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    Examinations: Reflections, and Two Sample Answers

    November 11, 2010 by Brandy Vencel

    I‘ve received some emails concerning the exam I posted, and I think it might be helpful to do as Charlotte did, and post some sample answers. But before I do, I thought I’d mention that my beloved student completely bombed The Merchant of Venice question. Seriously. He barely remembered that we read it. I found myself wondering why. Why was his answer to Perseus so long and detailed that I had to encourage him to wrap it up, and yet he couldn’t remember The Merchant of Venice at all?

    I actually think it is because I crammed the reading of The Merchant of Venice (a children’s version–not the real play) into a single morning. I distinctly remember telling him that his narration didn’t have to be as thorough as usual because there was so much detail in the reading.

    Bad move, if I really wanted him to remember.

    In contrast, we moved slowly through Perseus, narrating a number of different readings spread out over the entire term.

    Of course, I’m sure the fact that our Perseus book is much better written than our child’s Shakespeare also had an impact.

    Since I do want him to remember his Shakespeare plots, as I think they will help us when it comes time to read the real thing, I’m going to need to break the plot up into a handful of smaller readings, spread it out, and require a thorough narration each time.

    I really don’t mind my student having a cursory overview of some things, but Shakespeare is important.

    Another thing I realized last night is that if he remembered everything as well as he did the story of Perseus, we were in for a very, very long night. So I found myself trimming the questions so that they were more specific. Open ended questions such as “tell me everything you know about Perseus” are great for a student who is having trouble with the exams and needs the freedom, but a child with a detailed memory is going to need to have the questions be narrower.

    For the sake of the audience.


    Below, I’ll include two questions with his attendant answers as examples (I will add proper spelling in parenthesis only as needed…sometimes I think spelling mistakes at this age are just as endearing as mispronunciations were at age four). Charlotte provides lots of examples in her Volume 3, by the way. Her students quoted poetry without being asked.

    I’m just saying.

    What was John the Baptist like?

    John the Baptist was as some people think weird.

    Why was John the Baptist weird?

    He was living in the desert dressed in skins, and ate locest dipped in honey.

    He came to earth, to preper the way for the Messiah.

    John the Baptised peaple, and told them that he was prepering the way for the Messiah.

    One day while he was baptising people he saw Jesus walking towrd him.

    He said “here comes the Lame {Lamb} of God, who comes to take away the sins of the world.”

    Jesus said “baptise me John.”

    John the Baptis said “lord I cannot for I am a sinner.”

    But Jesus siad “baptist me.”

    John took Jesus into the water and baptised him.

    When John had done so the Radience of heven shone upon Jesus and a voice from heven siad “this is my son and I am very pleased with him.”

    Athat moment a dove sent by God landed on Jesus’s shoulder.

    I’d like to thank Winnie the Pooh and A.A. Milne for inspiring that capital R.

    Tell about Queen Mary I of England and her sister Elizabeth.

    When Mary became queen of England she marred {married} Philup of Spain.

    Soon pilup saw that Mary had rule over Englend alone.

    He also saw that he had no rule over Englend.

    He left and went back to Spain. Queen Mary said that she loved Pilup.

    Now Mary was a Cathect {Catholic} and wanted to make every body in the land Cathect.

    She burned people and cut of {off} there {their} heads until sh {she} was called Bloody Mary.

    Many plots were formed against her.

    Soon she thought that her sister Elizabeth was forming them.

    She sent a roaul {royal} messanger to her sister.

    Her sister came but was put in prison.

    After a while she lived in a house until Mary died and she became queen.

    Yes, he indents the first line of his paragraphs. He learned to do that about three weeks ago, but there is no way to duplicate it easily with html. Notice that each sentence is a paragraph, as a general rule. I don’t correct these. I learn from them, as I said before.

    I rather liked them.

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