How to Write a Good Open Response Question for 3rd Grade

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    • 1). Reflect on the unit on which your students will be examined. Go over the assignments and lectures you gave on the topic and write a list of the broad concepts it included.

    • 2). Formulate the wording for your question so that it focuses on one or more of the broad concepts from a particular topic. Write the question so it can be answered correctly in a number of different ways. For example, for a question on the U.S. government system, write "Why is the U.S. government split into three different branches?", rather than "What are the three branches of the U.S. government?" The correct answers should reflect the broad concept of separation of powers, but may be approached in a variety of ways.

    • 3). Double-check that the students have been taught the information needed to answer the question. For example, if you ask students, "What is an advantage and a disadvantage of the three-branch system of government?", make sure you have actually discussed both advantages and disadvantages with the students.

    • 4). Create a scoring guide that will fairly assess the students' answers to the open response question. If you ask students to provide multiple answers in their response to the question, account for this in your scoring guide. However, if you do not clearly ask for multiple answers to the question it would be unfair to penalize a student for only mentioning one possible answer. Make a list of acceptable responses so you know what you're looking for as you grade. Keep an open mind throughout the grading process, however, as a student may surprise you with an astute answer you hadn't thought of. The scoring guide should not focus on spelling or grammar issues, as such specific skills are not the aim of open response questions.

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