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APP reading standards file: Trevor (Year 5, secure level 4)

Written comprehension questions: Zlata's Diary

This is a collection of work. Click through the chapters to see the full collection or download the attached standards file.

While exploring various examples of first person diary entries as part of whole–class work, Trevor answered written comprehension questions based on Zlata's Diary in which the young author (Zlata Filipovic) recounts her daily life in war–torn Sarajevo in the early 1990s.

Teacher: How does Zlata feel about the war? What words tell you this?

Trevor's response: 'Zlata wishes it would stop and that her mommy and daddy were happy again. It says they used to be cheerful. It also says that life is disappearing because the children are not like children.'

(AF2 L4 b1)

Teacher: What is the popular term for politicians and why do you think they are called this?

Trevor's response: 'The popular term is kids because they can never agree with each other like children do. They never agree so the war goes on.'

(AF2 L4 b1)

Teacher: Does Zlata feel really safe in her flat? How do you know?

Trevor's response: 'She feels safe when she's in the corner of a room but she says that she does not like to go near the windows maybe this is because of guns and for safety. People are shooting from the hills. If there is shooting they have to go to the cellar, it is the only place.'

(AF3 L4 b2)

Teacher: What words tell you that Zlata is optimistic that the war will end and things will go back to normal?

Trevor's response: 'She says that the guns are dying down so that means that it must be getting calmer if there is less shooting. She also says that when it all stops they might go back to the usual things.'

(AF3 L4 b1, AF5 L4 b2)

Assessment summary

This group of comprehension questions mainly requires the selection of information from different parts of the text (AF2) and Trevor shows that he can do this without difficulty. He gives relevant answers, in clear, summary form (AF2 L4). While not directly quoting from the text, his responses indicate sound understanding of its key themes. Where the task presents opportunities for exploring other aspects of reading, Trevor shows some inferential abilities but more evidence is needed to assess AF3.

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