To Kill a Mockingbird reading quizzes

A Raisin in the Sun Reading Quiz

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A Raisin in the Sun reading quiz (Act I, scene 1):A Raisin in the Sun Reading Quizzes

Click here for the PDF of quiz 1

A Raisin in the Sun reading quiz schedule:

  1. Act I, scene 1
  2. Act I, scene 2 – Act II, scene 1
  3. Act II, scene 2 – Act II, scene 3
  4. Act III

Click here for all four A Raisin in the Sun reading quizzes

Why use A Raisin in the Sun reading quizzes?

Getting students to read outside the classroom can be difficult.

A Raisin in the Sun reading quiz
“This is boring! I have more fabulous things to do!”  

I have tried many different methods over the years, from lit. circle role sheets to online forums to guided reading questions.  In my experience, all of these methods result in a lot of faking.  Many students will Google the questions, copy from classmates, and generally go to great lengths to avoid reading.  The temptation to take the easy way is too great.

When students know that there is invariably a reading quiz, they are much more likely to complete the reading with fidelity.  Even if you are using reading guides, graphic organizers, or the like, the reading quiz is still necessary.

Getting the students to read regularly and independently is essential to achievement.  No amount of foldables, graphic organizers, drills, or activities will ever impact Language Arts development as much as reading regularly.

Case study on the importance of habitual reading: I am reminded of a student I had who perennially failed Language Arts.  Jose quietly failed to complete any assignments. But Jose, an avid reader, discovered a way to hack my grading system by earning so many Accelerated Reader points that it more than compensated for his missing assignments.  His average was well over 100%.  Jose, a bit of an outcast, became a cause de celebre among his peers when his scheme succeeded. How could I be upset when he ultimately scored the highest in the school on the ELA standardized test?

You need to know if students are reading with fidelity.

Getting students to read independently

Since these quizzes are simple and fast to process, I can identify who did the reading very easily.  Since the questions are roughly in chronological order, I can even tell who started the reading but did not finish.

This data enables me to determine who is prepared to engage in the lesson and who is not.  I might decide to have an alternative task for students who did not read.

The results also enable me to engage parents in an objective fashion.  If the student is failing the reading quizzes, what is going on? Do they need more support? Do they need guidance in their homework habits?  The scores help to take emotional responses out of the equation; no one is being “singled out.”

A Raisin in the Sun reading quizzes reduce your paper load.

A Raisin in the Sun reading quiz reducing paper load
Photo by Christian M.M. Brady

On a purely practical note, grading stacks of homework handouts is not an effective use of my time.  It is more important that I be planning engaging lessons and carefully assessing more meaningful assignments.

When a teacher does not grade every homework packet thoroughly, the students catch on very quickly.  This inevitably leads to students turning in poor quality work to be “checked for completion.”

The reading quizzes, like this A Raisin in the Sun Act I, scene 1 quiz example, are an effective and objective assessment that will not collect dust in the “pile of doom” waiting to be graded.

A Raisin in the Sun reading quizzes maximize instructional time.

A Raisin in the Sun discussion questions groups

Reading quizzes like this A Raisin in the Sun reading quiz do not waste much class time.  I say waste because the ten minutes used for the quiz is a waste.  No one is learning anything during the quiz.  If I believed that everyone would read the assignment without them, I would happily eliminate them.

What is even more wasteful, however, is spending an entire lesson trying to analyze a reading as a class when the majority of the students did not read.  I would rather waste the ten minutes for the sake of a successful (albeit shorter) lesson.

You cannot skip comprehension and engage in analysis.

My reading quizzes are purely comprehension questions.  They do not ask about symbolism, figurative language, point of view, or structure. I am not assessing their Language Arts knowledge from previous years (or even the current year).  If a student can miss a question because they do not remember what hyperbole is, it is not really a reading quiz.

The reading quizzes are a means to an end.  Once I am confident that the majority of the class did the reading, we can start mastering the Language Arts content.

You want to set students up for success.

A Raisin in the Sun winnable reading quizzes
Photo by US Department of Education

The reading quizzes should be easy to pass and easy to fail.  Students should know that if they actually read, they will succeed.  To make the quizzes even more winnable, I usually grade them out of nine (or even eight) rather than ten.  If a student did the reading, I want them to be rewarded with a high score.

A Raisin in the Sun reading quizzes ensure engagement.

After “wasting” the first ten minutes of the lesson, the learning can begin.

My students are rarely at a loss for opinions or insights.  They love to give their points of view.  When the majority of the class has actually read, it is amazing how engaged they can become over even the most banal questions.  Even when their are no participation points in play, they are intrinsically motivated to express their ideas.

A Raisin in the Sun Unit PDF

Related post: 10 Great A Raisin in the Sun Assignments

Related post: A Raisin in the Sun Unit Plan

A Raisin in the Sun Reading Quiz conclusion

Making effective A Raisin in the Sun reading quizzes is not difficult and it can make a huge impact on students achievement and engagement.  I like to do the reading assignment on a weekly basis and have the quiz and accompanying lesson every Tuesday, but the schedule is unimportant.  What is important is that students are actually reading regularly.

Making the quizzes is easy, but it is even easier to have them made for you.  Please check out my complete A Raisin in the Sun teacher Unit and Teaching Guide which includes four A Raisin in the Sun reading quizzes.teachers pay teachers banner link

Featured image from The U.S. Department of Education