Mid-Unit Assessment: Getting to Know a Character: What Details in the Text Help Us Understand Ha? | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G8:M1:U1:L5

Mid-Unit Assessment: Getting to Know a Character: What Details in the Text Help Us Understand Ha?

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can analyze how specific dialogue or incidents in a plot propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision. (RL.8.3)
  • I can cite text-based evidence that provides the strongest support for my analysis of literary text. (RL.8.1)
  • I can determine the meaning of words and phrases in literary text (figurative, connotative, and technical meanings) (RL.8.4)
  • I can analyze the impact of word choice on meaning and tone (analogies or allusions). (RL.8.4)
  • I can use evidence from literary texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (W.8.9)
  • I can effectively engage in discussions with diverse partners about eighth-grade topics, texts, and issues. (SL.8.1)

Supporting Targets

  • I can make inferences that deepen my understanding of Inside Out & Back Again.
  • I can analyze how critical incidents in the novel reveal aspects of Ha's character.
  • I can cite evidence from the text in my writing that supports my analysis.
  • I can participate in discussions about the text with a partner, small group, and the whole class.

Ongoing Assessment

  • QuickWrite 2 (from homework)
  • Mid-Unit Assessment: Getting to Know a Character: What Details in the Text Help Us Understand Ha?


AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

A.  Engaging the Reader: Gallery Walk about "Who Is Ha?" (10 minutes)

B.  Review Learning Targets (3 minutes)

2.  Work Time

A.  Mid-Unit 1 Assessment: Getting to Know a Character: What Details in the Text Help Us Understand Ha? (30 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

A.  Debrief (2 minutes)

4.  Homework

A.  Read pages 22-41 and keep adding details about Ha to your notes

  • In the opening of this lesson, students revisit the "Who Is Ha?" small-group anchor charts they created during Lesson 4. This helps prepare them for the upcoming assessment, by both activating their background knowledge and seeing models of how their peers are inferring about Ha based on evidence from the text.
  • In advance: post students' "Who Is Ha?" anchor charts around the room.
  • Post learning targets on the board.
  • Review: Gallery Walk (Appendix 1).
  • This is an "open book" assessment: students will need their texts, and may use their journals, QuickWrites, and the anchor charts posted around the room.
  • Consider the assessment data collected from this first assessment as a "baseline" for your students' capacity to use evidence from text to support their thinking (W.8.9).
  • For homework, students do a "first read" of pages 22-41, which they address in more depth during Lesson 8.


historical fiction, evidence (review); do not preview vocabulary from the text for the assessment


  • Who Is Ha? anchor chart (from Lesson 4; student-created in their small groups)
  • Sticky notes (three per student)
  • Markers (four per group)
  • Inside Out & Back Again (book; one per student)
  • QuickWrite model (from Lesson 3)
  • Mid-Unit 1 Assessment: Getting to Know a Character: What Details in the Text Help Us Understand Ha? (one per student)
  • Mid-Unit 1 Assessment: Getting to Know a Character: What Details in the Text Help Us Understand Ha? (Answers for Teacher Reference)
  • 2 point rubric: writing from sources/short response (for teacher reference to score students' assessments)



A. Engaging the Reader: Gallery Walk about "Who Is Ha?" (10 minutes)

Note: Post students' anchor charts around the classroom in advance. 

  • Show students the Who Is Ha? anchor charts that they created in their small groups during Lesson 4.
  • Briefly review the Gallery Walk protocol. Tell students that the purpose is to quickly see others' thinking. Distribute sticky notes to each student. Tell students that they will look at the other charts and jot down, on their sticky notes, aspects of Ha's character, and the evidence the other groups have used. They will then get to add these sticky notes to their own small-group charts. Encourage group members to split into two pairs, and walk with their partner pair-up to look at as many different charts as possible.
  • Review class norms as needed to ensure that students will be able to circulate to look at one another's charts in a quiet and respectful manner.
  • Begin the Gallery Walk: give students just 5 minutes to walk around, read other groups' charts, and jot their notes. Tell them that this thinking will help prepare them for their upcoming assessment.
  • Then ask students to gather with their own small group next to their own anchor chart. Ask students to share their sticky notes:

*   "What new details did you gather about Ha and her situation?"

  • Give each group markers, and encourage them to add to their anchor chart. Specifically ask that each pair add one new piece of evidence from the text to their chart.
  • As students work in their small groups, circulate to listen in and give support as needed. Praise students who are actively looking back in the novel for additional details. Remind them that close readers pay attention to details as they read and think about why those details are important. Commend students for finding specific evidence from the texts to support their thinking.
  • Also listen for a few strong examples when students refer to specific details from the novel that reveal Ha's character. Prepare to share these strong examples during the review of learning targets, during Opening Part B.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Mid-Unit 1 Assessment: Getting to Know a Character: What Details in the Text Help Us Understand Ha? (30 minutes)

  • For the assessment, consider rearranging seats so students are not in their groups. Be sure students have the following materials:

*   a pen or pencil

*   Inside Out & Back Again

*   the QuickWrite model (from Lesson 3)

  • Distribute the Mid-Unit 1 Assessment: Getting to Know a Character: What Details in the Text Help Us Understand Ha? Read the directions aloud as students read in their heads:
  • Reassure students that they have been practicing reading the novel, and learning about Ha's character from the words and phrases the author uses. They will just be putting this learning into their own writing.
  • Remind students of some of the reading and writing skills they have been learning that will help them on this assessment:

-   Read for the gist: what is your initial sense of what the text is mostly about?

-   Think about the questions.

-   Reread the text with the questions in mind. Look for details.

-   Write your answers, using specific evidence from the text to support your thinking.

  • Give students 25 minutes to complete the assessment.
  • Students who finish early may reread earlier portions of the novel, revisit "The Vietnam Wars" article, or read in their independent reading book for this unit.
  • Collect assessments from students. Tell them that they will keep practicing close reading and citing evidence in lessons to come.
  • For this assessment, provide appropriate accommodations (i.e., extra time) for ELLs and students with special needs.

Closing & Assessments


A. Debrief (2 minutes)

  • Preview the homework with students.
  • Review the learning targets with the class. Ask students how they thought they did in terms of understanding Ha's character and connecting details from the book to what they noticed. Students can respond with a Fist to Five.


  • Complete a first reading of pages 22-41, from "Unknown Father" through "Promises." Keep noticing what the critical incidents and key details are helping us learn about Ha. Use your journal to record your notes.


Note: Review students' QuickWrite 2. Identify a strong example to show (at the start of Lesson 6) as an exemplar of supporting ideas with evidence from text. Seek the student's permission in advance to share his/her work. Be prepared to highlight how the author of the model uses specific details to support his or her ideas and the way this student has woven evidence into his or her paragraph.


Review students' Mid-Unit Assessments. Provide specific feedback; time is allocated in Lesson 9 to share this feedback with students.

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