In this writing extension lesson, students will compose a written response to an open-ended prompt based on the novel. Students have to practice and compose a response with supporting details from the novel. Students will learn to embed quotes and use transition words to write an exemplary response. Also, students will become familiar with the rubric, grade peer’s responses and provide comments.

Group Size: Any

Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to:

• Compose a written response to an open-ended prompt using embedded quotes and transition words.
• Analyze practice and peers responses and grade responses using rubric.

Guiding Question:

Why is it important to support your argument with evidence?


Answer, Provide, Support and Explain guide sheet PSSA released items for practice


Do Now
• 5-minute journal write (6 – 8 line expectation)
Read the passage “The Fosbury Flop” and answer the following question

What kind of person is Dick Fosbury?

• Review student responses with random questioning and create a class brainstorm of Dick Fosbury’s traits.

• Distribute the answer, provide, support and explain (APSE) guidesheet to students. Explain that they will be learning a strategy to answer open-ended responses that are found in all weekly exams and all standardized tests they will take.
• Take time to ensure students understand the vocabulary used.

• Explain that you will be sharing a model that goes through each part of the strategy step by step. Inform students they will be writing their own responses as you go through each step.

Guided Practice
• Have students follow along with you as you explain each step of the strategy and the model provided. To ensure students are with you use frequent review questions and have a simple poster on the board indicating which part of the strategy you are on.
• After each step, the students must then write their own responses (in the your turn section on the sheet.) They are responding to the same prompt as the model, but their answers must be different. They can use the do now and class brainstorm for ideas on other traits to describe Dick Fosbury.
• Students can do this independently or in groups. Teacher should review each step and give students an opportunity to share their answers.

Session Two


Teacher leads a discussion of the APSE rubric – this should be used when grading any subsequent responses students complete. Ensure students understand what is required to score a 3 in each category.

Guided Practice:

Students read and grade the model response using the rubric.

Independent Practice:

Students write out their own response using the step-by- step guide from session one.
Students swap papers with a peer and grade and comment on their peer’s response using the rubric.

The PSSA released items contain some student answers to the same prompt. Distribute different responses to groups in your class and have them grade and comment them using the rubric.
This lesson can be repeated using the PSSA released items and other short stories. The APSE planning sheet can be used for students needing scaffolding. Eventually students should be able to write their responses using APSE without any guidance.

Session Three

Connecting it to The Novel

Now students are familiar with the APSE strategy they can apply it to prompts about the novel. Below are some sample prompts for The Kite Runner:

• Identify one trait that (insert character name) possesses in The Kite Runner. Use at least two examples from the novel to support your response.

• Describe the major conflict of the novel and how it is resolved. Use at least two examples from the novel to support your response.

• What is the major theme of the novel? Use at least two examples from the novel to support your response.

• What could be an alternative title for the novel? Use at least two examples from the novel to support your response.


Rubric is included in the attached documents.

Attached Files:



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