Accurate Assessment for ELL Students
“Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy
This girlchild was born as usual
and presented dolls that did pee-pee
and miniature GE stoves and irons
and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy.
Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said:
You have a great big nose and fat legs.
She was healthy, tested intelligent,
possessed strong arms and back,
abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity.
She went to and fro apologizing.
Everyone saw a fat nose on thick legs.
She was advised to play coy,
exhorted to come on hearty,
exercise, diet, smile and wheedle.
Her good nature wore out
like a fan belt.
So she cut off her nose and her legs
and offered them up.
In the casket displayed on satin she lay
with the undertaker’s cosmetics painted on,
a turned-up putty nose,
dressed in a pink and white nightie.
Doesn’t she look pretty? everyone said.
Consummation at last.
To every woman a happy ending.
Paragraph Grading Rubric:
Prompt: “What implications does this poem have for you and what does it tell you about the things you do not like about yourself?”
10 points possible: Respond completely to the prompt and use the theme of the poem to relate to something in your life.
8 points: Response does not tie incorporate the theme of the poem.
5 points: Only answered half of the prompt.
0 points: Not addressing the prompt or not turning it in.
I chose to grade the paragraph in this manner because we had talked about the poem in class and spent time going over the theme and vocabulary. The purpose of the paragraph is to have students make the connection between their personal lives and the text they read in class. I do not expect it to be a fully polished piece, so I am grading them on the content, not the mechanics.