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TEACHERS ANNOTATED EDITION

Aligned with the New York


English Language Arts
Core Curriculum Standards

GLENCOE LANGUAGE ARTS


GRADE 8
This helpful workbook provides
ISBN-13: 978-0-07-877127-9
ISBN-10: 0-07-877127-7

Test-taking strategies and tips for the New York English


Language Arts Test
Practice lessons with multiple-choice, short-response, and
extended-response items

www.glencoe.com

A full-length English Language Arts practice test

TEACHERS ANNOTATED EDITION

GLENCOE LANGUAGE ARTS


GRADE 8

Acknowledgments
Grateful acknowledgment is given to authors, publishers, and agents for permission to reprint the copyrighted material in this
program. Every effort has been made to determine copyright owners. In case of any omissions, the Publisher will be pleased to
make suitable acknowledgments in future editions.

Copyright by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the United States Copyright Act of 1976,
no part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means,
or stored in a database or retrieval system, without prior written permission of the publisher.
Send all inquiries to:
Glencoe/McGraw-Hill
8787 Orion Place
Columbus, OH 43240-4027
ISBN-13: 978-0-07-877127-9
ISBN-10: 0-07-877127-7
Printed in the United States of America
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 021 13 12 11 10 09 08 07 06

Contents
About the Student and Teacher Editions .......................................................................... iv
Teacher Introduction .......................................................................................................... v
Letter to Parents and Guardians ....................................................................................... viii
Multiple-Choice Answer Sheet .......................................................................................... ix
Answer Key ......................................................................................................................... x
Student Introduction to the Test........................................................................................ 1
Student Scoring Rubrics .................................................................................................... 2
Test-Taking Tips and Techniques ...................................................................................... 3
Lesson 1: Note Taking with Reading Passages ............................................................... 6
Lesson 2: Main Idea, Authors Purpose, and Authors Point of View .............................. 11
Lesson 3: Drawing Conclusions and Making Inferences ................................................. 14
Lesson 4: Analyzing Literature .......................................................................................... 17
Lesson 5: Note Taking with Listening Passages .............................................................. 20
Lesson 6: Completing Charts ............................................................................................ 23

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Lesson 7: Writing Paragraph-Length Responses ........................................................... 28


Lesson 8: Writing About Two Passages ........................................................................... 31
Lesson 9: Planning an Essay ............................................................................................. 38
Lesson 10: Maintaining Focus .......................................................................................... 43
Lesson 11: Editing ............................................................................................................. 46
Practice Test: Book 1 ........................................................................................................ 49
Practice Test: Book 2 ........................................................................................................ 63
Practice Test: Book 3 ........................................................................................................ 73
Listening Passages ............................................................................................................ 86

About the Student and Teacher Editions


The Student Edition of this workbook reviews the skills students will need to successfully
complete the New York English Language Arts (ELA) Test. It prepares students by providing
lessons, practice questions, and writing prompts to familiarize students with the test and to
teach test-taking skills.
The Student Edition contains the following three sections:

The Student Introduction describes the overall structure of the test and gives tips on
how to prepare for the test. The Test-Taking Tips and Techniques section outlines
general test-taking strategies that students will apply as they complete the lessons.

The Lessons provide a systematic approach to preparing for the test. Each lesson
introduces a skill or concept, then provides an exercise in which students apply what
they have learned. Test tips are also included in each lesson to help students with
general test-taking techniques.

The Practice Test provides a simulation of the test-taking experience. It is directly


modeled on the ELA Test, both in length and content, and should be administered
under actual test conditions.

The Teachers Annotated Edition of this workbook includes the Student Edition along with
the following resources:
A Teacher Introduction, which provides guidance on how to use the workbook,
scoring rubrics, and the Practice Test.

An Answer Key to the Practice Test with correlations to the New York State Learning
Standards that were tested.

Listening passages for the teacher to read aloud to students during the Lessons
and the Practice Test. Passages appear on pages 8688.

Before your class begins using this workbook, you may wish to send out a letter to parents
that describes the ELA Test and explains the purpose of this workbook. Such a letter
appears on page viii of this workbook for reproduction and distribution to parents.

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Teacher Introduction
About the New York English Language Arts Test
The New York English Language Arts (ELA) Test measures individual student achievement
relative to the New York State Learning Standards. It evaluates students skills in reading,
listening, and writing, and uses a variety of literature genres.
The eighth grade ELA Test is administered in three sessions on two consecutive days.
Students are asked to demonstrate their comprehension of a listening selection and several
reading selections. The test includes multiple-choice, short-response, and extendedresponse questions. Students also edit a passage to show their understanding of grammar
and mechanics.
Each multiple-choice question will be followed by four choices. Students record their
responses on a separate answer sheet.
The short-response and extended-response questions require students to provide a written
response. Students write their answers directly in their test books.
The test is divided and administered in three books. The test sessions are structured
as follows:

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

GRADE 8 ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS TEST


Day 1
Book 1

Day 1
Book 2

Day 2
Book 3

Reading selections
26 multiple-choice questions
(Students fill in circles on answer sheet)

45 minutes, plus additional 10 minutes


prep time

Listening selection
3 short-response questions
(Students write answers directly in Book 2)
1 extended-response question
(Students write answer directly in Book 2)

45 minutes, plus an additional 15


minutes prep time (includes time for
reading the listening selection aloud)

Reading selections
3 short-response questions
(Students write answers directly in Book 3)
1 extended-response question
(Students write answer directly in Book 3)

60 minutes, plus an additional


10 minutes prep time

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Administering the Practice Test


Ideally, students should take the Practice Test two or three weeks before the actual ELA
Test. Be sure to follow the directions outlined in the Teachers Edition. This will help to
simulate actual testing conditions.
Because the ELA Test for eighth grade is given over the course of two days, the Practice
Test should be similarly administered, with students taking Books 1 and 2 on the first day
and Book 3 on the second day. After students complete the test, take time to gather student
feedback. Ask them what they found challenging, and discuss which test-taking techniques
were most useful.

Scoring the Practice Test


Extended-response questions on the ELA Test are scored based on the following qualities:

Organization exhibiting direction, shape, and coherence.

Language Use demonstrating the clear and effective use of vocabulary and
sentence structure.

Conventions using correct spelling, punctuation, paragraphing, grammar,


and word usage.

Answers to more specific questions about scoring can be found on the New York State
Education Department Web site, at http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/3-8/faq/ela-scoring06.htm

vi

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Cluster scoring (i.e., one listening cluster, one reading cluster, and one writing mechanics
cluster) will be used to evaluate short-response and extended-response questions. Scores
are determined using a holistic rubric, rather than by scoring each individual question. This
method of scoring allows the student to be evaluated on a cohesive body of work that
shows the extent of his or her understanding of the passage. Sample scoring rubrics are
shown on the next page.

Scoring Rubrics
5-point rubric for Listening and Reading responses at Grade 8

Score

establish and maintain a clear focus


show a logical sequence of ideas through the use of
appropriate transitions or other devices
are fluent and easy to read, with a sense of voice
use varied sentence structure and some above-grade-level
vocabulary

fulfill some requirements of the tasks


address some key elements of the text
show a predominantly literal interpretation of the text
make some connections
may be brief, with little elaboration, but are sufficiently
developed to answer the questions
provide some examples and details from the text

are generally focused, though may include some irrelevant


details
show a clear attempt at organization
are readable, with some sense of engagement or voice
primarily use simple sentences and basic vocabulary

show an attempt to maintain focus, though may include


some tangents
show an attempt at organization
are readable, with some sense of engagement or voice
primarily use simple sentences and basic vocabulary

fulfill some requirements of the tasks


address basic elements of the text
show little evidence that the student understood more than
parts of the text
make few connections
may include some inaccurate details

show little attempt to establish a focus


may be repetitive, focusing on minor details or irrelevant
information
are difficult to read, with little or no sense of voice
use minimal vocabulary
may indicate fragmented thoughts

1
0

In addition, the extended responses

fulfill the requirements of the tasks


address the theme or key elements of the text
show a thorough interpretation of the text
make some connections beyond the text
develop ideas fully with thorough elaboration
make effective use of relevant examples from the text

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Taken as a whole, the responses

fulfill some requirements of the tasks


address a few key elements of the text
show some gaps in understanding of the text
provide few examples and details from the text
may include some minor inaccuracies

fulfill very few requirements of the tasks


address few elements of the text
make little to no connections
provide almost no text-based examples and details
may include inaccurate information

may show an attempt to establish a focus


may include some irrelevant information
show little attempt at organization
are readable, with little sense of engagement or voice
may indicate fragmented thoughts

The responses are completely incorrect, irrelevant, or incoherent.

3-point writing mechanics rubric for responses at Grade 8

Score

Criteria

The writing demonstrates control of the conventions of written English. There are few, if any, errors and none that interfere with
comprehension. Grammar, syntax, capitalization, punctuation, and paragraphing are essentially correct. Any misspellings are minor
or repetitive; they occur primarily when a student takes risks with sophisticated vocabulary.

The writing demonstrates partial control of the conventions of written English. It contains errors that may interfere somewhat with
readability but do not substantially interfere with comprehension. There may be some errors in grammar, syntax, capitalization,
punctuation, or spelling.

1
0

The writing demonstrates minimal control of the conventions of written English. There may be many errors in grammar, syntax,
capitalization, punctuation, and spelling that interfere with readability and comprehension.
The writing demonstrates a lack of control of the conventions of written English. The errors make the writing incomprehensible.
Source: http://www.emsc.nysed.gov
New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

vii

__________________

Letter to Parents and Guardians

___________________

Dear Parent or Guardian:


This year your child will take the New York English Language Arts (ELA) Test. This test
assesses students mastery of key language arts skills, such as the ability to read critically and
write responses to literature.
As a parent, you can become involved in the test-preparation process. Encourage your
child to read on a regular basis, to look up unfamiliar words, and to engage in discussions
about books, stories, and movies. Review written assignments and encourage your child to
revise his or her work.
Most importantly, try to make your child feel at ease with taking tests. Listen for any
hints of test-taking apprehension and respond with positive reinforcement. Assure your
child that he or she can improve with practice.
If you have any questions about the ELA Test or how we are preparing for it, feel free to
contact me.
Sincerely,

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

viii

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Multiple-Choice Answer Sheet


D irections
Fill in the bubble that corresponds to the answer choice you think is best.
Book 1
A

17 A

25 A

10 A

18 A

26 A

11 A

19 A

12 A

20 A

13 A

21 A

14 A

22 A

15 A

23 A

16 A

24 A

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

ix

Answer Key
Item
Number

Correct
Answer

Standard

Book 1
C

R2e Recognize how the authors use of language creates images or feelings

LC R7 Determine the meaning of unfamiliar words, terms, and idioms by using


prior knowledge and context clues

R2c Identify the authors point of view, such as first-person narrator and
omniscient narrator

LC R12 Combine multiple strategies (e.g., predict/confirm, question, visualize,


summarize, monitor, self-correct) to enhance comprehension and response

R2e Recognize how the authors use of language creates images or feelings

R2d Determine how the use and meaning of literary devices, such as symbolism,
metaphor and simile, illustration, personification, flashback, and foreshadowing,
convey the authors message or intent

R2b Interpret characters, plot, setting, theme, and dialogue using evidence from
the text

LC R15 Analyze, contrast, support, and critique points of view in a wide range of
genres

LC R7 Determine the meaning of unfamiliar words, terms, and idioms by using


prior knowledge and context clues

10

LC R7 Determine the meaning of unfamiliar words, terms, and idioms by using


prior knowledge and context clues

11

R1l Draw conclusions and make inferences on the basis of explicit and implied
information

12

R1l Draw conclusions and make inferences on the basis of explicit and implied
information

13

R2d Determine how the use and meaning of literary devices, such as symbolism,
metaphor and simile, illustration, personification, flashback, and foreshadowing,
convey the authors message or intent

14

R3a Evaluate the validity and accuracy of information, ideas, themes, opinions, and
experiences in texts. For example: question the writers assumptions, beliefs,
intentions, and biases

15

R3a Evaluate the validity and accuracy of information, ideas, themes, opinions, and
experiences in texts. For example: question the writers assumptions, beliefs,
intentions, and biases

16

R2e Recognize how the authors use of language creates images or feelings

17

LC R7 Determine the meaning of unfamiliar words, terms, and idioms by using


prior knowledge and context clues

18

R1b Apply thinking skills, such as define, classify, and infer, to interpret data, facts,
and ideas from information texts

19

R1b Apply thinking skills, such as define, classify, and infer, to interpret data, facts,
and ideas from information texts

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Answer Key (continued)


Item
Number

Correct
Answer

20

R2e Recognize how the authors use of language creates images or feelings

21

R2b Interpret characters, plot, setting, theme, and dialogue using evidence from
the text

22

LC R7 Determine the meaning of unfamiliar words, terms, and idioms by using


prior knowledge and context clues

23

R2b Interpret characters, plot, setting, theme, and dialogue using evidence from
the text

24

R2e Recognize how the authors use of language creates images or feelings

25

R2b Interpret characters, plot, setting, theme, and dialogue using evidence from
the text

26

R2b Interpret characters, plot, setting, theme, and dialogue using evidence from
the text

Standard

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Book 2
27

Short
R1b Apply thinking skills, such as define, classify, and infer, to interpret data, facts,
Response and ideas from information texts

28

Short
R3a Evaluate the validity and accuracy of information, ideas, themes, opinions, and
Response experiences in texts. For example: question the writers assumptions, beliefs,
intentions, and biases

29

Short
R1b Apply thinking skills, such as define, classify, and infer, to interpret data, facts,
Response and ideas from information texts

30

Extended W1g Connect, compare, and contrast ideas and information from one or more
Response sources

Book 3
31

Short
R2e Recognize how the authors use of language creates images or feelings
Response

32

Short
R2b Interpret characters, plot, setting, theme, and dialogue using evidence from
Response the text

33

Short
R1b Apply thinking skills, such as define, classify, and infer, to interpret data, facts,
Response and ideas from information texts

34

Extended W1g Connect, compare, and contrast ideas and information from one or more
Response sources

Please note: The numbering system for the New York English Language Arts Core Curriculum
has been created by Glencoe/McGraw-Hill for the readers ease of reference. It is not intended
to indicate any order of importance to the standards.

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

xi

Introduction to the Test


In eighth grade, you will take the New York English Language Arts (ELA) Test. This exam
will test your knowledge in: reading/language arts, listening, and writing.
There are three types of test items on the ELA Test. All items are aligned with the New York
State Learning Standards.
Multiple-choice questions ask you to read, to reflect, and then to select the best answer.
Short-response questions ask you to show understanding of a passage. You do so by
explaining key ideas using examples from the text. You may also be asked to draw
conclusions or make connections to other situations.
Extended-response questions ask you to show understanding of a passage by discussing
key ideas about the passage. These questions require you to plan and write an essay.
The ELA Test is divided into three books for grade 8: Reading selections with multiplechoice questions are in Book 1. Book 2 contains a listening selection with short-response
questions and an extended-response question. Book 3 contains two reading selections
followed by short-response questions and an extended-response question.
You will answer the multiple-choice questions by filling in circles on your answer sheet. You will
write answers to short-response and extended-response questions directly in your test book.
Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

You can use the rubrics on page 2 to learn how your test will be scored.

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Student Scoring Rubrics


5-point rubric for Listening and Reading responses at Grade 8

Score

Taken as a whole, your responses

In addition, your extended response

are correct and complete


address the important points of the text
show that you fully understand the text
make some connections beyond the text
fully develop ideas
effectively use examples from the text to support ideas

has a clear focus


uses transitions correctly to show sequence
is easy to read, with a sense of voice
uses varied sentence structure and some higher-level
vocabulary

are partly correct and complete


address some of the important points of the text
show that you basically understand the text
make some connections beyond the text
develop ideas briefly, but enough to answer the question
use some examples from the text

is mostly focused
shows a clear effort to organize your ideas
is readable, with some sense of voice
uses mostly simple sentences and basic vocabulary

are partly correct and complete


address a few important points of the text
show some gaps in understanding of the text
make some connections
may show little development of ideas
use few examples from the text

shows an effort to keep focus


shows an effort to organize your ideas
is readable, with some sense of voice
uses mostly simple sentences and basic vocabulary

are partly correct and complete


address the basic points of the text
show that you understood only parts of the text
make few connections
use very few examples from the text

may show an effort to create a focus


may have some unimportant information
shows little effort at organization
is readable, but with little sense of voice
uses only basic vocabulary
may show disconnected thoughts

are mostly incorrect and incomplete


address few of the basic points of the text
show that you understood only parts of the text
make very few or no connections
use almost no examples from the text

is unfocused, or focuses on incorrect or unimportant information


may repeat information
shows little effort at organization
is difficult to read, with little or no sense of voice
uses only basic vocabulary
may show disconnected thoughts

1
0

Your responses do not answer the question, are incorrect, or do not make sense.

3-point writing mechanics rubric for responses at Grade 8

Score

Criteria

Your writing shows that you understand how to use conventions. You have few or no errors, and none of your errors change the meaning
of the writing. Grammar, syntax, capitalization, punctuation, and paragraphing are correct. There are very few or no misspellings.

Your writing shows that you have some understanding of conventions. You have errors that may make your writing more difficult to
read but do not significantly change its meaning. You may have some errors in grammar, syntax, capitalization, punctuation, or
spelling.

1
0

Your writing shows that you have little understanding of conventions. You may have many errors in grammar, syntax, capitalization,
punctuation, and spelling. The errors may make your writing difficult to read or understand.
Your writing shows that you do not know how to use conventions. The errors make your writing very difficult or impossible to understand.
Source: http://www.emsc.nysed.gov

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Test-Taking Tips and Techniques

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

You have two days to complete the ELA Test. On day one, you will have two 45-minute
sessions. On day two, you will have one 60-minute session. That means you need to keep
track of the time and to pace yourself as you take each part of the test. Apply the following
pacing strategies as you complete the lessons in this book so that, by testing day, you will
have developed good habits:

Wear a watch. Do not become so preoccupied with time that you cannot focus on the
test, but be aware that you are under time constraints.

Do not get stuck on one question. If you cannot answer a multiple choice question
after a few minutes, mark your best guess, circle the question number, and move on
to the next question. If you have time later, you can go back to the questions you have
circled and think more about them. You are not penalized for guessing, so rather than
leave an answer blank, choose one of the answer choices.

Be systematic. Some of the lessons in this book suggest steps for you to take so that
your answers and essays are complete and thorough. Make a mental checklist of
these steps and keep a steady rhythm while you complete the test.

Short-Response and Extended-Response questions ask you to think about what you
have learned and to write about it in one or more paragraphs. Be sure to leave
yourself enough time to answer these questions. Decide what the question is asking
you and what information is needed to answer it. Be sure to provide details. Reread
your essay and make corrections as needed.

Test-Taking Techniques: Process of Elimination


One useful technique for answering a multiple-choice question is the process of elimination.
The multiple-choice questions on the ELA Test give you four answer choices, but only one
of the choices is the best answer. Figuring out which three answer choices are wrong is just
as good as figuring out which one answer choice is correct. This is when the process of
elimination can help. Here is an easy example.
What is the capital of Illinois? You are given the following answer choices:
Springfield

Austin

Dover

Phoenix

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Do you know the capital of Illinois? Even if you dont, you can still figure it out! Use the
process of elimination. First eliminate the answer choices that you KNOW are wrong. Then
choose from the remaining answers. The fewer the answer choices you have to choose
from, the better chance you have of picking the correct answer.
Take a look at how it works. Which cities do you know are NOT the capital of Illinois? You
may know that Austin is the capital of Texas, Dover is the capital of Delaware, and Phoenix
is the capital of Arizona, so none of those can be the correct answer. That leaves you with
only Springfield. Springfield must be the capital of Illinois. Even if you didnt know the capital
of Illinois, the process of elimination helped you get the right answer!
To use the process of elimination for multiple-choice questions on the test, cross out all the
answers you KNOW are wrong. Then take your best guess from those choices that are left.
Here is another example.
Laura stormed up the stairs and through the front door. She slammed the door behind
her and threw her backpack on the living room sofa. Her mother put down her newspaper
and looked up in surprise. That Roberta is so irksome! Laura proclaimed in a loud voice.

1
The word irksome means

kind
mean
annoying
friendly

In the passage, Laura is obviously


upset. You read that she stormed up
the stairs and slammed the door.
Obviously Roberta has done something
that Laura doesnt like, so it is unlikely
that Laura would describe Roberta as kind or friendly. Answer choices (A) and (D)
must be wrong.
That leaves only answer choices (B) and (C), mean and annoying. Now pick between the
two answers. Even if you still dont know what irksome means, you have a better chance of
picking the correct answer.
The answer to the question is (C), annoying.
Remember to use the process of elimination on every multiple-choice question you dont know
the answer to right away. Even getting rid of one answer will help in the process of elimination.

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

A
B
C
D

Do you know what the word irksome


means? If not, use the process of
elimination to increase your chances of
choosing the correct answer.

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

C\jjfej

Lesson

Note Taking with


Reading Passages

In some sessions of the ELA Test, you will read passages and then answer
multiple choice questions based on those passages. Note taking can make your
job of answering questions easier.
The reading passages in the ELA Test differ in length and subject matter. It can
be difficult to keep track of the main ideas, plot, and details while you read,
especially when you are reading several passages one after the other. Instead
of memorizing details, keep track of the main idea by taking notes. When you
read a passage, stop after each paragraph and write a label a word or phrase
that summarizes the main ideas of that paragraph.
Read the passage below and see how to label paragraphs.
Having a fire emergency plan in place
is something every family should do. A
good first step is to have a family meeting
to talk about what to do if there is a fire
in your home. Talking about what to do
to stay safe and get out of a burning house
is much easier to do before it happens!

practice plan

Once you have read the passage, use the paragraph labels to write a summary
statement that expresses the main idea of the entire passage.

Discuss...
How can you use labels to help keep track of main ideas?
How do notes help you write a summary?

Tip
Keep notes and labels
short and to the point.

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Then you should practice the plan you


create. After you practice, meet again to
talk about what worked with the plan,
and what might need to be changed. You
may want to practice the plan more than
once, and even have a surprise fire drill!

create emergency plan

Apply It
irections
DRead
the story below and make notes as you go along. Then answer the questions
that follow.

from The

Promised Land,
An Immigrant Goes to School
by Mary Antin

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Our initiation into American ways began with the first step on the
new soil. My father found occasion to instruct or correct us even on
the way from the pier to Wall Street, which journey we made
crowded together in a rickety cab. He told us not to lean out of the
windows, not to point, and explained the word greenhorn. We did
not want to be greenhorns, and gave the strictest attention to my
fathers instructions. . . .
The first meal was an object lesson of much variety. My father
produced several kinds of food, ready to eat, without any cooking,
from little tin cans that had printing all over them. He attempted to
introduce us to a queer, slippery kind of fruit, which he called
banana, but had to give it up for the time being. After the meal, he
had better luck with a curious piece of furniture on runners, which
he called rocking chair. There were five of us newcomers, and we
found five different ways of getting into the American machine of
perpetual motion, and as many ways of getting out of it. One born
and bred to the use of a rocking chair cannot imagine how ludicrous
people can make themselves when attempting to use it for the first
time. We laughed immoderately over our various experiments with
the novelty, which was a wholesome way of letting off steam after the
unusual excitement of the day.
In our flat we did not think of such a thing as storing coal in the
bathtub. There was no bathtub. So in the evening of the first day my
father conducted us to the public baths. As we moved along in a little
procession, I was delighted with the illumination of the streets. So
many lamps, and they burned until morning, my father said, and so
people did not need to carry lanterns. In America, then, everything
was free, as we had heard in Russia. Light was free; the streets were as
bright as a synagogue on a holy day. Music was free; we had been
serenaded, to our gaping delight, by a brass band of many pieces,
soon after our installation on Union Place.
New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Apply It (continued)
Education was free. That subject my father had written about
repeatedly, as comprising his chief hope for us children, the essence
of American opportunity, the treasure that no thief could touch, not
even misfortune or poverty. It was the one thing that he was able to
promise us when he sent for us; surer, safer than bread or shelter. On
our second day I was thrilled with the realization of what this
freedom of education meant. A little girl from across the alley came
and offered to conduct us to school. My father was out, but we five
between us had a few words of English by this time.
We knew the word school. We understood. This child, who had
never seen us till yesterday, who could not pronounce our name, who
was not much better dressed than we, was able to offer us the
freedom of the schools of Boston! No application made, no questions
asked, no examinations, rulings, exclusions; no machinations, no
fees. The doors stood open for every one of us. The smallest child
could show us the way.
This incident impressed me more than anything I had heard in
advance of the freedom of education in America. It was a concrete
proofalmost the thing itself. One had to experience it to understand it.

The apex of my civic pride and personal contentment was reached


on the bright September morning when I entered the public school.
That day I must always remember, even if I live to be so old that I
cannot tell my name. To most people their first day at school is a
memorable occasion. In my case the importance of the day was a
hundred times magnified, on account of the years I had waited, the
road I had come, and the conscious ambitions I entertained.
And when the momentous day arrived and the little sister and I
stood up to be arrayed, it was Frieda herself who patted and
smoothed my stiff new calico; who made me turn round and round
to see that I was perfect; who stooped to pull out a disfiguring
basting thread. If there was anything in her heart beside sisterly love
and pride and goodwill, as we parted that morning, it was a sense of
loss and a womans acquiescence in her fate; for we had been close
friends, and now our ways would lie apart. Longing she felt, but not
envy. She did not grudge me what she was denied. . . .

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

It was a great disappointment to be told by my father that we were


not to enter upon our school career at once. It was too near the end of
the term, he said, and we were going to move to Crescent Beach in a
week or so. We had to wait until the opening of the schools in
September. What a loss of precious timefrom May till September! . . .

Apply It (continued)
The two of us stood a moment in the doorway of the tenement
house of Arlington Street, that wonderful September morning when I
first went to school. It was I that ran away, on winged feet of joy and
expectation; it was she whose feet were bound in the treadmill of
daily toil. And I was so blind that I did not see that the glory lay on
her, and not on me.

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Father himself conducted us to school. He would not have delegated


that mission to the President of the United States. He had awaited the
day with impatience equal to mine, and the visions he saw as he hurried
us over the sun-flecked pavements transcended all my dreams. Almost
his first act on landing on American soil, three years before, had been his
application for naturalization. He had taken the remaining steps in the
process with eager promptness, and at the earliest moment allowed by
the law, he became a citizen of the United States. It is true that he had left
home in search of bread for his hungry family, but he went blessing the
necessity that drove him to America. The boasted freedom of the New
World meant to him far more than the right to reside, travel, and work
wherever he pleased; it meant the freedom to speak his thoughts, to
throw off the shackles of superstition, to test his own fate, unhindered by
political or religious tyranny.

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Which statement best expresses the main


idea of the passage? R1b
A

I was quite disappointed to learn


that I would not begin school until
September.
It was important not to be labeled
as greenhorns when we first
arrived in America.
Of all the benefits of coming to
America, a free education was the
highlight for me.
Although we did not live in luxury,
we were thrilled to finally be in
America.

Which statement from the passage best


supports the idea that the authors life in
America was better than her life in Russia?
A
B
C
D

Which of these statements best expresses


the main idea of paragraph 5? R1b
F

Read these sentences from the passage.


G
H
J

The word apex most likely means

A neighborhood child was kind


to us.
School was one of the first words
we learned.
I looked forward to learning
English once school began.
It was wonderful that education was
free for every child.

LC R7

F
G
H
J

worst
end
beginning
height

Which of these is the best note-taking


label for paragraph 9? R1k
A
B
C
D

10

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

pulled out a thread


morning
first day of school
Frieda cries

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

The apex of my civic pride and personal


contentment was reached on the bright
September morning when I entered the
public school.

R1f

There was no bathtub.


...the opening of schools in
September.
In America, then, everything was
free...
...my father conducted us to the
public baths.

Main Idea, Authors Purpose,


and Authors Point of View

Lesson

Not all questions on the ELA Test ask you about specific details from a
passage. Some of the questions ask you about general ideas that apply to the
passage as a whole. Such questions may ask you to identify the main idea of
the passage, the authors purpose for writing the passage, or the authors point
of view.

The main idea is what the passage is mostly about.

The authors purpose is the reason why the author wrote the passage.

The authors point of view is the authors attitude toward the subject of
the passage.

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Each paragraph in a passage will also have a main idea, usually expressed in
that paragraphs topic sentence. The topic sentence expresses the main idea
of that paragraph alone, although the topic sentence of the first paragraph in a
passage often expresses the main idea of the entire passage. The main ideas
of each paragraph serve as supporting ideas for the main idea of the passage
as a whole.
Read the paragraphs below. As you read, think about what the main idea, the
authors purpose, and the authors point of view might be. See if you can find
the topic sentence for each paragraph.
From spring until late fall, my neighbor Hank is engaged in a
tireless battle of wits with his lawn. He pokes at it, he pulls things
out of it, he drops several tons of fertilizer on it, and he waters it
every day, whether or not it needs watering.
In the end, for all of Hanks work, he is never really satisfied
with the results. He stands on his driveway, scanning his lawn
and shaking his head in disgust. He may have discovered a tiny
weed or maybe some strange root-devouring pests. I jokingly
suggest that he simply pour cement on his lawn and paint it green.
Hank is not amused.

Tip
When answering these
questions, take the whole
passage into account, not
just part of it.

Discuss...
What is the main idea of this passage?
What is the authors purpose in writing this passage?
What clues in the passage hint at the authors point of view?

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

11

Apply It
irections
DRead
this letter. Then answer questions 1 through 5.

from Letter from Birmingham Jail


by Martin Luther King Jr.

While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling
my present activities unwise and untimely. Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work
and ideas. ... But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are
sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statements in what I hope will be patient and
reasonable terms. ...
You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to
say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I
am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis
that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. It is unfortunate that
demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the citys
white power structure left the Negro community no alternative.

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor;
it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign
that was well-timed in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of
segregation. For years now I have heard the word Wait! It rings in the ear of every Negro with
piercing familiarity. This Wait has almost always meant Never. We must come to see, with one
of our distinguished jurists, that justice too long delayed is justice denied.

12

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine
whether injustices exist; negotiation; self-purification; and direct action. We have gone through all
these steps in Birmingham. There can be no gainsaying the fact that racial injustice engulfs this
community. Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States. Its
ugly record of brutality is widely known. Negroes have experienced grossly unjust treatment in the
courts. There have been more unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches in Birmingham
than in any other city in the nation. These are the hard, brutal facts of the case. On the basis of
these conditions, Negro leaders sought to negotiate with the city fathers. But the latter consistently
refused to engage in good-faith negotiation. ...

What is the authors purpose for writing


this letter? R3a
A
B
C
D

F
G
H
J

to explain why demonstrations are


taking place
to secure his release from jail
to protest demonstrations in
Birmingham
to describe the meaning of injustice

5
2

Which of the following best summarizes


the main idea of the third paragraph?
R1b

F
G
H

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

All nonviolent campaigns have four


basic steps.
Birmingham is the most segregated
city in the United States.
There have been many unsolved
bombings of Negro homes and
churches in Birmingham.
Demonstrations are taking place in
Birmingham because the city is so
segregated.

What is the authors point of view


toward the men who oppose him? R3a
He believes they are cruel.
He wishes they were the ones in jail.
He thinks they are traitors.
He believes they are reasonable
men.

Which sentence best summarizes the


authors point of view? R3a
A
B

C
D

The racial injustice in Birmingham


must stop.
The city fathers of Birmingham
should make Negroes move out of
town.
Negroes are to blame for their poor
treatment in Birmingham.
The demonstrations in Birmingham
will not succeed.

What does the author say is even more


unfortunate than the demonstrations?
R1b

A
B
C
D

the fact that many Negroes have


been jailed
the fact that racial violence
occurred
the fact that the Negro community
had no other choice
the fact that the Negro community
made no attempt to talk to city
leaders

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

13

Lesson

Drawing Conclusions and


Making Inferences

Some questions on the ELA Test ask you to draw conclusions from facts
stated in the passage or to make inferences about information that is not
stated directly but is implied. To answer these questions, you must interpret
information from a passage.
Remember that when you draw conclusions or make inferences, you are
not stating your opinion. You must base your final decision on information in
the passage.
Here is how to approach these questions.

Review the sections in the passage that may contain clues to the
correct answer.

Reread any sections that may hint at or provide evidence of the answer
to the question.

Look at the question and read ALL the answer choices. Eliminate the
answers that you know are wrong. Then choose the best answer from the
remaining choices.

Context clues are words in the text that help you figure out the
meaning of words you dont know. Here is how to use context
clues to answer inference questions.

Go back and find the word in the passage.

Read a few sentences before and a few sentences after


the word. Look for clues that hint at the words meaning.

Even if you think you know what the word means, go back
and check the context clues to be sure you are right.

Tip
Questions that ask you
to draw conclusions
and make inferences
require you to interpret
information in the
passage.

Discuss
Discuss whether you can understand the passage even if you do not know
all of the words.

14

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Sometimes this type of question will ask you to figure out the meaning of a
vocabulary word in the passage. When answering these questions, you should
use clues from the passage to help you make inferences about the meaning of
the word. These clues are called context clues.

Apply It
irections
DRead
this excerpt from an article about womens gymnastics training. Then answer
the questions that follow.

from Gymnasts

in Pain: Out of Balance


by Scott M. Reid

By the time Alyssa Beckerman arrived for a U.S. national team training camp at Bela Karolyis
Texas ranch, three months before the 2000 Olympic Games, she wasnt sure what hurt worse. The
year-old break in her wrist that hadnt been allowed to heal? Or her stomach burning from nerves
and a daily diet of anti-inflammatory drugs?
The 19-year-old U.S. champion broke her wrists a year earlier, but she continued to compete
and train 40 hours a weekpressured, she said, by an often-screaming coach who accused her of
faking the injury and driven by her own desire to win Olympic gold.
Thats what youve been dreaming about since you were a little girl, she said.

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

By the time she retired from international gymnastic later that year, Beckerman had broken
nine bones and undergone two surgeries.
The Orange County Register interviewed nearly half of the roughly 300 women who competed
on the U.S. junior or senior national teams from 1982 to 2004. More than 93 percent of the
women interviewed suffered broken bones or had injuries that required surgery.
Current and former U.S. national team membersalmost all girls in their early and mid-teens
describe a way of life that repeatedly puts the girls in danger. They train year-round as much as
twelve hours a day, often living thousands of miles from home and away from other teens.
Like Beckerman, they do so often with broken bones or torn muscles and almost always
without regular, if any, medical care. At the same time, they must deal with pressures and
expectations similar to those for highly paid pro athletes.
The register also found:
The rate of injuries has almost doubled since 1966, as women train longer and try more daring
and dramatic maneuvers.
Nine out of every ten gymnasts interviewed said that they had continued to train on injuries
that resulted in broken bones or surgery or that they had begun training again without getting a
doctors OK.
The sports obsession with weight and diet, especially within the U.S. national team program,
often has led to eating disorders. U.S. gymnasts competing in the 2001 World Championships said
they were provided so little food that family members smuggled snacks into the team hotel by
stuffing them inside teddy bears.
Three out of four gymnasts interviewed continue to experience health problems related to gymnastics.
New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

15

Which of the following inferences can


you make based on the information in
this passage? R1l
A
B

Read this sentence from the article.


The sports obsession with weight and
diet, especially within the U.S. national
team program, often has led to eating
disorders.

Many women gymnasts experience


a variety of injuries.
Women gymnasts continue to
compete despite the difficulties of
the sport.
Most women gymnasts in the
United States are in their early and
mid-teens.
Some women gymnasts smuggle
snacks into their hotel rooms.

What conclusion can you draw from this


sentence? R1l
A
B
C
D

Which idea from the article best


demonstrates that gymnastics has not been
a healthy sport for many women? R1g
F

H
J

Read this sentence from the article.


The rate of injuries has almost doubled
since 1966, as women train longer
and try more daring and dramatic
maneuvers.

Gymnasts often must deal with


immense expectations.
Gymnasts often train on injuries
that result in broken bones.
Gymnasts often live thousands of
miles from home.
Gymnasts often are driven by their
own desires for Olympic gold.

Which meaning for maneuvers is used


in the sentence? LC R7
F
G
H
J

Why did Alyssa Beckerman continue


training despite being injured? R1b
A
B
C
D

16

tactics
movements
plans
methods

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

to meet her coachs expectations


to please her parents
to support her teammates
to win an Olympic gold medal

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Many women gymnasts gain a lot


of weight.
Many women gymnasts like to eat.
Many women gymnasts are too
thin.
Many women gymnasts eat healthy
diets.

Lesson

Analyzing Literature

Some questions on the ELA Test ask about literary elements. Literary
elements are those aspects of a passage that relate directly to the way the
ideas and events are presented.
Literary elements include the following:

mood: The mood of a passage is its general feeling, or tone. The mood
may be happy, sad, mysterious, or suspenseful.

setting: The setting is the location in which the passage takes place.

point of view: A passage may be narrated from any of several points of


view. If the narrator is a character in the passage, the point of view is first
person. If the narrator is not a character in the passage, the point of view
is third person.

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

The way a passage reads is also the result of the authors literary technique,
which may include the use of figurative language. Authors use figurative
language to make their writing more descriptive and more memorable.
Examples of figurative language include the following:

simile: A simile uses the word like or as to compare two things.

metaphor: Like a simile, a metaphor compares two things, but it does not
use the word like or as.

Underline the figurative language in the paragraphs below.


A cold, biting wind rushed through the trees, leaving us both
feeling as though we had just been submerged in ice water.
Why hadnt we been more careful about keeping track of our
location? When we left our campsite in the afternoon, it hadnt
even occurred to us that we might get lost. Even when it was clear
that we had lost our bearings, neither of us panicked. But now the
dark blanket of night had fallen, and the sunlight was gone.

Tip
Remember the
following important
literary elements and
techniques:
mood, setting, and
point of view
simile and metaphor

Dont worry, I said to Deanna. Well be all right. But I dont


think she believed me any more than I believed myself. Just then
we saw a flashlight up ahead and heard our parents voices calling
our names. Thank goodness they had found us!

Discuss
What is the mood, setting, and point of view of this passage?
What does figurative language add to the passage?

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

17

Apply It
irections
DRead
the story below and make notes as you go along. Then answer the questions
that follow.

Salvador Late or Early


by Sandra Cisneros
Salvador with eyes the color of caterpillar, Salvador of the crooked hair and crooked teeth,
Salvador whose name the teacher cannot remember, is a boy who is no ones friend, runs along
somewhere in that vague direction where homes are the color of bad weather, lives behind a raw
wood doorway, shakes the sleepy brothers awake, ties their shoes, combs their hair with water,
feeds them milk and corn flakes from a tin cup in the dim dark of the morning.
Salvador, late or early, sooner or later arrives with the string of younger brothers ready. Helps
his mama, who is busy with the business of the baby. Tugs the arms of Cecilio, Arturito, makes
them hurry, because today, like yesterday, Arturito has dropped the cigar box of crayons, has let go
the hundred little fingers of red, green, yellow, blue, and nub of black sticks that tumble and spill
over and beyond the asphalt puddles until the crossing-guard lady holds back the blur of traffic
for Salvador to collect them again.

18

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Salvador inside that wrinkled shirt, inside the throat that must clear itself and apologize each
time it speaks, inside that forty-pound body of boy with its geography of scars, its history of hurt,
limbs stuffed with feathers and rags, in what part of the eyes, in what part of the heart, in that
cage of the chest where something throbs with both fists and knows only what Salvador knows,
inside that body too small to contain the hundred balloons of happiness, the single guitar of grief,
is a boy like any other disappearing out the door, beside the schoolyard gate, where he has told his
brothers they must wait. Collects the hands of Cecilio and Arturito, scuttles off dodging the many
schoolyard colors, the elbows and wrists crisscrossing, the several shoes running. Grows small and
smaller to the eye, dissolves into the bright horizon, flutters in the air before disappearing like a
memory of kites.

What kind of mood does the author


create in this story? R2e
A
B
C
D

The phrase Salvador with eyes the color


of caterpillar... is an example of R2d
F
G
H
J

fearful
hopeful
mysterious
sympathetic

Which detail best suggests that the story


takes place in a city? R2b
F

...the blur of traffic...

G
H
J

...hundred balloons of happiness...


...the color of bad weather...
...somewhere in that vague
direction...

Read this line from the story.


...in that cage of the chest where
something throbs with both fists...
What does this line imply about
Salvador? R2d
A
B

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

C
From which point of view is this story
told? R2c
A
B
C
D

first-person narrator
first-person omniscient narrator
second-person
third-person

personifying an object
imagery used for comparison
flashback to a time in the past
foreshadowing a future event

Salvador rarely gets angry with his


brothers.
Salvador is very satisfied with his
life.
Salvador is smarter than anyone
knows.
Salvador has strong feelings deep
inside him.

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

19

Lesson

Note Taking with


Listening Passages

The ELA Test requires you to listen to a selection that your teacher reads to
you. The selection could be one long passage, or it might be two shorter
passages that are related.
Your teacher will read the passage to you twice. The first time your teacher
reads the passage, you may want to only listen carefully, although you can take
notes, too. When your teacher reads the passage a second time, you should
take notes. You will then answer questions based on the listening passage.
It is important for you to take notes, since the passage will NOT appear in your
test booklet. Your notes will help you answer questions based on the passage.
Here are some pointers for taking good notes.
Your notes should only be words or short phrases. Do not write complete
sentences.

Your notes should remind you of characters, events, and important details
from the passage.

Make notes about main ideas as well as details that support those main
ideas.

You cannot revisit a listening passage. You will have to answer questions
from the information in your notes. So it is important to
make detailed notes.

You do not have to write your notes neatly. You are the
only person who will read them.

Your teacher will now read you a poem. As you listen, write
notes in the space provided on the next page.

20

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Tip
Your notes will not
be scored!

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Apply It
irections
DListen
as your teacher reads you the poem Choices by Nikki Giovanni. Your teacher
will read the poem twice. Listen carefully to the ideas expressed in each verse. Make notes
about the poems main ideas and details in the space provided below. A few notes have
already been made to get you started. Poem appears on pages 8687.

NOTES
Verse 1
If I cant do, then
Not same thing

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

but best I can do

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

21

What are the four actions that the poets choices describe ? On each of the lines below, write
one action the poet talks about. R2b
Doing
Wanting
CHOICES

Going
Feeling

Does the poet think that making these choices will make her completely happy? Use details
from the poem to support your point of view. R2b
The poet doesnt think that making these choices will make her completely happy. She thinks these
choices might possibly make her feel better. She says that making these kinds of choices is difficult
and often painful, which is why humans often feel sadness and cry.
Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

22

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Lesson

Completing Charts

Some questions on the ELA Test ask you to complete a chart using the
information from a passage. All the information you need will be in the passage.
Sometimes charts will be filled out based on notes you took after listening to a
passage. At other times, you will be able to go back to the written passage to
find information you need to complete a chart.
On charts, you will only have to write phrases. Your answers do not have to be
written in complete sentences. However, they will have to be thorough. Include
all relevant information from the passage.
Look at the completed chart below. It is based on a passage about the Motts, a
family that moved to the United States from Yugoslavia.

How the Motts Overcame the Problem

Problem
didnt speak English

had very little money

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

homesick

enrolled in an English language program


studied hard
only spoke English at home
accepted help from other Yugoslavians already in
the United States
father took two jobs, driving taxi cab and working
as a security guard
mother took a job cleaning houses
economized at the grocery store
wrote letters to friends in Yugoslavia
had long talks remembering both the good and
bad times in Yugoslavia
took long walks to discover things to love about
their new home

Tip
Carefully read the
instructions and the
headings of the chart
carefully before you start
working.

Discuss
How is a chart like the summary of a passage?

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

23

Apply It
irections
DRead
the speech below. Write notes on page 26 as you go along. Then read the questions
that follow the passage. Use the answers to the questions to complete the chart.

Address to the First Annual Meeting of


the American Equal Rights Association
Sojourner Truth
New York City, May 9, 1867

24

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

My friends, I am rejoiced that you are glad, but I dont know how you will feel when I get
through. I come from another fieldthe country of the slave. They have got their liberty
so much good luck to have slavery partly destroyed; not entirely. I want it root and branch
destroyed. Then we will all be free indeed. I feel that if I have to answer for the deeds done in my
body just as much as a man, I have a right to have just as much as a man. There is a great stir
about colored men getting their rights, but not a word about the colored women; and if colored
men get their rights, and not colored women theirs, you see the colored men will be masters over
the women, and it will be just as bad as it was before. So I am for keeping the thing going while
things are stirring; because if we wait till it is still, it will take a great while to get it going again.
White women are a great deal smarter, and know more than colored women, while colored
women do not know scarcely anything. They go out washing, which is about as high as a colored
woman gets, and their men go about idle, strutting up and down; and when the women come
home, they ask for their money and take it all, and then scold because there is no food. I want you
to consider on that, chiln. I call you chiln; you are somebodys chiln, and I am old enough to be
mother of all that is here. I want women to have their rights. In the courts women have no right,
no voice; nobody speaks for them. I wish woman to have her voice there among the pettifoggers.
If it is not a fit place for women, it is unfit for men to be there.

Apply It (continued)

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

I am above eighty years old; it is about time for me to be going. I have been forty years a slave
and forty years free, and would be here forty years more to have equal rights for all. I suppose I
am kept here because something remains for me to do; I suppose I am yet to help to break the
chain. I have done a great deal of work; as much as a man, but did not get so much pay. I used to
work in the field and bind grain, keeping up with the cradler; but men doing no more, got twice
as much pay; so with the German women. They work in the field and do as much work, but do
not get the pay. We do as much, we eat as much, we want as much. I suppose I am about the only
colored woman that goes about to speak for the rights of the colored women. I want to keep the
thing stirring, now that the ice is cracked. What we want is a little money. You men know that you
get as much again as women when you write, or for what you do. When we get our rights we shall
not have to come to you for money, for then we shall have money enough in our own pockets; and
may be you will ask us for money. But help us now until we get it. It is a good consolation to know
that when we have got this battle once fought we shall not be coming to you any more. You have
been having our rights so long, that you think, like a slaveholder, that you own us. I know that it is
hard for one who has held the reins for so long to give up; it cuts like a knife. It will feel all the
better when it closes up again. I have been in Washington about three years, seeing about these
colored people. Now colored men have the right to vote. There ought to be equal rights now more
than ever, since colored people have got their freedom. I am going to talk several times while I am
here; so now I will do a little singing. I have not heard any singing since I came here.

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

25

Apply It
irections
DUse
this page to take notes on the passage. You will use these notes to answer the
questions on the next page.

Notes

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

What is the main theme of Sojourner Truths speech? Use details from your notes to support
your answer. R1k
Slavery has been only partly destroyed. There is a lot of talk about the rights of colored men but no
one cares about the rights of colored women. Colored women are not free if they do not have the
same rights as colored men. Without rights, the men will be their masters.

What does Sojourner Truth mean when she says, I suppose I am yet to help to break the chain?
R1b

Sojourner Truth is saying that even though she is more than eighty years old, there is still work for
her to do to make all people free.

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Use the notes you took while reading the passage to complete the following chart. R1k

What colored women


should have

How colored men behave


toward colored women

rights in court

they are idle while the women work

a voice in court

they take the money women earn

the same pay for the same work

they scold because there is no food

the right to keep the money they earn

they are the womens masters

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

27

Lesson

Writing Paragraph-Length
Responses

The ELA Test includes several questions that require you to write your answer
in paragraph form. The test scorers will check to make sure your answer
includes certain basic features.
Here are some ideas to keep in mind when you write answers in paragraph form.

Read the question carefully. Make sure your paragraph answers the question.

Write neatly so that the scorer can read your answer.

Support your answer with details from the passage.

Write in complete sentences that flow together logically.

Use correct grammar and punctuation.

Begin the paragraph with a topic sentence that expresses your point of view.
Use details from the passage that support your point of view. Craft your answer
so that it makes sense to the reader, not just to yourself. If your answer is too
general, or you do not adequately support your opinion, your paragraph will
receive a lower score.
Discuss, as a class, the following answer about a passage.

What lesson might the tale Snow White and Rose Red be
trying to teach readers? Use details from the story to support
your answer.
The tale Snow White and Rose Red could have a variety of
different lessons that it is trying to express. One possible lesson
could be that acts of kindness are often rewarded. Another could
be that some things and people are different than they first
appear. The children thought the bear would hurt them, but he
was gentle and friendly and became friends with them.

Discuss
Does the answer directly address the question?
Are there any ways that this answer could be improved?
If so, how?
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New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Tip
Your answer to shortresponse questions
should include relevant
details from the
passage, not just your
own opinions.

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Apply It
irections
DRead
the two poems below, and then answer the questions on the following page.

A Man Said to
the Universe
by Stephen Crane

A Patch of Old Snow


by Robert Frost
Theres a patch of old snow in a corner
That I should have guessed

A man said to the universe:

Was a blow-away paper the rain

Sir, I exist!

Had brought to rest.

However, replied the universe,


The fact has not created in me

It is speckled with grime as if

A sense of obligation.

Small print overspread it,


The news of a day Ive forgotten

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

If I ever read it.

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

29

What idea is expressed in both poems? Use details from the poems to support your answer.
R2b

Both poems express the idea that people are small and unimportant in the world. In Stephen Cranes
poem, the universe tells a man that it is not responsible for him. Robert Frost compares a patch of
dirty snow to a piece of newspaper. The news printed in the paper has been ignored. The people in the
newspaper stories have been forgotten.

Do the poets use the same literary devices in their poems? Use information you know and
details from the poems to support your answer. R2d
No, the poets do not use the same literary devices in their poems. Stephen Crane uses
personification. He makes the universe speak, like the man it talks to. Robert Frost, on the other
hand, uses metaphor. He compares the old snow to a piece of newspaper covered with print. The

30

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

specks of grime on the snow look like the tiny words printed on the paper.

Writing About Two Passages

Lesson

Some questions on the ELA Test will ask you to write an extended response to
two different passages. You will be asked to read the paired texts, then write an
essay in response to them.
Often you will be asked to compare and contrast the two passages. To
compare the passages, you should focus on their similarities. To contrast
them, you should focus on their differences.
Read the two paragraphs below. They are from two different essays about
the desert.

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

The desert is a spectacular and mysterious place. The barren landscape


envelops you with its jagged rocks and towering cacti. Curious animalsfrom
rattlesnakes to roadrunnersscurry across the often flat land, hiding behind
stones, peeking into holes, and dashing along ravines. Everything feels still and
peaceful in the desert. The air smells fresh, and at night it feels cool. The desert is
a perfect place to relax.
Is there any place more boring than the desert? There is so little to look at
everything is flat and empty. And its boiling hot. The sun beats down on you and
its impossible to find any shade. There are so few trees, because they need water
to survive. At least there are some interesting animals in the desert. These critters
are unique but hard to find. Otherwise, theres nothing to do in
the desertexcept suffer and sweat.

Tip

Discuss
In what ways are the two authors attitudes similar?

Pay attention to the


details when you
compare and contrast
two passages.

In what ways are they different?

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

31

Apply It
irections
DFollowing
are two passages. One is a poem, Heritage, by Gwendolyn B. Bennett. The
other is an excerpt from the autobiography of Frederick Douglass, an abolitionist. Read
the passages carefully. Then answer the questions that follow.

Heritage
by Gwendolyn B. Bennett
I want to see the slim palm-trees,
Pulling at the clouds
With little pointed fingers . . .

I want to see the lithe Negro girls,


Etched dark against the sky
While sunset lingers.

I want to hear the silent sands,

Before the Sphinx-still face...

I want to hear the chanting


Around a heathen fire
Of a strange black race.

I want to breathe the Lotus flowr,


Sighing to the stars
With tendrils drinking at the Nile . . .

I want to feel the surging


Of my sad peoples soul
Hidden by a minstrel-smile.

32

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Singing to the moon

Apply It
from Narrative

of the Life of Frederick


Douglass, an American Slave,
Written by Himself
by Frederick Douglass

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

I was born in Tuckahoe, near Hillsborough, and about twelve miles from Easton, in Talbot
county, Maryland. I have no accurate knowledge of my age, never having seen any authentic
record containing it. By far the larger part of the slaves know as little of their ages as horses know
of theirs, and it is the wish of most masters within my knowledge to keep their slaves thus
ignorant. I do not remember to have ever met a slave who could tell of his birthday. They seldom
come nearer to it than planting-time, harvest-time, cherry-time, spring-time, or fall-time. A want
of information concerning my own was a source of unhappiness to me even during childhood.
The white children could tell their ages. I could not tell why I ought to be deprived of the same
privilege. I was not allowed to make any inquiries of my master concerning it. He deemed all such
inquiries on the part of a slave improper and impertinent, and evidence of a restless spirit. The
nearest estimate I can give makes me now between twenty-seven and twenty-eight years of age. I
come to this, from hearing my master say, some time during 1835, I was about seventeen years old.
My mother was named Harriet Bailey. She was the daughter of Isaac and Betsey Bailey, both
colored, and quite dark. My mother was of a darker complexion than either my grandmother or
grandfather.
My father was a white man. He was admitted to be such by all I ever heard speak of my
parentage. The opinion was also whispered that my master was my father; but of the correctness
of this opinion, I know nothing; the means of knowing was withheld from me. My mother and I
were separated when I was but an infant before I knew her as my mother. It is a common
custom, in the part of Maryland from which I ran away, to part children from their mothers at a
very early age. Frequently, before the child has reached its twelfth month, its mother is taken from
it, and hired out on some farm a considerable distance off, and the child is placed under the care
of an old woman, too old for field labor. For what this separation is done, I do not know, unless it
be to hinder the development of the childs affection toward its mother, and to blunt and destroy
the natural affection of the mother for the child. This is the inevitable result.
I never saw my mother, to know her as such, more than four or five times in my life; and each
of these times was very short in duration, and at night. She was hired by a Mr. Stewart, who lived
about twelve miles from my home. She made her journeys to see me in the night, traveling the
whole distance on foot, after the performance of her days work. She was a field hand, and a
whipping is the penalty of not being in the field at sunrise, unless a slave has special permission
from his or her master to the contrary a permission which they seldom get, and one that gives to
New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

33

Apply It (continued)
him that gives it the proud name of being a kind master. I do not recollect of ever seeing my
mother by the light of day. She was with me in the night. She would lie down with me, and get me
to sleep, but long before I waked she was gone. Very little communication ever took place between
us. Death soon ended what little we could have while she lived, and with it her hardships and
suffering. She died when I was about seven years old, on one of my masters farms, near Lees Mill.
I was not allowed to be present during her illness, at her death, or burial. She was gone long before
I knew anything about it. Never having enjoyed, to any considerable extent, her soothing presence,
her tender and watchful care, I received the tidings of her death with much the same emotions I
should have probably felt at the death of a stranger.
Called thus suddenly away, she left me without the slightest intimation of who my father was.
The whisper that my master was my father, may or may not be true; and, true or false, it is of but
little consequence to my purpose whilst the fact remains, in all its glaring odiousness, that
slaveholders have ordained, and by law established, that the children of slave women shall in all
cases follow the condition of their mothers; and this is done too obviously to administer to their
own lusts, and make gratification of their wicked desires profitable as well as pleasurable; for by
this cunning arrangement, the slaveholder, in cases not a few, sustains to his slaves the double
relation of master and father. . . .

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

34

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

What words or phrases in Heritage show that the author is writing about Africa? List these
words or phrases and tell how they relate to Africa. R2b
The phrase palm-trees relates to Africa since there are palm trees there. The phrase Sphinxstill
face refers to the Sphinx, a large statue in northern Africa beside the Great Pyramids. The word
Nile refers to the Nile River, the long river that flows through Africa.

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Frederick Douglass wrote that he received the news of his mothers death with much the same
emotion I should have probably felt at the death of a stranger. Based on this sentence, what
conclusion can you draw about his relationship with his mother? R1l
Douglass had a weak, almost nonexistent, relationship with his mother because they were
separated when he was only one year old and he only saw her a handful of times in his life. The
sentence suggests that she was a stranger to him and that he had no real feelings toward her.

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

35

Write an essay in which you describe how the African people in Heritage live and how
the people of African descent in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Written By
Himself live. Explain how their way of living is different. Use details from both the poem
W2b
and the passage to support your answer.
In your answer be sure to include

a description of how the people live as described in both the poem and the passage
an explanation of how their ways of living are different
details from both the poem and the passage to support your answer
Check your writing for correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

The people of African descent described in Frederick Douglasss Narrative of the Life of
Frederick Douglass Written By Himself live differently than the African people described in
Gwendolyn B. Bennetts poem Heritage. The main difference between the two ways of life
described in these passages is that the people Bennett describes are free, whereas the people

Bennett describes Africans who are living in freedom. Her poem mentions a group of
Africans chanting around a fire. It also mentions young Negro girls running around at sunset.
These are the behaviors of free people living as they want to live.
Frederick Douglass describes people of African descent forced to live in slavery. The
slave owners had a variety of methods to keep their slaves ignorant and obedient. One method
was to not let them know their birthdays. Douglass describes how not knowing his own birthday
made him unhappy, and that he was not allowed to ask his master about it. Douglass also

36

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Douglass describes are enslaved.

describes the practice of separating slave mothers from their children.


The people in Bennetts poem clearly live differently than the people described in
Douglasss narrative. Bennetts people are free while Douglasss people are slaves. Bennetts
people can practice their culture while Douglasss people cannot.
So the people in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass Written By Himself live far
differently from the people in Heritage. The people Bennett describes are free. The people

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Douglass describes are enslaved.

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

37

Lesson

Planning an Essay

The ELA Test requires you to write two essays. You will be given space on a
planning page to plan your essay. Keep in mind that the planning notes are
only for your use. They will not be graded.
Your essays should always include three basic parts:

Introduction: This section introduces the reader to the main idea of the
essay. The introduction should be one paragraph long.

Body: The main idea or theme is developed in the body of the essay.
Supporting ideas and specific details explain the theme. Devote one
paragraph to each idea that you use to support your main idea.

Conclusion: The conclusion draws together the ideas stated in the body
of the essay and summarizes the main idea. Like the introduction, the
conclusion should be only one paragraph long.

A good plan is the key to a good essay. Planning helps you organize your
essay, keeps you focused on the main idea, and saves you time in the long run.
As you plan your essay, ask yourself the following questions:
What is the main idea of my essay?

How many paragraphs will my essay have? A typical


essay has four or five paragraphs.

What will the topic sentence of each paragraph be?

What details will I include in each paragraph to support


the topic sentence?

Discuss

Tip
The first line of your
essay should grab the
readers attention and
lead the reader to your
main idea.

How can planning the topic sentences of your paragraphs


help your write a better essay?
What is the advantage of limiting your introduction and conclusion to one
paragraph each?

38

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Apply It
irections
DThe
writer Isaac Bashevis Singer (19041991) won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1978.
A character in one of his stories says, What a strange power there is in clothing. What
do you think this statement means? Do you agree or disagree with it?

Write an essay in which you tell whether you think this statement is true or false. In your
answer, be sure to

explain what Singer meant when he said, What a strange power there is in clothing.

use specific details from your own experience to support your answer.

show three ways that clothing can have power (if you think the statement is true).
or, give three examples that prove clothing does not have power (if you think the
statement is false).

Plan your essay using the steps provided.


Step 1: Brainstorming

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

When you brainstorm, jot down all your ideas. Dont think about whether the ideas are good
or bad. Just write them all down. You can always toss out ideas that you dont like later.
If you were brainstorming about the example question, here are some ideas you might list:
agree:
- affects how others see us
- helps protect our bodies
Now do your own brainstorming about this topic. Write your ideas in the space below.
agree:
- affects how we feel about ourselves
- allows us to play a part or role
- can look rich or poor
- make us look smart or mysterious or dangerous
disagree:
- clothes dont matter
- personality matters more
- clothes cant hide who you are
New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

39

Apply It (continued)
Step 2: Organizing
When you organize, you decide on the basic structure of your essay. Determine the main idea
of your essay and then decide on two or three supporting ideas. Each supporting idea will be
discussed in one of your body paragraphs.
Here is a plan that has been started for the example question:
Main Idea
Singer meant that clothes are a very important tool for humans. I agree with Singer that
clothing has great power.
Supporting Ideas
- people can understand our personalities from our clothes
- clothes let us play roles
- clothes keep our bodies safe
Now add two more supporting details to the plan above. Write the ideas on the lines provided.
Step 3: Outlining
When you outline, write a detailed plan for your essay. Your outline should include a list of the
ideas you plan to write about in each paragraph.

B. clothes let us play roles


1. can look intelligent
2. can look strange
C. clothes keep our bodies safe
1. keep us warm
2. protect us from sunlight
III. Conclusion
Summary of the main idea.
Now add more supporting details to the outline above.
40

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Here is an outline that has been started for the example question:
I. Introduction
Main idea: I agree with Singer that clothing has great power.
II. Body
A. people can understand others from their clothes
1. can tell that others are rich
2. can tell that others are poor
3. people can see that others are lazy

Write your essay in the space below. Do not forget to write neatly and review your work for correct
spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

When Isaac Bashevis Singer said, What a strange power there is in clothing, he meant that
clothes are a very important tool for humans. I agree with his statement. People can understand
other people from the clothes they see others wearing. Clothes give people the ability to assume
certain roles or personalities. Clothes also protect peoples bodies in a variety of ways.
Clothes help people understand what other people are like. Clothes can reveal if people are
rich or poor. For example, if a person wears very expensive clothing, you can tell that the person
is probably rich. If you see someone wearing old, tattered clothing you can assume that they are

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

probably poor. Dirty clothes may show that a person is lazy. All of these examples show that
clothes give people the ability to help understand other people. That is a very powerful tool.
Clothes are powerful because they allow people to assume certain roles or personalities. This
can help people fit into or stand out from groups. A person who wants to stand out and look
different can use clothing to do so. He or she can wear odd, strange, or brightcolored clothing. In
the same way, a person can use clothing to fit into a group. For example, if a group of kids at
school wears a special kind of jeans, another person could buy those jeans and perhaps fit into
that group. People can use clothes to look artistic, intelligent, or sophisticated. There is really no
end to the number of roles people can play through the use of clothing.

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

41

Clothes are also a powerful tool for humans because they protect the human body so well.
Without proper clothing, humans would be harmed by heat, cold, snow, insects, and many other
things. Clothing allows people to go outside, travel, and stay healthy. Without clothing, life would
be very difficult for humans. Clothes, then, are a very powerful tool for humans.
In conclusion, I agree with Isaac Bashevis Singers statement, What a strange power there is
in clothing. Clothes are clearly an important tool for humans. Clothes allow people to understand
other people. Clothes help people assume certain roles or personalities. Clothes also provide
protection for the human body.

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

42

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Lesson

Maintaining Focus

10

Keep your essay focused as you write. This means that

each paragraph in the body of your essay supports the main idea of
the essay

each paragraph has a topic sentence

all the details you include support that topic sentence

Eliminate unrelated details. As you plan your essay, ask yourself the
following questions:

Do my topic sentences support the main idea?

Do my details and examples support my topic sentences?

As you write each paragraph of your essay, remember

to include relevant details

to leave out details that do not directly relate to the topic

to keep the essay focused on the main idea

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Read the paragraph below, paying close attention to how the writer keeps
it focused.
Of all the animals in the world, rats make the best pets. Rats are
intelligent animals that can learn how to run through mazes. Unlike
dogs, which need to be walked every day, rats are easy to care for. All
they need is a cage, water, food, and some love and attention. Rats
are clean and, unlike cats, they dont shed their hair. Rats are smart,
easy to keep, and neat; they are perfect pets.

Tip
In a well-focused essay,
only relevant details are
included.

The paragraph above is from an essay that answers the question


What animals make the best pets? The first sentence in the paragraph, the
topic sentence, directly answers the question.

Discuss
What are the supporting details in the paragraph above?
How does each sentence support the topic sentence?

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

43

Apply It
irections
DRead
the following student essay about the artist and naturalist John James Audubon
and his trip to Labrador, Canada. As you read, pay close attention to how well focused the
essay is. Then answer the questions on the following page.
John James Audubon lived from 1785 to 1851. He was born in Haiti then moved to France when
he was a boy. He became interested in birds while he lived in France. When he was 18 years old, he
was sent to America to become a businessman. He ran a mine and opened a store, but all his
businesses failed. He studied and drew birds he saw all over North America. Then he published a
book called The Birds of America in 1839.

Audubon went on a trip to Labrador in 1833. Labrador became part of Canada in 1949. It is
located in northeastern Canada between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It has
many lakes and rivers but not many farms because the soil is so thin. Mining for iron ore and
fishing are important industries in Labrador. The coast of Labrador is rocky and birds called
gannets go there to build nests and raise their chicks. Audubon was interested in a particular place
called the Great Gannet Rock.

Audubon watched the gannets fly and catch food. He saw that they are powerful birds that fly
low in the air. They fly near the surface of the water so they can catch fish.

Gannets dive into the ocean head first to grab the fish they saw while flying. Audubon said he saw
them stay under water for as long as a whole minute. Sometimes they float on the ocean while they eat.

Gannets are the largest seabirds in the northern Atlantic Ocean. They are mainly white with
yellow heads and black tips on their wing features. They also have webbed feet. They eat fish and
squid. Gannets build nests out of seaweed and mud and live in large colonies on the cliffs by the
ocean. They lay one egg. Gannets cannot move well on land. Audubon wrote in his diary, On the
ground the movements of the Gannet are exceedingly awkward, and it marches with hampered
steps, assisting itself with the wings, or keeping them partially open to prevent its falling.

In order to study birds, Audubon traveled to see them where they lived. He drew pictures of
them and now his drawings of birds and animals are very valuable. He also killed birds so he
could study them up close. Audubon was a great naturalist and artist.

44

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Summarize the main idea of this essay. R1b


This essay is mostly about John James Audubon and his trip to Labrador in Canada to study
gannets, which are large seabirds.

Which paragraph includes details that do not focus on the subject of the essay? Explain why
these details are not relevant to the essay. R1g
Paragraph 2 includes some details that are not relevant to the essay. For example, the reader
does not need to know so much about Labrador. The sentences about when Labrador became part

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

of Canada and the information about Labradors soil and its industries should both be taken out of
the essay.

Evaluate the placement of paragraph 5 in the essay. How might moving paragraph 5 improve
the essay? To where should the paragraph be moved? LC W6
Paragraph 5 should follow paragraph 2. Paragraph 2 mentions gannets, while paragraph 5 provides
general information about those birds. It is logical to provide basic information about gannets
before going into detail about how they catch fish, which is described in paragraphs 3 and 4.

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

45

Lesson

Editing

11

The first version of your essay is a rough draft. You will need to edit your rough
draft to make sure it is focused on the subject and answers the question.
You will also need to edit for mechanicsthe use of grammar, punctuation, and
spelling. An essay is scored on both content and mechanics. To earn a high score,
you need good mechanics as well as good content.
Below are some sentences that contain one or more mechanical errors. Find
the errors in each sentence and rewrite the sentence correctly on the line
below it.

Shirley, the tallest kid in the class.


Shirley is the tallest kid in the class.

Madeline ran to school, she woke up late.


Madeline ran to school because she woke up late.

Tip
3

Oscar had a bad couph, so he went to see dr. lopez.

My dad went to the store were he bought cereal sugar and milk.
My dad went to the store, where he bought cereal, sugar, and milk.

Yesterday Jude went to the park and bumps into his teacher.
Yesterday, Jude went to the park and bumped into his teacher.

Discuss
Which of the sentences above contained grammar errors?
Which of them contained punctuation errors?
Which of them contained spelling errors?

46

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Oscar had a bad cough, so he went to see Dr. Lopez.

Use correct grammar,


punctuation, and spelling
so your ideas will be
easily understood.

Apply It
irections
DThis
is the first draft of an essay written by a student. It is a response to the question,
What has been your most exciting day, and why? Read this draft carefully and circle
any errors that you find. Then answer the questions that follow.

The Day It Finally Happened


(1) Why are you so excited, my mother asked?
(2) It was the chance of a lifetime and something I had only dreamed might ever happen.
(3) Scince reading about the tour in a magazine, I had been raking leaves baby-sitting washing
cars doing whatever I could to earn money for a ticket. (4) I could hardly sleep last night, my
stomach feeling like a thousand bumblebees were having a dance party in it. (5) Today was the
day. (6) I was going to see the Tazmaniacs, the best rock band of all time, at center city arena.

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

(7) My best friend Jake and I climbed into the backseat of his dads car. (8) I was wearing my
black Tazmaniacs tee-shirt. (9) There were a couple of holes in it but the front had their piktures
printed on it in silver. (10) Jake brought along the most recent CD, hoping to get an autograph.
(11) We couldnt wait to get there.
(12) Jake and I walked into the enormus arena. (13) It was absolutely a mob scene people
everywhere. (14) Our seats were up high and we could see everything (15) Down below was a
stage filled with instrumentshorns, two drum sets, four guitars, and a keyboard. (16) The
microphones squealed and a voice said, Testing, testing, testing. (17) The concert had been sold
out for weeks. (18) I didnt see an empty seat anywhere.
(19) All of a sudden, every light in the arena went out. (20) Jake yelled, Go Tazmaniacs! just
as beams of bright orange light began to streak across the stage. (21) The Tazmaniacs came
running out of a screen of fog or smoke, and in seconds the beat of their hit song, What Do You
Know? filled the place. (22) Everyone stood up, including us. (23) This definitly was the most
exciting day of my life.

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

47

There are four misspelled words in the essay. Write the sentences or phrases containing these
misspelled words and spell the words correctly on the lines below. Underline the words you
corrected. LC W1
(3) Since reading about the tour in a magazine . . . (9) . . . the front had their pictures printed on it
in silver. (12) Jake and I walked into the enormous arena. (23) This definitely was the most
exciting day of my life.

There are two run-on sentences in the essay. Rewrite the sentences correctly on the lines below.
LC W4

(4) I could hardly sleep last night. My stomach felt like a thousand bumblebees were having a
dance party in it. OR (4) I could hardly sleep last night because my stomach felt like a thousand
bumblebees were having a dance party in it. (13) It was absolutely a mob scene. People were
everywhere. OR (13) It was absolutely a mob scene and people were everywhere.

There are four examples of incorrect punctuation in the essay. Rewrite the sentences or phrases
correctly on the lines below. LC W4
(1) Why are you so excited? my mother asked. (3) Since I had been reading about the tour in a
magazine, I had been raking leaves, baby-sitting, washing cars, and doing whatever I could to earn
money for a ticket. (7) My best friend Jake and I climbed into the backseat of his dads car.
(14) Our seats were up high and we could see everything.

Find an example in the essay of incorrect capitalization. Rewrite the phrase or sentence
correctly on the line below. LC W4
(6) I was going to see the Tazmaniacs, the best rock band of all time, at Center City Arena.

48

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

GiXZk`Z\K\jk
9ffb(

Book 1
Reading

DInirections
this part of the test, you will do some reading and answer questions about what you

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

have read.

Go On
New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

51

DInirections
this excerpt from Edgar Allen Poes short story A Descent into the Maelstrm,
two men have climbed Helseggen, a tall mountain in the Norwegian district of Lofoden.
Read the excerpt, then answer questions 17.

A Descent into the Maelstrm


by Edgar Allan Poe

Vurrgh = island in the distance

Moskoe = an island midway

prodigious = amazing, huge

gyratory = like a gyroscope

subsided = settled

In a few minutes more, there came over the scene another radical
alteration. The general surface grew somewhat more smooth, and
the whirlpools, one by one, disappeared, while prodigious streaks of
foam became apparent where none had been seen before. These
streaks, at length, spreading out to a great distance, and entering
into combination, took unto themselves the gyratory motion of the
subsided vortices, and seemed to form the germ of another more
vast. Suddenlyvery suddenlythis assumed a distinct and
definite existence, in a circle of more than a mile in diameter. The
edge of the whirl was represented by a broad belt of gleaming spray;
but no particle of this slipped into the mouth of the terrific funnel,

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52

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

vortices = swirling water

We had now been about ten minutes upon the top of Helseggen,
to which we had ascended from the interior of Lofoden, so that we
had caught no glimpse of the sea until it had burst upon us from the
summit. As the old man spoke, I became aware of a loud and
gradually increasing sound, like the moaning of a vast herd of
buffaloes upon an American prairie; and at the same moment I
perceived that what seamen term the chopping character of the
ocean beneath us, was rapidly changing into a current which set to
the eastward. Even while I gazed, this current acquired a monstrous
velocity. Each moment added to its speedto its headlong
impetuosity. In five minutes the whole sea, as far as Vurrgh, was
lashed into ungovernable fury; but it was between Moskoe and the
coast that the main uproar held its sway. Here the vast bed of the
waters, seamed and scarred into a thousand conflicting channels,
burst suddenly into phrensied convulsionheaving, boiling,
hissinggyrating in gigantic and innumerable vortices, and all
whirling and plunging on to the eastward with a rapidity which
water never elsewhere assumes, except in precipitous descents.

whose interior, as far as the eye could fathom it, was a smooth, shining,
and jet-black wall of water, inclined to the horizon at an angle of some
forty-five degrees, speeding dizzily round and round with a swaying
and sweltering motion, and sending forth to the winds an appalling
voice, half shriek, half roar, such as not even the mighty cataract of
Niagara ever lifts up in its agony to Heaven.

cataract = large waterfall

The mountain trembled to its very base, and the rock rocked. I threw myself upon my face, and
clung to the scant herbage in an excess of nervous agitation.
This, said I at length, to the old manthis can be nothing else than the great whirlpool of
the Maelstrm.

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

So it is sometimes termed, said he. We Norwegians call it the Moskoe-strm, from the island
of Moskoe in the midway.

Go On
New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

53

Read this line from the story.


I became aware of a loud and gradually increasing sound, like the moaning of a vast herd of
buffaloes upon an American prairie . . .
This line helps the reader understand the oceans R2e
A impressive depth
B beauty and grace
C noise and overpowering force
D huge, seemingly endless size

Read this sentence from the story.


Even while I gazed, this current acquired a monstrous velocity.
In this sentence, the word velocity most likely means LC R7
F shape
G height
H direction
J
speed

The authors use of the first-person point of view allows the reader to R2c
A
B
C
D

understand what the narrator experiences


feel sorry for the other characters
experience what both characters are feeling
get a more objective view of the events

Which of these statements best summarizes the main idea of the second paragraph? LC R12
F The many whirlpools turned into foam, and then disappeared.
G The giant vortex turned into several smaller whirlpools and disappeared.
H The many whirlpools subsided and then turned into streaks of foam.
J
The smaller whirlpools turned into foam, and then became a massive whirlpool.

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54

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Read these lines from the selection. R2e


Here the vast bed of the waters, seamed and scarred into a thousand conflicting channels,
burst suddenly into phrensied convulsionheaving, boiling, hissing
What kind of mood does the author create with these lines?
A
B
C
D

Which phrase from the passage uses personification? R2d

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

F
G
H
J

triumphant
confusion
frightening
playful

. . . the main uproar held its sway . . .


. . . an appalling voice, half shriek, half roar . . .
. . . even while I gazed . . .
. . . a circle of more than a mile in diameter . . .

Where did the great whirlpool of the Maelstrm take place? R2b
A
B
C
D

on the island of Moskoe


in the interior of Lofoden
at the cataract of Niagara
between Moskoe and the coast

Go On
New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

55

irections
DRead
this passage from a letter from writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The Scarlett
Letter, to the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Then answer questions 813.

from Letter to H. W. Longfellow, Cambridge


by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Concord, January 2nd 1864,
Dear Longfellow. . .
. . . I have been much out of sorts of late, and do not well know what is the matter with me, but
am inclined to draw the conclusion that I shall have little more to do with pen and ink. One more
book I should like well enough to write, and have indeed begun it, but with no assurance of ever
bringing it to an end. As is always the case, I have a notion that this last book would be my best;
and full of wisdom about matters of life and deathand yet it will be no deadly disappointment if
I am compelled to drop it. You can tell, far better than I, whether there is ever anything worth
having a literary reputation, and whether the best achievements seem to have any substance after
they grow cold.
Your friend,
Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Go On
56

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Which of these statements is the best


summary of this letter? LC R15
F
G
H
J

We always think that our next book


will be great.
I am feeling like its time to stop
writing.
From now on, I will use only pencil,
not pen and ink.
Will you kindly respond to this
letter about retirement?

Read this sentence from the letter.


. . . but with no assurance of ever
bringing it to an end.

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

In this sentence, the word assurance


means LC R7
A
B
C
D

desire
intention
certainty
knowledge

11 The reader can infer from Hawthornes


letter that recently he has been R1l
A
B
C
D

feeling good about life


in strong physical condition
feeling a bit down
in good mental health

12 Read this line from the letter.


. . . but am inclined to draw the
conclusion that I shall have little more
to do with pen and ink.
Hawthorne is saying that he R1l
F
G
H
J

cannot decide what to do next


will probably never write again
doesnt know what his next book
will be about
has nothing left at home to keep
him busy

13 Read this line from the letter.


10 Read this sentence from the letter.
I have a notion that this last book
would be my best;
In this sentence, the word notion
means LC R7
F
G
H
J

thought
proof
fear
doubt

. . . and whether the best achievements


seem to have any substance after they
grow cold.
Which kind of literary device is used in
this line? R2d
A
B
C
D

simile
metaphor
exaggeration
personification

Go On
New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

57

irections
DThe
following speech was presented to a jury in court by George Vest, a lawyer. Vests
client was suing a man who had shot his dog. Read the speech, then answer questions
1419.

A Tribute to the Dog


by George Graham Vest

prone = likely

malice = meanness

treacherous = dangerous

The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish
world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves
ungrateful or treacherous is his dog. A mans dog stands by him in
prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the
cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if
only he may be near his masters side. He will kiss the hand that has no
food to offer; he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter
with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper
master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains.
When riches take wings, and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant
in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.

If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful
dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him, to guard him against danger, to fight
against his enemies. And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes his master in its
embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their
way, there by the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad,
but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even in death.

Go On
58

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

pauper = poor person

GENTLEMEN OF THE JURY: The best friend a man has in the world
may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that
he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are
nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and
our good name may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man
has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most.
A mans reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered
action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor
when success is with us, may be the first to throw the stone of malice
when failure settles its cloud upon our heads.

14 In A Tribute to the Dog, the speakers


main purpose is to R3a
F
G
H
J

17

Read this sentence from the speech.


. . . he is as constant in his love as the
sun in its journey through the heavens.

mislead the jury


entertain the jury
persuade the jury
question the jury

In this sentence, the word constant


means LC R7

15 What kind of argument does the author

A
B
C
D

grateful
somewhat
unavailable
steady

use in this speech? R3a


A

an emotional appeal

B
C
D

an ethical debate
a logical approach
a symbolic plea

18 Which trait of the dog does the speaker


stress most throughout the speech? R1b

16 Why does the speaker compare the dog

F
G
H
J

intelligence
loyalty
courage
strength

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

to human beings? R2e


F

to encourage the jury to recognize


their own animal behavior

to show the jury that dogs are


superior to all other animals

to show the jury that the dog is at


least as important as people

to suggest to the jury that the dog


should be honored in a court of law

19 What is the main idea of the first


paragraph? R1b
A
B
C
D

dogs are great companions


people can lose their money
children can be ungrateful
people cannot be trusted

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New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

59

irections
DRead
this poem. Then answer questions 2026.

Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair


by Stephen C. Foster
I dream of Jeanie with the light brown hair,
Borne, like a vapor, on the summer air;
I see her tripping where the bright streams play,
Happy as the daisies that dance on her way.
5

Many were the wild notes her merry voice would pour,
Many were the blithe birds that warbled them oer:
Oh! I dream of Jeanie with the light brown hair,
Floating, like a vapor, on the soft summer air.
I long for Jeanie with the daydawn smile,

10

Radiant in gladness, warm with winning guile;


Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

I hear her melodies, like joys gone by,


Sighing round my heart oer the fond hopes that die:Sighing like the night wind and sobbing like the rain,Wailing for the lost one that comes not again:
15

Oh! I long for Jeanie, and my heart bows low,


Never more to find her where the bright waters flow.
I sigh for Jeanie, but her light form strayed
Far from the fond hearts round her native glade;
Her smiles have vanished and her sweet songs flown,

20

Flitting like the dreams that have cheered us and gone.


Now the nodding wild flowers may wither on the shore
While her gentle fingers will cull them no more:
Oh! I sigh for Jeanie with the light brown hair,
Floating, like a vapor, on the soft summer air.

60

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Go On

20 Which word best expresses the mood in stanza 2 (lines 914)?


F
G
H
J

R2e

gladness
hope
longing
joy

21 Which of these lines from the poem best shows that Jeanie is gone?
A
B
C
D

R2b

Many were the blithe birds


Sighing round my heart
Never more to find her
Flitting like the dreams

22 Read this line from the poem.


Borne, like a vapor, on the summer air

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

In this line, borne means LC R7


F
G
H
J

shining
carried
birthed
rising

23 In line 3, the speaker uses the words I see to mean


A
B
C
D

R2b

I am watching
I am imagining
I am hoping for
I am waiting for

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New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

61

24

Read this line from the poem.


Many were the wild notes her merry voice would pour,
What is Jeanie doing? R2e
F
G
H
J

singing happily
calling to the birds
pouring water into an urn
telling secrets to a friend

25 Read this line from the poem.


Floating, like a vapor, on the soft summer air.
This line suggests that R2b
A
B
C
D

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

26

Jeanies hair is blowing in the wind


the speaker feels Jeanies spirit all around him
Jeanie is being compared to a delicate, white dove
the speakers thoughts about Jeanie have all been a dream

Which of the following best summarizes this poem? R2b


F
G
H
J

The narrator is sad that Jeanie is gone.


Jeanie is going to return to the garden.
Jeanie is floating like a vapor in the air.
The narrator is asking Jeanie to come back home.

STOP
62

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

GiXZk`Z\K\jk
9ffb)

Book 2
Listening and Writing

DInirections
this part of the test, you will listen to a passage about a dog show. Then you will
answer some questions to see how well you understood what was read.

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

You will listen to the speech twice. As you listen carefully, you may take notes on the
speech anytime you wish during the readings. You may use these notes to answer the
questions that follow. Use the space on Pages 66 and 67 for your notes.
Article appears on Page 88.

Go On
New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

65

Notes

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Go On
66

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Notes

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New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

67

27 What are four different qualities on which the dogs are judged? On each of the lines below,
write one quality described in Showing Off.

R1b

appearance
size

Qualities

coat
color

28 What do you think was the authors purpose in writing Showing Off ? Circle your choice.
Explain your choice using details from the article. R3a
to inform

to entertain

to persuade

The author most likely wrote Showing Off to inform the reader about the dog show. The passage

attempt to entertain or persuade the reader.

Go On
68

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

explains what happens at the dog show and gives many details about the event. It does not

29 How do the judges at the show categorize the dogs?

R1b

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

First the dogs are categorized by breed. Then the dogs of the same breed are categorized by sex.

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New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

69

Planning Page
You may PLAN your writing for question 30 here if you wish, but do NOT write
your final answer on this page. Your writing on the Planning Page will NOT
count toward your final score. Write your final answer on Pages 71 and 72.

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Go On
70

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

30

Write an essay in which you describe some of the actions a dog owner would need to take
in order for his or her dog to win Best in Show. Use details from the passage to support
your answer. W1g
In your answer, be sure to
describe some of the things the dog owner would need to do to prepare the dog to
become a champion
tell why these actions are important or necessary
use details from the passage to support your answer
Check your writing for correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Only the very best dogs can become the champions at a dog show. In order for a dog to win
Best in Show, the dogs owner would need to take a variety of actions. The owner would have to make
sure that his or her dog has proper exercise and a healthy diet. Also, the owner would have to train the

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

dog well and also properly care for the dogs body.
To win Best in Show, a dog would need a lot of exercise. Exercise is important because it
keeps the dog in good shape. With proper exercise, the dog will be lean and muscular. Exercise will
make the dogs body fit and attractive. Exercise will also improve the dogs overall health. A fit dog will
score well when judged on its appearance by the judges.
Another key action the owner would need to take is to provide the dog with a healthy diet. A
solid diet will help the dog grow and age in a healthy way. Proper nutrition will help the dog have a
shiny coat and clear eyes, which are two qualities on which the dog will be judged.

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New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

71

A champion dog would also need to be trained well. The dog will be judged on its behavior, so
if the dog is well-behaved, it has a greater chance of scoring high and winning the show. At the same
time, a poorly-behaved, untrained dog will certainly be given low scores. To train the dog, the owner
would need to teach the dog to respond to basic commands, such as sit and come. The owner would
also need to teach the dog to walk elegantly, since the dog will be judged on how it walks.
Finally, for a dog to become a champion the owner would need to properly care for its body.
This means that the dogs teeth and gums must be healthy, its nails must be trimmed, and its fur must
be clean and trim. Clean and healthy teeth, gums, and fur are all qualities on which the dog will be
judged at the show.
As you can see, raising a championship dog is a lot of work. To win Best in Show, the dog

proper care.

STOP
72

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

owner must make sure to provide the dog with exercise, a healthy diet, a solid training regiment, and

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

GiXZk`Z\K\jk
9ffb*

Book 3
Reading and Writing

DInirections
this part of the test, you are going to read a poem called Barbara Frietchie and part of

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

a story called The Tragedy of the Alamo. You will answer questions and write about what
you have read. You may look back at the poem and the story as often as you like.

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New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

75

The following poem is set during the American Civil War, when the Confederate states
attempted to break away from the Union.

Barbara Frietchie
by John Greenleaf Whittier
Up from the meadows rich with corn,
Clear in the cool September morn,
spires = pointed towers
on churches

The clustered spires of Frederick stand


Green-walled by the hills of Maryland.
5

Round about them orchards sweep,


Apple and peach tree fruited deep,
Fair as the garden of the Lord
To the eyes of the famished rebel horde,

famished rebel horde =


hungry Confederate troops

On that pleasant morn of the early fall


10

When Lee marched over the mountain-wall;


Over the mountains winding down,
Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Horse and foot, into Frederick town.


Forty flags with their silver stars,
Forty flags with their crimson bars,
15

Flapped in the morning wind; the sun


Of noon looked down and saw not one.
Up rose old Barbara Frietchie then,
Bowed with her fourscore years and ten;
Bravest of all in Frederick town.

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76

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

20

She took up flag the men hauled down;


In her attic window the staff she set,

staff = flagpole

To show that one heart was loyal yet.


Up the street came the rebel tread,
Stonewall Jackson riding ahead.
25

Under his slouched hat left and right

slouched hat =
wide-brimmed hat

He glanced; the old flag met his sight.


Halt!the dust-brown ranks stood fast.
Fire!out blazed the rifle-blast.
It shivered the window, pane and sash;
30

shivered = broke
into pieces

It rent the banner with seam and gash.


Quick, as it fell, from the broken staff

rent = tore apart

Dame Barbara snatched the silken scarf.


She leaned far out on the window-sill,
And shook it forth with a royal will.
35

Shoot, if you must, this old gray head,

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

But spare your countrys flag, she said.


A shade of sadness, a blush of shame,
Over the face of the leader came;
The nobler nature within him stirred
40

To life at that womans deed and word;


Who touches a hair of yon gray head
Dies like a dog! March on! he said.
All day long through Frederick street
Sounded the tread of marching feet:

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New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

77

45

All day long that free flag tossed


Over the heads of the rebel host.
Ever its torn folds rose and fell
On the loyal winds that loved it well;
And through the hill-gaps sunset light

50

Shone over it with a warm good-night.


Barbara Frietchies work is oer,
And the Rebel rides on his raids no more.
Honor to her! and let a tear

bier = coffin and the


stand it rests on

Fall, for her sake, on Stonewalls bier.


55

Over Barbara Frietchies grave,


Flag of Freedom and Union, wave!
Peace and order and beauty draw
Round that symbol of light and law;
And ever stars above look down

60

On thy stars below in Frederick town!

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Go On
78

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

31 The poem Barbara Frietchie is rich in imagery. Fill in the following chart with details from
the poem. In the first column, write a two-line stanza from the poem. In the second column,
explain what the stanza means. Be sure to include details from the poem to support your
answer. An example answer has been completed for you. R2e

Stanza from the Poem


Bravest of all in Frederick town.
She took up flag the men hauled down;

Shoot, if you must, this old gray head,

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

But spare your countrys flag, she said.

Who touches a hair of yon gray head


Dies like a dog! March on! he said.

Meaning of the Stanza


Barbara Frietchie was the only one brave
enough to fly the countrys flag as the area
was being invaded, even among the men in
town.

Barbara Frietchie tells the invading general


that she can shoot her, an old woman, if he
wants, but that he should not shoot the U.S. flag.

The general tells his soldiers that if anyone


harms the old woman, he will be punished.

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New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

79

The following selection describes one of the most famous battles in American history.
The leader of the Mexican army was General Santa Ana. The leader of the Texas forces
was Colonel William B. Travis.

The Tragedy of the Alamo


by Sidney Lanier
Santa Ana demands unconditional surrender. Travis replies with a cannon-shot, and the attack
commences, the enemy running up a blood-red flag in town. Travis despatches a messenger with a
call to his countrymen for re-enforcements, which concludes: Though this call may be neglected,
I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible, and die like a soldier who never forgets what
is due to his own honor and that of his country. Victory or death!

About two hours before sunset on the 3d of March, 1836, the bombardment suddenly ceased,
and the enemy withdrew an unusual distance. . . . Colonel Travis paraded all his effective men in a
single file, and taking his position in front of the centre, he stood for some moments apparently
speechless from emotion; then, nerving himself for the occasion, he addressed them substantially
as follows:
My brave companions: stern necessity compels me to employ the few moments afforded by this
probably brief cessation of conflict, in making known to you the most interesting, yet the most
solemn, melancholy, and unwelcome fact that humanity can realize. . . . Our fate is sealed. Within
a very few days, perhaps a very few hours, we must all be in eternity! I have deceived you long by
the promise of help; but I crave your pardon, hoping that after hearing my explanation you will
not only regard my conduct as pardonable, but heartily sympathize with me in my extreme
necessity. . . . I have continually received the strongest assurances of help from home. Every letter
from the Council, and every one that I have seen from individuals at home, has teemed with
assurances that our people were ready, willing, and anxious to come to our relief. . . . These
assurances I received as facts. . . . In the honest and simple confidence of my heart I have

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New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

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Meantime the enemy is active. On the 25th Travis has a sharp fight to prevent him from
erecting a battery raking the gate of the Alamo. At night it is erected, with another a half-mile off
at the powder-house, on a sharp eminence at the extremity of the present main street of the town.
On the 26th there is skirmishing with the Mexican cavalry. In the coldfor a norther has
commenced to blow and the thermometer is down to thirty-ninethe Texas make a sally
successfully for wood and water, and that night they burn some old houses on the northeast that
might afford cover for the enemy. So, amid the enemys constant rain of shells and balls, which
miraculously hurt no one, the Texans strengthen their works and the siege goes on. On the 28th
Fannin starts from Goliad with three hundred troops and four pieces of artillery, but for lack of
teams and provisions quickly returns, and the little garrison is left to its fate. On the morning of
the 1st of March there is doubtless a wild shout of welcome in the Alamo; Capt. John W. Smith
has managed to convey thirty-two men into the fort. These join the heroes, and the attack and
defence go on. On the 3d a single man, Moses Rose, escapes from the fort. His account of that day
must entitle it to consecration as one of the most pathetic days of time.

transmitted to you these promises of help and my confident hope of success. But the promised
help has not come, and our hopes are not to be realized. I have evidently confided too much in the
promises of our friends; but let us not be in haste to censure them. . . . Our friends were evidently
not informed of our perilous condition in time to save us. Doubtless they would have been here by
this time had they expected any considerable force of the enemy. . . . My calls on Colonel Fannin
remain unanswered, and my messengers have not returned. The probabilities are that his whole
command has fallen into the hands of the enemy, or been cut to pieces, and that our couriers have
been cut off. [So does the brave, simple soul refuse to feel any bitterness in the hour of death.] . . .

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Rose, too, was deeply affected, but differently from his companions. He stood till every man
but himself had crossed the line. . . . He sank upon the ground, covered his face, and yielded to his
own reflections. . . . A bright idea came to his relief; he spoke the Mexican dialect very fluently,
and could he once get safely out of the fort, he might easily pass for a Mexican and effect an
escape. . . . He directed a searching glance at the cot of Colonel Bowie. . . . Colonel David Crockett
was leaning over the cot, conversing with its occupant in an undertone. After a few seconds Bowie
looked at Rose and said, You seem not to be willing to die with us, Rose. No, said Rose; I am
not prepared to die, and shall not do so if I can avoid it. Then Crockett also looked at him, and
said, You may as well conclude to die with us, old man, for escape is impossible. Rose made no
reply, but looked at the top of the wall. I have often done worse than to climb that wall, thought
he. Suiting the action to the thought, he sprang up, seized his wallet of unwashed clothes, and
ascended the wall. Standing on its top, he looked down within to take a last view of his dying
friends. They were all now in motion, but what they were doing he heeded not; overpowered by
his feelings, he looked away and saw them no more. . . . He threw down his wallet and leaped after
it. . . . He took the road which led down the river around a bend to the ford, and through the town
by the church. He waded the river at the ford and passed through the town. He saw no person . . .
but the doors were all closed, and San Antonio appeared as a deserted city.
After passing through the town he turned down the river. A stillness as of death prevailed
When he had gone about a quarter of a mile below the town, his ears were saluted by the thunder
of the bombardment, which was then renewed. That thunder continued to remind him that his
friends were true to their cause, by a continual roar with but slight intervals until a little before
sunrise on the morning of the 6th, when it ceased and he heard it no more.
The Texans are overwhelmed by sheer weight of numbers and exhaustion of continued watching
and fighting. The Mexicans swarm into the fort. The Texans club their guns; one by one they fall
fighting-now Travis yonder by the western wall, now Crockett here in the angle of the church-wall,
now Bowie butchered and mutilated in his sick-cot, breathe quick and pass away; and presently
every Texan lies dead, while there in horrid heaps are stretched five hundred and twenty-one dead
Mexicans and as many more wounded! Of the human beings that were in the fort five remain
alive: Mrs. Dickinson and her child, Colonel Traviss Negro- servant, and two Mexican women. The
conquerors endeavor to get some more revenge out of the dead, and close the scene with raking
together the bodies of the Texans, amid insults, and burning them. . . .

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New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

81

32 How did Colonel William B. Travis respond to General Santa Anas surrender demand? Use
details from The Tragedy of the Alamo to support your answer. R2b
Colonel Travis replied with a cannon-shot. He then sent a messenger with a call to his countrymen
for reinforcements. He also said that though his call may be neglected, he was determined to fight
as long as possible and die like a soldier who does not forget what is due to his own honor and
that of his country.

33

Why did Moses Rose believe he had a good chance to escape from the area around the Alamo
that the Mexican army had surrounded? R1b
Rose spoke the Mexican dialect, so he thought that once he got out of the Alamo area he could
pass for a Mexican and blend in.

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New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Planning Page

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You may PLAN your writing for question 34 here if you wish, but do NOT write
your final answer on this page. Your writing on this Planning Page will NOT
count toward your final score. Write your final answer on Pages 84 and 85.

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New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

83

34

Write an essay in which you describe how Barbara Frietchie in Barbara Frietchie and
Colonel Travis in The Tragedy of the Alamo are similar. Explain how their actions and
attitudes are similar. Use details from both the poem and the passage to support your
answer. W1g
In your answer, be sure to
a description of the attitudes and actions of each person
an explanation of how their actions and and attitudes are similar
details from both the poem and the passage to support your answer
Check your writing for correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
Check your writing for correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Barbara Frietchie, as described in the poem Barbara Frietchie, and Colonel Travis, from
The Tragedy of the Alamo, are similar in their actions and attitudes. Both of them cared very
deeply about their country. And both of them took dangerous, heroic actions.
Both Barbara Frietchie and Colonel Travis were patriotic people. They loved their

War. Her love of her country was displayed when she said, spare your countrys flag. Colonel
Travis loved his country, too. This attitude was shown when he said he would rather die like a
soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor and that of his country. He so loved his
country that he was willing to die for it, as when he said, victory or death!
Barbara Frietchie and Colonel Travis are also similar in their actions. Both of them took
dangerous actions in support of their country. Barbara Frietchie hung an American flag out the

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New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

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country. Barbara Frietchie was a proud American who stood up for her country during the Civil

window when the Confederate troops marched into town. The troops shot at the flag and could
have easily shot Barbara. Colonel Travis took his own heroic actions for his country. Rather than
attempt to flee the Alamo, he stayed there and fought the Mexican army until the very end.
So Barbara Frietchie from the poem Barbara Frietchie and Colonel Travis from The
Tragedy of the Alamo are similar in that they both had patriotic attitudes and both took

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

dangerous actions in support of their country. Both of them were heroes.

STOP
New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

85

This listening selection is to be used in administering Lesson 5 of the Grade 8 English Language
Arts Test preparation workbook. The entire selection is to be read aloud twice to the students.

Choices
by Nikki Giovanni
if i cant do
what i want to do
then my job is to not
do what i dont want
to do

its not the same thing


but its the best i can
do

what i want then


my job is to want
what ive got
and be satisfied
that at least there
is something more
to want

86

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

if i cant have

since i cant go
where i need
to go then i must go
where the signs point
though always understanding
parallel movement
isnt lateral

when i cant express


what i really feel
i practice feeling
what i can express
and none of it is equal
i know
Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

but thats why mankind


alone among the mammals
learns to cry

New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

87

This listening selection is to be used in administering Book 2 of the Grade 8 English Language
Arts Practice Test. The entire selection is to be read twice to the students.

Showing Off
Its 8:00 A.M. on Saturday at the State Fair Coliseum in West Allis, Wisconsin. At this time
on a Saturday in the middle of winter, the building is usually quiet. Today, however, the coliseum
is bustling with activity. Judges, spectators, and hundreds of yapping dogs, with their owners in
tow, have come to participate in the annual dog show.
Show dogs and their owners generally begin filing into the coliseum several hours before the
actual competition begins. The owners set up their grooming tables and begin the arduous task of
preparing their dogs for the show.
Certain breeds require more preparation time than others; however, all dog owners will
generally spend well over an hour preparing their dogs for show. The dogs coats must appear slick
and shiny, their eyes clear and bright, and their nails neatly trimmed. Even their teeth must be
clean, as judges will look at each dogs teeth, gums, and tongue.

Before the judging begins, the dogs are divided into categories. First, the dogs are divided by
breed. Next, the dogs of the same breed are divided by sex. Then, the judging begins.
There are many judging rounds in a dog show. In the first round, the judges choose the best
male and best female dog from each class in the breed. In the second round, the judges choose one
male and one female from the breed to compete against former show champions of their breed.
The process of elimination continues until the shows best seven dogs compete in the final round.
Although each of the final contestants is an exceptional member of its breed, only one will receive
the contests highest honorBest in Show.

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New York Grade 8 English Language Arts Test Preparation and Practice

Copyright Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Although there are several types of contests at a dog show, the center of all the activity is
typically the conformation competition. In this competition, dogs are judged on the basis of the
breed standard, a list of qualities that a dog must possess to be considered an ideal representation
of its breed. These qualities include general appearance, size, body proportion, coat, color,
behavior, and walk.

TEACHERS ANNOTATED EDITION

Aligned with the New York


English Language Arts
Core Curriculum Standards

GLENCOE LANGUAGE ARTS


GRADE 8
This helpful workbook provides
ISBN-13: 978-0-07-877127-9
ISBN-10: 0-07-877127-7

Test-taking strategies and tips for the New York English


Language Arts Test
Practice lessons with multiple-choice, short-response, and
extended-response items

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A full-length English Language Arts practice test