2 To answer the Short Answer questions on the new STAAR test well enough to get a passing score of 2, you will need to do the following things.
3 Answer the QuestionAnswer directly using the same wording from the question – this will form your topic sentence.
4 Cite evidenceCite evidence from the selection to support your answer. This needs to be a blended or embedded quotation (concrete detail). Do not just paraphrase; this too often turns into just a plot summary.
5 Explain and expand your evidence Explain and expand your evidence to support your answer (add commentary).
6 Sample QuestionHow does the narrator’s attitude toward his grandfather change over the course of the summer?
7 Notice how this is a two part question, and therefore you will need to provide a two part answer. What was the narrator’s initial attitude toward his grandfather?What change occurs in the attitude of the narrator?
8 Answer the question directly Incorporate the question into your answer. Use strong word choice and be specific. Answer the question that has been stated
10 The narrator’s attitude changes toward the grandfather over the course of the summer from his being ungrateful to be able to spend time with his grandfather to his being appreciative of this family member.
11 This sentence provides the “A” part of A. C. E. The question has been restated.A direct answer has been given to the question.This is the topic sentence of your paragraph.
12 In the beginning of the story, the narrator says, “I hate having to take care of my Grandpa” indicating a dislike for being around him. However, when the summer is over, he excitedly writes in his journal, “Grandpa used to be a basketball star! That’s so cool that he can teach me.”
13 These two sentences provide the “C” part of A. C. E. A quote is provided to show how the narrator feels both in the beginning of the story and another is provided to show how his attitude changes.
14 This demonstrates the narrator’s attitude change as he learns new aspects of his grandfather’s life. By the end of the summer, the narrator realizes that his grandfather is not just a burden; he actually has the ability to affect the narrator’s life in a positive way.
15 These sentences provide the “E” part of A. C. E. Directly tell your reader how the evidence you have just provided proves your answer.You can begin our “E” with phrases such as: “This emphasizes…”, “This demonstrates…”, “This signifies that…”This sentence explains how the quotes supports the answer to better prove the answer.
16 Putting it all together The narrator’s attitude changes toward the grandfather over the course of the summer from his being ungrateful to be able to spend time with his grandfather to his being appreciative of this family member. In the beginning of the story, the narrator says, “I hate having to take care of my Grandpa” indicating a dislike for being around him. However, when the summer is over, he excitedly writes in his journal, “Grandpa used to be a basketball star! That’s so cool that he can teach me.” This demonstrates the narrator’s attitude change as he learns new aspects of his grandfather’s life. By the end of the summer, the narrator realizes that his grandfather is not just a burden; he actually has the ability to affect the narrator’s life in a positive way.
17 Looking at another example In this excerpt from Anne of Green Gables, do you think the stage directions enhance your understanding of the scene? Explain your answer and support it with evidence from the selection.
18 3 Point AnswerThe stage directions most definitely help to present an image of the scene in the play. In a short story or novel, authors use words to describe the setting that the characters are in, which helps to paint a visual image in the reader’s mind. When the stage directions offer descriptions like “a small figure, a child, sits on a battered suitcase”, directions as to who a character is turned talking to as in “to Anne”, and directions as to how a line should be delivered as in “Puzzled”, these help the reader see what is happening, like descriptions in a novel or a short story. With these directions, the reader can definitely see the play being acted out in their minds, which helps them to understand the scenes better and connect with the characters just by reading.
19 Short Answer for Paired Selections How are the themes of “Those Winter Sundays” and “All My Babies are Gone Now” similar? Support your answer with evidence from both selections.
20 Look at what the question is asking exactly You must first figure out what the theme is of these two selections. What controlling idea appears in both?Then you must find a quote from both selections that prove that this theme exists.
21 3 Point AnswerBoth themes are similar in the sense that both speakers have a feeling of remorse for not being able to appreciate who they had in front of them until the moment had passed and could not be recaptured. The adult speaker in “Those Winter Sundays” says of his father’s sacrifices, “No one ever thanked him” after acknowledging the his father “with cracked hands that ached from labor” would wake up “in the blueblack cold” to provide warmth for his family, yet the speaker, as a child, did not seem grateful for it. In “All My Babies are Gone,” time flew by too quickly for this mother; as she looks at her three almost-adults, she realizes that she did not get to cherish her three treasures because she “did not live in the moment enough,” and she wishes she had “treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.” Both speakers realize what they missed only after it is too late.