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  • 1. Writing tasks
    NJ ASK 3-5

2. 2
3. Writing Tasks
Understand your purpose, audience, topic, and form.
Ask yourself:
Why am I writing?
For whom am I writing?
What am I writing about?
What kind of writing am I doing (letter, story, report, or)?
4. Speculative Prompt
presents a brief scenario as a springboard for writing a story
two formats: a brief verbal prompt or a poem elaborated by a brief verbal prompt
describe, discuss, or explain using personal experience to develop ideas
5. NJ ASK: Sample Speculative Prompt(Grades 3-5)
When the school bell rang, Katie and Pablo grabbed their books and raced out of the classroom. They had been looking forward to this afternoon all week long. Today they were going to go on an adventure.
Write a story about the adventure Katie and Pablo had after they left school.
How would youmodel this for your students?
Purpose, audience, topic, and form?
6. Speculative Prompts for 5th Grade
Imagine that school has closed due to a snowstorm that has passedthrough your town andleft behind ten inches of snow. Write a story about an adventure that takes place in this snowy weather.
How would youmodel this for your students?
Purpose, audience, topic, and form?
7. Poem Prompt
by Shel Silverstein
Ive made me a moon-catchin net,
And Im goin huntin tonight,
Ill run along swingin it over my head,
And grab for that big ball of light.
So tomorrow just look at the sky,
And if theres no moon you can bet
Ive found what I sought and I finally caught
The moon in my moon-catchin net.
But if the moons still shinin there,
Look close underneath and youll get
A clear look at me in the sky swingin free
With a star in my moon-catchin net.
Has there ever been something you wanted very much that you may or may nothave been able to get?
Write about what youwanted. Include the following:
What did you want to have?
Why did you want this?
If you got it, explain how it happened.
Explain why you were successful in getting it.
If you didnt get it, explain why not.
Explain how you might be successful in getting it in the future.
People enjoy playing games. Some take games they know and change the rules while others invent their own board games, ball games, or other games.
Write an essay about a new game youcreated or might like to create, or an old game for which you changed the rules.Be sure to explain your game by using detailsand examples to support your explanation.
How would youmodel this for your students?
Purpose, audience, topic, and form?
9. NJ ASK: Sample Expository Prompt(Grades 3-5)
Most people have a special activity or hobby that they enjoy. Some people collect things while others like to read or play games. What activity do you like to do?
Write a composition describing what you enjoy doing. Explain why that activity is special to you.
How would youmodel this for your students?
Purpose, audience, topic, and form?
10. Grade 3
Which type of writing does
this prompt require? How would you
model this for your students?
Purpose, audience, topic, and form?
Your local newspapers Kid Section is sponsoring a contest for the best class trip. Write an article telling what you liked about your field trip and why others should visit this special place. The winners will receive funding to go on their next field trip.
11. 11
Students write to their school librarian, requesting that a specific book be added to the school library collection.
Which type of writing does
this prompt require?
How would youmodel this for your students?
Purpose, audience, topic, and form?
12. Grade 4
You woke up one morning and learned that it was snowing. School was closed for the day! It was a dream come true. Suddenly you had time to take a break from the usual routine and do what you wanted to do.
Write a story about a snow day off from school that you remember. Give enough details in your story to show what you did and how wonderful the day was.
Which type of writing does
this prompt require?
How would youmodel this for your students?
Purpose, audience, topic, and form?
13. 13
One morning a child looks out the window and discovers that a huge castle has appeared overnight. The child rushes outside to the castle and hears strange sounds coming from it. Someone is living in the castle! The castle door creaks open. The child goes in.
Write a story about who the child meets and what happens inside the castle.
Which type of writing does this prompt require?
How would youmodel this for your students?
Purpose, audience, topic, and form?
14. 14
We all have favorite objects that we care about and would not want to give up. Think of one object that is important or valuable to you. For example, it could be a book, a piece of clothing, a game, or any object you care about.
Write about your favorite object. Be sure to describe the object and explain why it is valuable or important to you. Write sentences of varying lengths and complexity, using descriptive words.
Which type of writing doesthis prompt require?
How would youmodel this for your students?
Purpose, audience, topic, and form?
15. 15
A young boy busily collected everything he would need to take with him. The next day, as he began to set up his equipment, he realized he was missing a very important piece. He has to decide how to solve this problem. Write a story about the boy, his problem, and what he does to solve it.
Which type of writing does this prompt require?
How would youmodel this for your students?
Purpose, audience, topic, and form?
16. 16
Carlos had only a few things that he really treasured, but he often misplaced them.When he got home from school one day, he could not find his favorite game. He thought he had left it in his room. Think about Carlos problem, and then write a story about what happens next.
Which type of writing does this prompt require?
How would youmodel this for your students?
Purpose, audience, topic, and form?
17. Writing Task
The young girl spent an hour packing her backpack. She checked her list one more time before falling into bed. She had remembered everything. Now all she had to do was wait for morning. The young girl wondered whether the rest of the group was as excited as she was. When her alarm rang at 6 a.m., she jumped out of bed, pulled on her clothes, andrandown the stairs with her backpack.
Write a story about what you think the young girl is about to experience.
Which type of writing does this prompt require?
How would youmodel this for your students?
Purpose, audience, topic, and form?
18. The girl got out of Her bed and put Her clothes on a brong Her checklist she went
Hillcrest school and Had fun the end.
Score Point: 1

  • minimal response

19. few original details 20. unelaborated 21. insufficient writing to demonstrate any planning or organization18
22. Come on mom! Get up! Its six! We got to go! screached Samantha. She
was so excited to go to her camp over night with her best friends. Mom, hurry up!
Samantha yelled again.
Im coming, Im coming. Get in the car, Ill be down in a minute. her mom
said. While Samantha was waiting for her mother, she had breakfast and she
cheked over her list again to make sure she had everything.
Once her mom was ready, they got in the car & was off to camp. Everyone
said bye when they got there & Samantha met up with her friends. Hey Sam! said
Hey guys! Sam said back. Lets go on a hike after we find a place to put our
stuff. That sounds great! everyone said.
So, once they found their camp site and they were settled in they went on a
hike. It started to get dark after a while though so they turned back. Now, because it
was getting darker and darker, it was harder to see everything. As they were on their
way back to camp, they made a wrong turn on the trail. They all noticed this when
the saw that they had went around in a circle. Were lost screamed Jessica.
I dont think we are. said Sam. I remember seeing this weird rock on our
way here. Lets go back this way, it should lead us back to camp.
So, because Sam was the smartest out of everyone, they all followed her and
it turns out that it was the right way to go. They got to their tents, went to bed, and
the next morning, had a quiet ride home.
23. Score Point: 4

  • controlled and organized with evident transitions

24. some events are elaborated with specific details 25. syntax is generally varied 26. some errors do not detract from the meaning20
27. The young girl was on her way to school. She was at school when she relized
she forgot her camra. She got to school and the bus was there. She raced to it and
got on. She promised her cousin she would take pictures. She was at the camp.
She hoped out and raced over to her friends. She begged them to give her the
camra. They pushed her away and said no. How was the girl going to find a camra
now? The group walked and went on three trail hikes before lunch. The group finally
walked through a gooey slushy swamp, and through the thin brush to the dining hall.
Next to the hall was a gift shop. The young girl dashed ahead and into the shop.
She had her money just in case. She saw one camra left. She said to the cashier I
would like that camra. She turned around and out the door. She took pictures of
everything. Then she turned to see her mom, with her camra.
Score Point: 3

  • sparse, but controlled

28. details are organized 29. simple transitions 30. many of the details unelaborated 31. some instances where the details are elaborated 32. lack of variety in the sentence structure21
33. RIIING!!! My alarm clock buzzed. My light blue eyes slowly opened. I burst
out of bed to my feet. The butterflys were rapidly fluttering around in my stomach. It
was my first day of third grade.
I put on my white button down short sleeved blouse and a plaid pair of
Bermuda shorts. I had spent an hour packing my backpack and I have had my outfit
set since the begining of August. When I finished getting dressed I grasped my backpack, threw it over my shoulder and ran down the hardwood starcase.
As I devourered my pancakes with mapple syrup my mind was fastened to the
thought,were the rest of my friends as excited as I was?
Goodmorning Ally, are you nervous? my mom said in a cheerful tone.
No, not really, I lied trying not to giggle.
I sure am, whispered my little sister Annabelle from across the tabble. Oh, my gosh! 6:45. I am going to be late! I realized as I looked at the clock. Okay, Ally, Bye! they shouted to me as my little legs carriedmeacross the yard just in time to get on the bus.
When I arrived I thoughtI was nervous and in a hurry for this! I got the WORST teacher ever! Mrs. Grumpthrop. She was pointing at people (just random people) and saying You Detention! Just like that I knew the whole third grade was
going to change She also had an apple on her desk perfectly round and red. You would get 3 days after school detention for evan looking at it!!!
RIIING! an alarm clock went off. My alarm clock. I realized it was just a dream. I rolled over in my warm cozy bed to find a perfectly round, red apple on my dresser.
34. Score Point: 5

  • fluent

35. vivid description 36. compositional risk 37. literary devices - onomatopoeia, alliteration, intentional capitalization for dramatic effect, the use of humor 38. sophisticated devices such as the ellipsis 39. sophisticated sentence structure 40. precise word choices23
41. One day a little girl named ying was going to school it was the first day elemtry school.
Ying was very nice to every body but kids in her class were not some kid threw a pice of
gum at her. The boy siad Ha HaHaHaHa Ying siad Why do people do this. The
kids looked at Ying like she did something to them.
Score Point: 2

  • brief

42. provides several details 43. attempts to control and organize the response 44. simple transitions 45. sequencing the events in a logical order. 46. brief dialogue adds support 47. limited command24
48. Writing Task
Each year, there is a week called TV Turn Off Week. During this time people are asked to turn off their televisions and not watch any programs for one week. This year, the principal of your school has asked students and their families to take part in TV Turn Off Week.
Write a letter to your principal explaining why you would or would not want your family to take part in TV Turn Off Week. Use examples and give reasons to support your decision.
49. Dear Principal,
In my opinion, TV Turn Off Week is a great idea. I would love to take part in this event. To me, it is very important to have a break from watching television. There are so many other things to do, such as listen to the radio or just play a card or board game. Fifty years ago, there werent that many TVs, so families that had one would always be watching together. Now, families have many televisions at home. This keeps them separated all the time. Personally, Im the one in my family who needs to stop. I spend a whole lot of time on my couch, and if Im not watching television, Im probably playing video games. Before, I just had local channels. Thats why I didnt spend as much time in front of the screen. There was never anything good on to watch. I just recently got all of the channels back. Since then, Ive been watching TV non-stop. I rarely read books now, because there are so much other things to do. I would want to stop watching television, but it is not that easy. I could probably do it, but maybe my family wouldnt want to. I appreciate your idea, but Im not so sure that other people would want to. Ever since people started buying many TVs for their households, families have been apart. A television set became like a magnet, attracting people, and not letting them go. Anyway, one weekprobablywouldnt be enough. Neither would one month. Now, maybe one year
would work, but nobody would quit watching television for a year. People in this
world just need to see what life was like before the invention of the television, and try
to re-live it. Im not saying that they have to live like they are in an Amish country, but just forget that the TV was ever invented for a year, or for as long as they can. So, I would definitely want my family to take part in TV Turn Off Week!
50. Score Point: 4

  • internal organization

51. transitional devices that connect ideas 52. logical conclusion 53. adequately developed with some specific anecdotes 54. lack the details needed for a higher score 55. syntax is generally correct and varied 56. few errors in usage and mechanics 57. adequate command of language.27
58. Dear Mr. _____,
Some kids dont like t.v and Some do and we should have TV Turn Off Week.
The kids should have that for a week Cause we need to stop watching TV and go do
something else like play with ower friends our Dogs and pets that we have an dour
family membreas that will be good if we dont watch TV for a week and when you play
with your friends then your friends say do you want to go and watch some TV then you
say Ummnm NO we should not have to watch boarding tv we should not watch tv for a
week then your friends or friend says ok we will not watch tv for a week then you can
keep on playing with your friends. Then you play with your other friends then those
friends say I am board do you want to go and watch so t.v.. Then you say NO we shoud
stop watching t.v for a week then your friend says I dont know it will be hard for me to
stop watching tiv for a week. Then you say I am doing it to then your friend says ok I
will stop watching t.v for a week then you guys start playing then your other friend
comes then she said I am not watching t.v for a week then you say kool do you want to
play with us then your friends ok. Then your friends father was coming outside to see
on the gurls then the gurls father said do you gurls want to watch some t.v then you say
NO we are not watching t.v for a week then the father said can I try to stop watching t.v
for a week then the gurl said ok you can then the father was so happy then there was
alot of people not watching t.vther the show TV Turn off week that show had alot of
people in it then the little gurl that made it up she was very happy that all these people
were joing the club TV Turn off week and her friends were happy to than a few moths
later veryone liked it people were happy that they never watched TV agin.
59. 29
Score Point: 1

  • no control or planning evident

60. stream of consciousness without any attempt to organize 61. sentences are an assortment of lengthy run-ons 62. inadequate command