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Narrative Extension Task Sample- Grade 4

Polo Sample Image copy(Click image to download sample and feedback)

This released student sample, from the https://www.doe.mass.edu/, is analyzed for specific skills taught using the Empowering Writers approach. The sample features the skills that the student successfully applied and suggestions for improvement. Feel free to download the sample and use it as a guide to analyze your own student samples. As assessment time nears, this will provide you with specific feedback for your students as well as point you in the direction of the most effective lessons. 

MCAS Released Item 2019

Narrative Extension Task - Grade 4

polo image prompt copy

Summarizing Framework

This is a story about me (Polo)
The adventure was I was outside for the first time ever!
The adventure concluded when I ran to the shed with my brother and we decided to go out into the wide world.

This student created an effective narrative that followed the organizational structure of the Empowering Writers Narrative Writing Diamond. It included all essential story elements and followed closely from the original source text. The student includes a wide range of sentences and some high level of vocabulary that add to the complexity of the piece. “Hoping my brother wouldn’t shun me for stupidity like usual. ...My brother told me crisply...I was fully engaged in the dirt...drenched...bolting up...yanked me up.” 

What Worked:

Organization: You clearly see the diamond structure reflected in this student’s writing with a beginning, middle and end.

Entertaining Beginning: The student used dialogue to hook the reader into the story and create a sense of wonder. After reading the first sentence or two, the reader wants to find out what is going to happen. That is the function of an effective beginning. 

Elaborative Detail: There is some elaboration of the setting within the first several sentences. The author writes, “My brother was too busy staring dreamily at the strange brown colored carpet and rolling on it.” and continues, “I deeply sniffed the carpet my wise brother called earth...It smells like...flower pots.” What do feelings look like is also woven into the narrative: “I could feel my heart pounding, I felt my eyes widen to the size of saucers, my body stiffened..”

Suspense: This author does a great job of adding a hint of anticipation to leave the reader hanging ever so slightly. “Suddenly he yanked me up sharply. ...I heard footsteps...I could feel my heart pounding...Before I knew it...I felt my eyes widen to the size of saucers, my body stiffened, my instincts told me to pounce…” 

Main Event: This portion of the story should be the longest and include techniques such as action, description, dialogue, feelings, thought/question, and possibly a sound. The author uses several of these to convey the story.

Extended Ending: The author ends the story with a decision that Polo and his brother Marco make. “Beyond that fence is the whole world, and it’s just waiting for us.” 

Feedback with Prescriptive Lesson:

CHOOSE a Focus Skill:

Based on this narrative, the student could use additional instruction in creating a main event. 

  • Section 5 Main Event: All lessons for additional practice.

Recommended Resources


Download Narrative Extension Task - Grade 4 Sample

Topics:Narrative WritingStudent Writing SamplesNarrative – Literary Analysis Tasks