MD Performance Assessment Update

K-12 Testing

Integrated Subject Areas: Reading, Writing, Language Usage, Social Studies


Topic: Child Labor


Writing Prompt: Writing to Persuade


Suppose that it is the year 1912. The United States Congress is investigating child labor. A town meeting in your community has been called to examine the issues.


Decide whether you believe that it is right or wrong for children, like yourselves, to work. Take a firm stand.


Write a speech that you will read to citizens at the town meeting persuading them to accept your point of view on child labor. Use information from "A Letter to Hannah" and "Mill Children" to support your stand.


You will have 40 minutes to plan, write, and think about your speech on paper. Later, you will have an opportunity to share your speech with your partner before making final revisions. Only the revised speech that you write in your Student Response Book will be scored. You may begin work by yourself. As you write, you may want to do these things:


Pre-Writing: Think about what it is like to be a child who works. Think about working conditions. Think about what they have and don't have because of their jobs. Try making a list, web, or diagram to come up with ideas about whether it is right or wrong for children to work.


Drafting: Write a rough draft of your speech.


Revising: Read your draft and think about what you have written. Imagine that you are a citizen at the town meeting listening to the speech.


Think about the questions below:


1. Does this speech make sense?


2. Does the speech include facts that support the writer's argument?


3. Does the speech persuade the reader to accept the writer's point of view?


After you have thought about how well your speech answers these questions, you will get some more information from your partner to help improve your writing.


Peer Response Form




1. Ask your partner to listen carefully as you read your rough draft out loud.


2. Ask your partner to help you improve your writing by telling you the answers to the questions below.


3. In the space provided, jot down notes about what your partner says.


1. What did you like about my rough draft?


2. What did you have the hardest time understanding about my rough draft?


3. What else can you suggest that I do to improve my rough draft?


Use the space below to write additional comments.


Writing the Revised Draft

Now that you have had the chance to think about your writing and get information from your partners, it is time to revise your speech. Remember that you are the author, and only you can decide if you want to use your partner's suggestions when you revise your writing. You will have 35 minutes to revise your draft. Make sure that you get all of your revised draft in the response book in 35 minutes, because only the material that is in the book will be scored.



Look over your writing. Because your speech may be printd in the newspaper, be sure your speech is clear and complete. Also, check for correct spelling, punctuation, grammar, and usage. Use the suggestions on the Proofreading Guidesheet to check your work. Make any necessary corrections on your revised draft.