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The day of the big race was finally here. Sam was both excited and nervous about this track meet. Although he had easily won all of the races he had run this season, this time he would be racing against some tougher competition. Sam walked up to the starting line and checked out the other racers. One of the racers caught his attention. There was a boy in a yellow jersey who was at least 6 inches taller than Sam. The boy was a giant next to the other runners. Sam got nervous by the boy's appearance. He thought the other boy would surely outrun him with his long, muscular legs. The boy looked very confident. He, too, had won all of his races this season. Sam stepped up to the starting blocks and got in position. The starting gun went off. The other boy bolted like lightning out of the starting blocks. He was off to a commanding lead. Sam was running as swiftly as he could, but he was still behind the other boy. For the first few seconds, it appeared that the other boy might win. Sam did not want to be defeated this easily. He mustered some strength within himself and began to run more rapidly. He ran as fast as a cheetah around the track and past the other runners. He narrowed the gap between him and the boy in the yellow jersey. Sam was determined to triumph over the other runner. He continued at his speedy pace until he finally caught up with his rival. At this point, the two were running neck in neck, and it was difficult to determine who would win. Then, at the last possible moment, Sam took the lead. He crossed the finish line a split second before the other boy. Sam was victorious. 1. What is the meaning of the phrase "he ran as fast as a cheetah"? A. Sam was running very slowly. B. Sam was very sneaky. C. Sam was running 70 miles per hour. D. Sam was running very swiftly. 2. Which sentence contains a simile? A. "For the first few seconds, it appeared that the other boy might win." B. "Sam was running as swiftly as he could, but he was still behind the other boy." C. "He crossed the finish line a split second before the other boy." D. "He ran as fast as a cheetah around the track and past the other runners." 3. What is the meaning of the phrase "bolted like lightning"? A. The boy races in bad weather. B. The boy was unreal. C. The boy looked like a storm. D. The boy started the race fast. 4. Which sentence contains a metaphor?
A. "The other boy bolted like lightning out of the starting blocks." B. "He was off to a commanding lead." C. "The boy was a giant next to the other runners." D. "Sam did not want to be defeated this easily." Christy and her sister Leslie were playing a board game in their bedroom. Leslie was winning. Christy did not like losing, but she tried very hard to keep a smile on her face. Underneath her smile, she was a steaming teakettle. Leslie kept getting further ahead. Then Christy ended up flipping over a card that sent her back to the start of the board game. Leslie smiled like a clown. She was excited because she had finally beat her sister for the first time. 5. Which of the following sentences is an example of a metaphor? A. "Leslie kept getting further ahead." B. "Christy did not like losing, but she tried very hard to keep a smile on her face." C. "Underneath her smile, she was a steaming teakettle." D. "She was excited because she had finally beat her sister for the first time."
6. Which of the following sentences has a simile? A. "Then Christy ended up flipping over a card that sent her back to the start of the board game." B. "Leslie smiled like a clown." C. "She was excited because she had finally beat her sister for the first time." D. "Leslie kept getting further ahead." To Touch the Mammoth Zol crept out of the shelter. He left Mammoth Camp and headed toward the hills. Zol was eleven summers old, the age when boys in his Star Dancer clan joined the men to hunt the mighty mammoth. Zol could tell no one he was afraid to go on the hunt. Why should he fear Mother Mammoth? She gave the Star Dancers her meat for food, hide for shelter, and bones for tools. She gave them life. A shrill trumpeting sounded. The mammoth! At the stream, he crouched and moved silently toward the herd. He remembered to stay downwind so they could not smell him. The willow tree next to him shook and bent over. Zol's heart hammered against his chest, but he remained perfectly still. A young mammoth had strayed away from the herd and was feeding on the tree. Spotting Zol, she stopped chewing and pointed her trunk at him as if trying to smell him. She took a step toward Zol, stretching out her hairy trunk. Zol closed his eyes and held his breath. Something touched his hair. Then he felt her warm, smelly breath on his face. A blaring cry split the air so suddenly that Zol screamed, too. He clapped his hand over his mouth, wild-eyed with fear. "I did not touch the mammoth," he said, "but the great mammoth touched me." A smile stretched across Zol's face. "And I did not run away!"
Who Was Zol? Zol was a Clovis boy whose people lived in North America during the Ice Age (ten to twelve thousand years ago). Scientists can only guess that Clovis people hunted woolly mammoths with stonetipped spears. This story is fiction. It did not really happen . . . or did it? Adapted from "Touch the Mammoth" by Patricia Nikolina Clark 7. What is the best way to classify this piece of fiction? A. science fiction B. ghost story C. mystery D. historical fiction It is not an easy job to plan the Olympics. It is a lot of work to hold the Olympics in a city. Just ask the people of Atlanta, Georgia. In 1996, athletes from over 100 countries participated in Atlanta. People were sent from newspapers, radio, and television stations to cover the games. Changes had to be made all over the city. Athletes and coaches needed places to stay. Fans and the media needed somewhere to stay, too. A lot of healthy food had to be ready for the participants. Teams of people had to make the food. Other teams cleaned up after people ate. Visitors wanted to shop and eat at nice places. Places had to be built for different events. The first modern-day Olympics were very different. They were held in 1896. Only thirteen countries came to the Olympics in Athens, Greece. Ten athletes competed for the United States. However, we won nine out of ten events! This started America's tradition of winning a lot of Olympic events. From Grolier: Story of America and Heath Literacy: Skill Practice and Assessment 8. What is one effect of so many people coming to Atlanta for the Olympics? A. The athletes had to participate in more events. B. Many workers had to prepare large amounts of food. C. The athletes needed more time to practice. D. The Olympics were moved to Athens, Greece. 9. Volcanoes are special mountains that build themselves. They are made from very hot melted rock called magma. The pressure of gas from deep inside the earth pushes the magma up and out of the ground. When magma forces its way to the earth's surface, a volcano erupts. When the volcano erupts, the melted rock flows out of the ground. The melted rock is called lava. From Childcraft: World and Space and SRA Science Connection Center: Volcanoes What causes volcanoes to be formed? A. melted rock flowing out of the ground B. gas pushing magma out of the ground C. pressurized rock flowing out of the ground D. lava running out of the ground
10. Alberto felt a little sad when he lost his baseball, but then he decided it is no use crying over spilled milk. What does the underlined phrase most likely mean?
o A. It is useless to try to clean up milk after you spill it o B. It is best to always store your milk in a safe place o C. It is best to always remember things that make you sad. o D. It is useless to feel sad about what you cannot change.
11. The sentence below contains an idiom. Read the sentence. Penny was nervous during her social studies presentation, but Claire completed her presentation without batting an eye What does this sentence mean?
o A. Penny wanted to work with Claire in class o B. Penny had something bothering her eye. o C. Claire did not blink for five minutes. o D. Claire stayed calm during her presentation.
"Another boring trip," Jillian sighed as she took off her helmet. "Someday, we must do something more exciting." "What are you talking about?" Juan cried. "That was awesome! I love going to Mars." Jillian just shook her head. The new ones were all the same. They all thought Mars was the best trip ever. After six years of seemingly endless trips to Mars, one’s opinion tends to change. Jillian would rather stay on the moon. She liked living on the moon, and she liked the resources at the lab. She had worked on some amazing projects while on the moon. She was sure that the people back on Earth would love to hear her new ideas, if she could ever get more time to work on them. "I'm going to get some lunch before I go back to the lab," Jillian said. "Can you get everything off the ship for me?" "Of course, ma'am!" Juan shouted as he saluted her. Jillian watched the boy race back onto the ship to get the samples. She smiled as she remembered her first trip to Mars. She was even more eager than this Juan kid. She wanted to change the way people on Earth thought of the "space geeks," a term used for her and others like her who lived on the Moon. 12. What kind of fiction selection is this? A. science fiction B. mystery C. tall tale D. historical fiction 13. The sentence below contains an idiom. Read the sentence. Diana just told me a wild story, but I think she is pulling my leg.
What does this sentence mean?
o A. Diana keeps touching the speaker’s leg. o B. Diana is playing a joke on the speaker. o C. Diana is writing a story for her friends. o D. Diana wants to borrow a pair of pants.
14. Opal Buloni, a 10-year old girl, and Winn-Dixie, the dog she has found in the town grocery store. Opal has just moved to Naomi, Florida with her preacher father. Her mother left them seven years ago. Because of Winn-Dixie, Opal makes new friends. Among them are Gloria Dump, a kind old lady called a witch by children, Miss Franny Block, a librarian who loves to tell stories, and Otis, a pet shop worker who plays music to animals
o A. mystery o B. realistic fiction o C. fantasy o D. historical fiction
15. A witch wants to make pumpkin pie, so she plants a pumpkin seed. The pumpkin grows so big that the witch cannot yank it from the vine. Some traditional Halloween characters come to help out, but neither the ghost, nor the vampire, nor the mummy can make it budge. Finally a bat comes up with a good idea. They line up and pull together. Off comes the big pumpkin.
o A. mystery o B. science fiction o C. historical fiction o D. fantasy
16. A brainy child detective nicknamed Encyclopedia Brown, the son, of the Chief of Police, is on the case again. Mrs. Whittaker awoke one morning, went out to get her mail, and discovered her mail box was vandalized. She did not know what to do. She decided to report the incident to the police. As the day went on, other people in the neighborhood realized their mailboxes had been damaged. The news soon spread around the neighborhood about the vandalized boxes. Encyclopedia knew what he has to do. He had to solve the case of the vandalized mail boxes.
o A. realistic fiction o B. historical fiction o C. mystery o D. fantasy
An enormous poster of the circus stood large and greeted Malik and Georgia as they arrived. It listed all of the performers and the times that they were scheduled to perform. Georgia was excited to see that the lion tamer Legolull would be performing. Just as Malik and Georgia walked through the gate, they
were surrounded by a group of clowns. They started giving Malik a hard time because he would not smile.
17. What does the author mean by saying, "An enormous poster of the circus stood large and greeted Malik and Georgia"? A. The poster had to keep out people who did not have tickets to attend. B. The poster had a lot of missing and wrong information written on it. C. The poster was the first thing Malik and Georgia saw at the circus. D. The poster was standing and talking to the people as they arrived.
A zeppelin looks a lot like the Goodyear blimp you see flying over football stadiums. While the Goodyear blimp does not carry people, zeppelins in the past did. Many years ago, zeppelins were a popular way to travel across the Atlantic Ocean. In the 1930s, these "giant airships" were like ocean liners in the sky. They could carry about 100 people. Zeppelins had cabins where passengers could sleep and dining rooms where they could eat. Zeppelins were steady in the air and comfortable. But, they were slow. It took three days to travel from Germany to New York. Not all zeppelins were alike. German zeppelins were larger than American ones. All zeppelins were filled with gas to allow them to fly. American zeppelins were filled with a gas called helium. German zeppelins were filled with a gas called hydrogen. Americans believed helium was a safer gas than hydrogen. Helium did not burn easily. Hydrogen, however, catches on fire very easily. The German zeppelin, named the Hindenburg, was the largest zeppelin in the world. On May 3, 1937, it left Frankfort, Germany. Three days later it reached Lakehurst, New Jersey. The weather was stormy. As the Hindenburg was ready to land, it burst into flames. Many people were killed. No one knows why the zeppelin exploded. There were many ideas about what caused the Hindenburg to explode; some people thought it had been hit by lightning. Others thought the hydrogen gas might have caught fire. Some people thought enemies might have tried to blow it up. Even today, the cause of the explosion has not been proven. All we know is that the Hindenburg disaster ended the use of zeppelins for travel. Source: Reading Skills in Action: Comprehension/Critical Reading- Benefic Press; Grolier: Story of America 18. What was an effect of the Hindenburg disaster? A. People stopped traveling on zeppelins. B. Scientists learned about new gases. C. Americans tried to build a better zeppelin. D. Goodyear made a blimp for football games.