MCAS Open Response Review

MCAS Open Response Review
Creating an Answer
for the Open Response
 Read the question and think about the big picture- what
is being asked?
 Remember that this is a READING COMPREHENSION
evaluation; therefore, the answer must lie within the
 Find support details from the text that support your
claim, and make sure you can explain HOW they prove
your answer. (As you read, HIGHLIGHT pieces that you
may be able to use in your response!)
 Remember, there is NOT one right answer- the
important thing is to support your answer with
In the excerpt, Burn Sanderson's arrival affects Mama,Travis, and
Little Arliss differently. Describe how EACH character reacts to
Burn Sanderson's visit. Support your answer with important and
specific information from the text.
Example of introducing evidence from the text (setting up the quote):
When Burn Sanderson asks Mama about having a dog, she says
“’A big yeller dog?’ ….looking somber and worried.”
Example of explanation of the quote and why it supports your point:
The fact that Mama’s faces looks worried suggests that Burn
Sanderson’s visit makes her fret about losing Old Yeller.
This is
from the
story that
sets up the
Score Point 1: The response is a MINIMAL explanation of the
question (ex. What the character learns). The response
includes LITTLE or NO information from the passage and may
include misinterpretations.
“Mama is worried that Burn Sanderson is going
to take Old Yeller away. Travis hates Bud Searcy
because he told Burn about their family having
the dog. Little Arliss is mad and sad that Burn is
going to take Old Yeller away.”
How could this response be improved?
Score Point 2: The response is a partial explanation. The response
includes LIMITED information from the passage and may include misinterpretations.
 Every character reacts to
Burn Sanderson’s character
differently. Mama reacts to
it by looking “somber and
worried.” She is also
truthful and honest because
she tells Burn Sanderson
where Old Yeller is instead
of lying to him and keeping
Old Yeller. Travis reacts to
his visit by being worried
and “mad at Bud Searcy.”
 Little Arliss reacts by “he
grabbed a bunch of rocks
and went throwing them at
Burn Sanderson.”
 What is noteworthy
about this response?
Score point 3: The response is a MOSTLY clear,
COMPLETE, and ACCURATE explanation. The response includes
relevant (related) but often GENERAL information from the
 In the excerpt, Burn Sanderson
tries to take the dog, Old Yeller, and
affects Mama, Travis, and Little
Arliss. Although Mama was hurt by
the fact that Burn Sanderson was
going to take the old dog, she
reacted truthfully and honestly by
letting him take Old Yeller.
 Little Arliss, on the other hand,
reacted by throwing a huge fit at
Burn Sanderson: “He screamed and
he hollered. He grabbed a bunch of
rocks and went to throwing them at
Burn Sanderson.” Alriss did this in
hopes of being able to keep Old
 Travis’ reaction was not as
overwhelming as Little Arliss’,
but he was still hurt. He tried to
talk Mama about of letting Burn
take Old Yeller: “But
Mama!...We can’t do without
Old Yeller!” Travis becomes
upset because he realizes quickly
that Old Yeller is leaving. Later,
when he finds out Bud Searcy
told Burn where the dog was, he
grows angry at him.
 What is noteworthy about
this response?
 How can it be improved?
Score point 4: The response is a CLEAR, COMPLETE, and
ACCURATE explanation . The response include relevant and specific
information from the passage.
 While Burn Sanderson was talking
 Finally, Travis showed his reaction by
to the family about taking Old
both facial expression and word of
Yeller back, Mama, Travis, and
mouth. At first, he “stood frozen in
Little Arliss all reacted differently
my tracks- I was so full of panic”
to the situation. First, Mama expressed (Gipson, paragraph 5). However,
her sorrow by facial expression. She
when he walked to get Little Arliss,
looked “somber and worried” (Gipson,
he began to talk to himself and blame
paragraph 2). She stayed calm on the
other people.
outside, but on the inside, it tore her
 The family members all reacted
differently, but the outcome changed
 On the other hand, Little Arliss chose a
because their emotions clearly
different route. He showed his emotions
showed they loved the dog and that
persuaded Burn to let them keep
by word of mouth. “He threw a wall-eyed
fit. He screamed and hollered” (Gipson,
paragraph 15). He couldn’t keep the
emotions inside like Mama did.

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