What Is an Extended-Constructed Response?

When I first began my teaching career, the language used among educators was the same as what I’d heard teachers use when I was in school. For example, a test where you picked A, B, C, or D was a multiple choice test. A response that required a paragraph or two was called a short answer question. And everyone knew what an essay was – 5 paragraphs that have the same structure they do today: introduction, body, and conclusion.

But for some reason that all changed. Multiple choice morphed into selected response, a  short answer question now requires a constructed response, and the five-paragraph essay became an extended response.

What’s the difference? There is no difference, not really. So today you’ll write an extended-constructed response. It’s a response that’s longer than a paragraph but shorter than an essay. I’m going to call it at least three paragraphs, or 150 – 175 words.

7415d495e09488b145c4a178911c5c6aHow to Approach Today’s Question

Your prompt is as follows:

Think about what a blue hole dive must be like. Write a journal entry as an experienced diver who has just completed a deep blue hole dive for the first time. Focus on the things you saw and how you felt while on the dive.

Be sure to use information about blue holes from the article when writing your journal entry.

Think about this question for a while. Then read over your rubric. Focus on the criteria for a 4, especially the items about point-of-view, a logical sequence, precise words and phrases, and using ideas and details from the passage in your response. Imagery is key: don’t assume the reader knows what you’re talking about. Illustrate your narrative – paint a picture with words. If you get stuck with this part, it might help to think about how you’d describe what you see in the picture above.

Good luck, and email me with questions if you have them.

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