Education Technology

NCTE: Assessing Personal Response

Published on 07/19/2006

Activity Overview

Students will read a poem and write a response using specific quotations, making clear the connection between those quotations and their reaction to the poem. As a personal response, the writing will be from a first-person point of view.

Before the Activity

See the attached Activity PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity.

Print the appropriate pages from the Activity for your class.

Install the LearningCheck™ App on the students' graphing calculators following the attached instructions.

Review with students the elements of personal response. Explain activity objectives and review the instructions. Remind students that they will be evaluated on the quality and clarity of their responses, and not on their actual reaction to the poem.

During the Activity

  • Distribute the appropriate pages from the Activity to your class
  • Distribute the LearningCheck file(s) to your class using TI Connect™ and the appropriate TI Connectivity cable
  • Follow the procedures outlined in the Activity


  • Students will:
  • Read the poem "Thanatopsis" and consider motivations for its creation.
  • Practice writing a personal response.
  • Compare and contrast student views with poet views.
  • Write a collaborative personal response to "Thanatopsis."
  • Identify significant quotations and explain personal reactions to them and to the poem as a whole.
  • Explain insights gained by reading the poem, if any.
  • After the Activity

    Collect the students' responses using the TI Connectivity cable or TI Navigator™. Evaluate responses according to the following 3-point scale:

  • 3 — A score of 3 indicates that the personal response includes individual reactions and insights gained through reading the poem. The response uses quotations from the poem and specific explanations of the student's response to the quotations as well as to the overall poem. The response is written in first person, mentions the title of the poem and the poet, and is clearly organized.


  • 2 — A score of 2 indicates that the personal response does not specifically link quotations to individual response, but does indicate personal reactions to or insights gained from the poem as a whole. The response is written in first person, but may not name the title and/or poet.


  • 1 — A score of 1 indicates that the student has not written a successful response. The student might have written a summary instead, not including personal reactions of insights, or not making clear how those reactions or insights occurred through reading the poem. This response may not be written in first person and may not name the title and/or poet.