OER Administrator
English Language Arts, Reading Literature
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • George Bernard Shaw
  • Grade 12 ELA
  • Literature
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Benchmark Assessment (Cold Write)

    Benchmark Assessment (Cold Write)


    The purpose of this second Benchmark Assessment (Cold Write) is to determine what students know about informational writing. Students will respond to a writing prompt, and you will score results as a measure of progress in subsequent assessments. Then students will continue the discussion of Hardy’s poem. They’ll also resume reading, writing about, and discussing Pygmalion.


    • Read the lesson and student content.
    • Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.
    • Familiarize yourself with the writing prompt and the scoring guide.
    • If you have students on an IEP or other accommodations, check to see whether they receive extended time or need an alternative test setting. Work with the professional supporting SWDs to make sure student needs are met.
    • Prepare activities for students who finish early.

    Informational Writing

    • Provide 3 minutes for students to complete a Quick Write.
    • Have students share what they already know about informational writing.
    • In the next task, students will take the assessment. Be prepared to do the following:
      • ✓ Answer any questions that are not of a substantive nature, providing no additional guidance about the prompt.
      • ✓ Do a quick check to ensure that students understand the prompt and are ready to begin writing. Remind students that they will have only 20 minutes to write.
      • ✓ Tell students to begin working. When the allotted time has elapsed, tell students to stop working.
      • ✓ If students finish before time is up, direct them to other activities.


    Write a brief response to this question.

    • What do you know about informational writing?

    Open Notebook

    Share your knowledge with the class.

    Benchmark (Cold Write): Informational

    • Direct students to take the assessment. They will be responding to the following prompt:
    • Within a school there are areas that are designed for more than one activity, such as the gym, the cafeteria, the classrooms, library, and others. A new school is being planned for your area and the building planners want to know about the different types of activities that take place in each area. The building planners have decided to ask students for information about various areas of a school. Your teacher has asked students to write reports that will help the planners of the new school.

    Select one area of the school that is used for several different activities and write a report on it for the building planners. Explain how students and teachers use this area each day. Be sure to give detailed information, perhaps using specific examples, so that the building planners will clearly understand what should be included in their plan for that area. You may also want to give information about the kinds of equipment or furniture needed for that area. Make your report interesting as well as informative for the building planners to read.

    • After class, assess each student’s informational piece. Students will have opportunities to write informational texts throughout the year during which they will have instruction on how to revise and edit their pieces. The information you gain from scoring this benchmark piece of writing will guide you in tailoring your writing instruction to individual student needs.
    • If students finish before time is up, direct them to other activities.

    Work Time

    Now you will write your informational piece. Remember that an informational piece is a text that gives facts and information about a topic. It can also be writing that explains something.

    You will have 20 minutes to write your informational piece.

    • Write a brief informational piece in response to the prompt.

    Social Class and Law

    • After allowing a couple of minutes for a small group share, facilitate a Whole Group Discussion.
      • ✓ Point out that prostitution is illegal in many places.
      • ✓ Who is more likely to be detained or arrested—the Flower Girl, ‘Melia, and/or any other character?
      • ELL: Be sure all students are clear about the topic of the discussion before starting. Monitor that students know what is expected of them in this discussion. Encourage ELLs to share. It is important for ELLs to share out loud so that they can hear their own voice and get used to talking in front of large groups.

    Work Time

    Share your response to the Quick Write question from Lesson 13, first with your small group triads and then with the whole class.

    • How does the poem “The Ruined Maid” relate to social class and law or to Pygmalion ?

    Act 2 of Pygmalion

    • Continue triad reading.
    • Encourage students to answer the questions in writing.
      • SWD: Pull together a small group of struggling readers and their partners and have them work together to answer the questions. They may also benefit from time to add to their Characters in Pygmalion chart or Social Terms chart. Additional support with these activities may help them be better prepared to participate in the class discussion later in the lesson.
    • Monitor students’ progress in reading act 2.
      • ELL: As students work in groups, monitor to be sure that they are able to contribute and participate productively.
    • Remember that References to Social Class in Pygmalion is provided to you and provides examples of lines and phrases in the play having to do with social class. Some vocabulary words and British terms are defined in Vocabulary and British Terms inPygmalion .


    There are a number of film versions of Pygmalion available, including the musical My Fair Lady. If you have access to any of these movies, consider showing all or part of them as the class reading of the play progresses.

    Work Time

    With your triad, read and annotate act 2 of Pygmalion to Liza’s exit: “Mrs. Pearce shuts the door; and Eliza’s plaints are no longer audible. Pickering comes from the hearth to the chair and sits astride it with his arms on the back.”

    Use the following questions to help prepare for discussion.

    • Ask yourself as you read: Is the Flower Girl (Eliza Doolittle) in danger of becoming a “ruined” woman?
    • Is Eliza concerned about that herself?

    Continue to mark places of confusion. Also mark any additional references to social class.

    Eliza's Hope

    • Allow about 2 minutes for students to write.
    • Give students about 5 minutes to process their annotations with their triad groups before having a Whole Group Discussion.
      • SWD: Validate students’ ideas as you read over their shoulder or listen in as they share with a partner. This will encourage them to share in the Whole Group Discussion. Let them know what they could share and that you will call on them. It may be helpful to have students write down what they plan to share in the discussion. This way they need not rely on memory when participating in the class discussion.

    Work Time

    Complete a Quick Write.

    • What does Eliza Doolittle hope to gain from her lessons with Higgins?

    Open Notebook

    Share your Quick Write response and your annotations of act 2 with your partners. Choose one or two annotations to share with the whole class during the Closing.

    About Act 2 of Pygmalion

    • Facilitate the Whole Group Discussion of students’ Quick Write response and their annotations of act 2.
    • Use the following probing questions to make sure students are comprehending.
      • ✓ What misunderstanding occurs between Eliza and Higgins?
      • ✓ Why is Mrs. Pierce so concerned about the arrangements Higgins is proposing?
      • ✓ What differences in behavior do you notice between Higgins and Pickering?
      • ✓ Compare Higgins’s and Pickering’s social status?
      • ✓ What do these things have to do with social class?
      • ELL: If some of the students in class speak at a slower pace or have some difficulty presenting orally, ask everybody for extra support. Explain that doing this activity in a language other than one’s native language poses a high level of difficulty, and emphasize the importance of being a good listener and giving feedback. Further explain that we show we care by being patient and supportive.


    Discuss your responses to act 2 with your classmates.

    • Share your Quick Write response, your annotations, and any questions about your reading of act 2 so far.

    Character Descriptions

    • Encourage students to be thoughtful about their choice of adjectives. Model this for the class by picking a well-known celebrity and asking students to pick adjectives to describe this person. Which ones really paint a picture? Tall or lanky?
      • SWD: Consider providing some students with direct instruction on and guided practice with word choice. It may be helpful to instruct students as to how they can use resources such as a thesaurus to help them with this skill.


    Look at the words used to describe Eliza and Higgins.

    • Pick five adjectives that describe Eliza Doolittle and five adjectives that describe Professor Higgins.
    • In a few sentences, write down anything you notice about the words you picked to describe the play’s two main characters.

    Open Notebook

    Continue your ongoing homework assignment:

    • Read your Independent Reading Group Novel.
    • Remember to submit two journal entries a week to your teacher and publish some of your journal entries so others can read your work.