TEKS Talk - SLA Response image

Knowledge and Skills Statement

Response skills: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts. The student responds to an increasingly challenging variety of sources that are read, heard, or viewed.

The following is one example of how to assess proficiency of this student expectation (SE) or a portion of the SE. More examples coming soon.
1 Passage
George Washington’s Portrait

Gilbert Stuart was a popular painter who lived from 1755 to 1828. He painted portraits of distinguished famous people, such as George Washington. Most painters at the time asked the people they were painting to sit still for many hours while they created the portrait. Instead, Stuart would have conversations with his subjects so that he could capture their natural expressions in his paintings. Today he is most recognized for his half-finished portrait of Washington that has been used on the dollar bill since 1869.

Read the selection to learn about Gilbert Stuart’s most famous piece of art.

George Washington’s Portrait

  1. Many artists have hopes that their creations will become well known. But sometimes a work of art achieves greater recognition than the artist might have ever imagined. And in the case of Gilbert Stuart and George Washington, a work of art may not even be completed but still inspire people long afterward.
  2. Stuart was a painter who lived from 1755 to 1828. He was known for both his talent as a painter and his charm as a person. He painted the portraits of approximately 1,000 people during his lifetime. Many distinguished and famous people sat for a portrait with him. But instead of making his subjects sit perfectly still, as was commonly practiced at the time, Stuart engaged them in interesting conversation. He wanted his subjects to feel at ease in order to capture their most natural expression and pose. Only then would Stuart paint the person.
  3. One of Stuart’s aspirations was to paint George Washington. Their meeting was not easy to arrange, but Stuart eventually got the opportunity in 1796. Stuart had a difficult time getting Washington to be comfortable. The president finally relaxed when Stuart began to talk about horses. This was one of Washington’s favorite topics. The men chatted while Stuart painted the then 64-year-old president. Their time together was limited, however.
  4. Gilbert Stuart was a popular painter who lived from 1755 to
  5. The result was a portrait of just Washington’s head and shoulders. The reasons why Stuart never finished the rest of the portrait are uncertain. What is known is that the bottom and left parts of the canvas remained bare, and Stuart persuaded Washington to let him keep the original. Stuart made and soldmultiple copies of the portrait in his lifetime—a common practice in the days before cameras.
  6. Even unfinished, Stuart’s original portrait is considered the definitive representation of George Washington. People have always believed that the portrait truly captures this great man’s presence. The image was used on the dollar bill beginning in 1869 and has been featured there ever since. This means just about everyone in the United States has seen this work of art. While it is an amazing portrait, surely even Stuart would be amazed by its lasting popularity.

What is the best summary of the selection?

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an organizing structure that presents ideas or information in a logical and rational sequence and is often used in argumentative and informative writing
Students are expected to restate something they have read or heard, retaining the intended meaning of the original while using different words than the original author. Students show their level of understanding and language use when they correctly paraphrase information they read or heard.
Summarizing text is a specific skill that students use when they reduce information to its main ideas and fundamental points. Students may summarize a piece of writing by identifying its components and determining the correct order in which those components appear in the text. For example, students who are summarizing a story read in class should be able to express the main idea conveyed by the author, the details that support it, and the order of events throughout the text.


1. Kletzien, S. B. (2009). Paraphrasing: an effective comprehension strategy. The Reading Teacher, 63(1), 73+. Retrieved from https://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A210594945/PROF?u=tea&sid=PROF&xid=69db1b90

Summary: Focusing on individual student's challenges, the authors look at the way students initially approach paraphrasing, and then model for students how to paraphrase by connecting reading with prior knowledge.

2. Fisk, C., & Hurst, B. (2003). Paraphrasing for comprehension. The Reading Teacher, 57(2), 182+. Retrieved from https://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A109218181/PROF?u=tea&sid=PROF&xid=5259f22e

Summary: The study acknowledged that most students think paraphrasing is copying from the source and changing a word or two. Noting that this short-circuits students' ability to fully synthesize and understand a text, the authors provide a four-step paraphrasing for comprehension strategy.