy Democratic governor from New York was a charismatic speaker, able to rally the public to his cause. His political abilities allowed him to be elected for four terms, an unprecedented event. Although he had been struck by polio as an adult, Roosevelt refused to give up his political career. The press corps worked with him to present the image of a president sound in both mind and body, minimizing his paralysis, to the extent that most of the public was not aware of it at the time.
3 From the nationwide broadcast of his inaugural address — the first time a president did not just address the dignitaries present — Roosevelt made it clear that he was a president for the people. He began, “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. . . . “
4 Roosevelt converted retreat into advance through his New Deal programs, addressing poverty, unemployment, and the floundering economy. Through his reforms, Roosevelt created a new kind of presidency, more powerful and more intimate than that of his predecessors. Congress allowed him free reign, giving him executive power to put through his reforms without a quibble during the first 100 days of his presidency. Yet a man at the time observes, “My mother looks upon the president as someone so immediately concerned with her problems and difficulties that she would not be greatly surprised were he to come to her house some evening and stay for dinner.”
5 With the passage of programs like the Social Security Act, Roosevelt made sure that the federal government would be connected to the people for a long time to come. With his death in 1945, Americans mourned the passing of a President and a friend.
7. Part A: “The wealthy Democratic governor from New York was a charismatic speaker…”
What is the meaning of the word charismatic as it is used in paragraph 2?
C. appealing D. fascinating
Part B: Which detail from the paragraph supports the answer to Part A?
A. “Roosevelt converted retreat into advance...”
B. “…able to rally the public to his cause…” C. “…giving him executive power to put through his reforms...”
D. “…minimizing his paralysis…”
8. Part A: “My mother looks upon the president as someone so immediately concerned with her problems and difficulties that she would not be greatly surprised were he to come to her house some evening and stay for dinner.”
What is the author’s purpose for including this quotation?
A. To suggest that Roosevelt was sympathetic to the needs of the American people and often took the time to visit with them to discuss their hardships.
B. To illustrate how Roosevelt appealed to Americans on a personal level. C. To show that Roosevelt was a President with strong leadership qualities.
D. To portray that Roosevelt was a firm believer in including the public on government decisions.
Part B: What detail from paragraph 4 best supports your answer to Part A?
A. “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself…”
B. “Roosevelt was a hugely popular figure.”
C. “…the first time a president did not just address the dignitaries present…”
D. “With his death in 1945, Americans mourned the passing of a President and a friend.”
9. Part A: Below are three claims that could be made based on the article “Biography: Franklin D. Roosevelt”. Select the claim that is supported by the most relevant and sufficient evidence within the article.
Roosevelt suffered from a disease, but it did not hinder his work ethic.
Roosevelt reformed our government and put in place numerous reform policies to present a strong image to the American people, and the world.
A. Roosevelt was a popular President who advocated for the public, at a time when America was suffering economic hardships. B. Roosevelt suffered from a disease, but it did not hinder his work ethic.
C. Roosevelt reformed our government and put in place numerous reform policies to present a strong image to the American people, and the world.
Part B: Select two pieces of text evidence that best support your claim for Part A.
A. “Through his reforms, Roosevelt created a new kind of presidency…”
B. “…Roosevelt made it clear that he was a president for the people.” C. “Although he had been struck by polio as an adult, Roosevelt refused to give up his political career.”
D. “The press corps worked with him to present the image of a president sound in both mind and body…”
E. “His political abilities allowed him to be elected for four terms, an unprecedented event.”
10. You have read one excerpt (“Franklin D. Roosevelt Biography”), and one article (“Biography: Franklin D. Roosevelt”), describing the life of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Consider how they both support the claim that Franklin D. Roosevelt was faced with hardships and challenges both personally and politically. Write an essay that analyzes his ability to persevere. Use textual evidence to support the analysis and ideas.