Example #3: Common Core quiz (Debate moderator) media plus reading

Why we had a woman presidential debate moderator in 20 years: Three teens

Lexile Measure 870L  Mean Sentence Length 12.24

Mean Log Word Frequency 3.41  Word Count 257

Readability 9.7 (Higher because of repeated use of multiple syllabled proper names)

The last presidential election was one of excitement and intensity. Some of that intensity stemmed from the presidential debates. The debate of note was the second one. It was a town hall styled debate at Hofstra University on October 16. For the first time in 20 years, a woman was moderator of a Presidential debate. Her selection as the debate moderator was exciting for many. It was especially exciting for three teenage girls. They gathered over 170,000 signatures on their petition on change.org that called for a woman moderator.

Emma Axelrod, Sammi Siegel, and Elena Tsemberis, all from Monclair, N.J., had gathered the signatures. They traveled to Washington D.C. to deliver them to the Commission on Presidential Debates. When turned away at the door, the three young women did not give up. They began an online campaign.

As their campaign gathered support, it also gathered media attention. The three teens were featured on MSNBC, Fox, NPR, The Washington Post, The New York Times and others. As a direct result, there was national discussion on the representation of women’s issues in politics. The discussion started with the question of woman moderators for presidential debates.

When the Commission did announce the debate moderators, two women were selected. Candy Crowley (CNN’s chief political correspondent) was chosen for the town-hall style presidential debate. Martha Raddatz (ABC’s Senior Foreign Affairs correspondent) was picked for the vice presidential debate. For the first time in history, half of the debates were moderated by women. Emma, Sammi, and Elena took on the giant and won.


Emma Axelrod, Sammi Siegel, and Elena Tsemberis discuss voting


Emma Axelrod gives Tedx Talk about her campaign



CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.7.7 Compare and contrast a text to an audio, video, or multimedia version of the text, analyzing each medium’s portrayal of the subject (e.g., how the delivery of a speech affects the impact of the words).

Question 1. Which of these is NOT a difference between the text of the article and Emma Axelrod’s Tedx speech?

  • The speech gives more details about how the girls’ campaign got started and the step-by-step process to change.
  • The speech informs the listener that Candy Crowley and Martha Raddatz were selected to be debate moderators for the 2012 election.
  • The speech includes advice from Emma about how anyone can create change in their community.
  • The speech talks about how Emma, Elena, and Sammi went door to door to get signatures on their petition for women moderators for the presidential debates.


CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.7.7 Compare and contrast a text to an audio, video, or multimedia version of the text, analyzing each medium’s portrayal of the subject (e.g., how the delivery of a speech affects the impact of the words).

Question 2. How does the video of the girls talking about voting enhance the reader/viewer’s impression of them?

  • The video helps the reader to see that the girls are passionate about women’s rights in addition to the representation of women in the media.
  • The video is more compelling than the text of the article because the viewer can hear them talking about their own cause.
  • The video gives Sammi, Elena, and Emma their own chances to speak, so the viewer has a more complete impression of them.
  • The video shows a better portrayal of the opposition the girls faced and how they had to change tactics to achieve their goal.


CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.7.2 Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.

Question 3. After being rejected by the Commission on Presidential Debates, why do you think the girls chose to begin an online campaign?

  • The best way to get attention from the federal government is through online operations.
  • It was more efficient to take their cause online than to continue traveling to Washington D.C.
  • People who spend a lot of time online were more likely to support the girls’ petition for a female debate moderator.
  • They thought that an online campaign could reach more people for support.


CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.7.3 Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events).

Question 4. Elena, Emma, and Sammi found out that there hadn’t been a woman debate moderator for 20 years.  How did this fact influence them to begin their campaign?

  • The girls realized that since there hadn’t been a woman debate moderator in so long, it was very unlikely that a woman could be elected to the presidency.
  • The girls thought that women should be involved in every aspect of presidential elections, not just voting.
  • The girls were upset with the representation of women in the media, and this fact showed that positions of authority and distinction often go to men.
  • The girls aspired to be politicians when they grew up, so they decided to fight for equal gender representation in the election.


Answer code 2143



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