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Jamey Acosta
The articles in this book are collected from the TIME For Kids archives.
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Author
Jamey Acosta
The articles in this book are collected from the TIME For Kids archives.
Editors Creative Director
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Standards Compendium, Copyright 2004 McREL

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ISBN 978-1-4258-0246-2
© 2008 Shell Education

The classroom teacher may reproduce copies of materials in this book for classroom use only. The
reproduction of any part for an entire school or school system is strictly prohibited. No part of this
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 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Table of Contents
Introduction................................................................................................................. 4
Teaching Nonfiction Comprehension Skills............................................................. 9
Teaching Vocabulary................................................................................................. 14
Correlation to Standards.......................................................................................... 17
Lessons........................................................................................................................ 18
In the Middle................................................................................................................................................18
Good Medical News...................................................................................................................................22
High-Tech Bullies........................................................................................................................................26
A Belated Honor..........................................................................................................................................30
One Tough Job.............................................................................................................................................34
Welcome to the City of the Future...........................................................................................................38
A Checkup on Wheels................................................................................................................................42
A Call to End Darfur’s Violence................................................................................................................46
Discoveries from the Land Down Under................................................................................................50
The War Goes On........................................................................................................................................54
A Larger-Than-Life President...................................................................................................................58
A Democracy Divided................................................................................................................................62
Kids in Charge..............................................................................................................................................66
A Language Art............................................................................................................................................70
An Immigrant Nation.................................................................................................................................74
Grade Expectations.....................................................................................................................................78
Catch a Comet by Its Tail...........................................................................................................................82
Remembering Rosa Parks..........................................................................................................................86
The White Sox Sweep to Victory..............................................................................................................90
Seeds of Hope...............................................................................................................................................94
A Taste of History........................................................................................................................................98
Power Shift..................................................................................................................................................102
Appendices............................................................................................................... 106
Appendix A: References Cited................................................................................................................106
Appendix B: Student Achievement Graph...........................................................................................107
Appendix C: Answer Key.........................................................................................................................108

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 


Introduction
Introduction and Research
Comprehension is the primary goal of any reading task. According to the RAND Reading Study
Group, comprehension is “the process of simultaneously extracting and constructing meaning through
interaction and involvement with written language” (2002, 11). Students who comprehend what
they read have more opportunities in life, as well as better test performance. In order for students
to become proficient readers, it is necessary that they are taught comprehension strategies such as
predicting, monitoring comprehension, summarizing, visualizing, questioning, making connections,
and inferring meaning (Miller 2002; Pardo 2002).
Focus on reading comprehension has become more urgent in light of NCLB legislation and emphasis
on standardized testing. Because the majority of text found on standardized tests is nonfiction
(Grigg, Daane, Jin, & Campbell 2003), teachers are now finding a greater need to teach skills using
informational texts. For this reason, Comprehension and Critical Thinking provides teachers with
informational texts in the form of articles about the contemporary world, as well as the past.
Research suggests that students need preparation in order to be successful on standardized tests.
Gulek states: “Adequate and appropriate test preparation plays an important role in helping students
demonstrate their knowledge and skills in high-stakes testing situations” (2003, 42). This preparation
includes, among other things, teaching content and test-taking skills. Skills practiced when using
the articles in Comprehension and Critical Thinking provide an excellent foundation for improving
students’ test-taking abilities.
Not only is reading nonfiction texts beneficial for testing purposes, but studies also show that students
actually prefer informational texts. A 1998 study by Kletzien that focused on children’s preferences
for reading material indicated that younger children chose nonfiction text close to half the time when
choosing their own reading materials. Similar studies (Ivey & Broaddus 2000; Moss & Hendershot
2002) revealed that older children prefer nonfiction and find greater motivation when reading
informational texts.
In this book, each nonfiction passage includes document-based questions similar to trends in
standardized testing. The students respond to a critical-thinking question based on the information
gleaned from a given document. This document is related to the passage it accompanies.
Document-based questions show a student’s ability to apply prior knowledge and his or her capacity
to transfer knowledge to a new situation. The activities are time efficient, allowing students to practice
these skills every week. To yield the best results, such practice must begin at the start of the school
year.
Students will need to use test-taking skills and strategies throughout their lives. The exercises
in Comprehension and Critical Thinking will guide your students to become better readers and
test takers. After practicing the exercises in this book, you will be pleased with your students’
comprehension performance not only on standardized tests, but also with any expository text they
encounter within the classroom and beyond its walls.

 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Introduction (cont.)

Objectives
All lessons in this book are designed to support the following objectives.
The students will:
• answer who, what, where, why, when, and how questions about the article
• support answers with information found in the article
• support answers with information inferred from the article
• support answers with information based on prior knowledge
• identify the main ideas in the article
• identify supporting details in the article
• draw conclusions based on information learned in the article
• make predictions based on information learned in the article
• form and defend an opinion based on information learned in the article
• respond to questions in written form

Readability
All of the reading passages included in this book have a 6.0–6.9 reading level based on the
Flesch-Kincaid Readability Formula. This formula determines a readability level by calculating the
number of words, syllables, and sentences.

Preparing Students to Read Nonfiction Text


One of the best ways to prepare students to read expository text is to read a short selection aloud daily.
Reading expository text aloud is critical to developing your students’ abilities to read it themselves.
Because making predictions is another way to help students tap into their prior knowledge, read the
beginning of a passage, then stop and ask the students to predict what might occur next. Do this at
several points throughout your reading of the text. By doing this over time, you will find that your
students’ abilities to make accurate predictions greatly increases.
Of course, talking about nonfiction concepts is also very important. However, remember that
discussion can never replace actually reading nonfiction texts because people rarely speak using the
vocabulary and complex sentence structures of written language.
Asking questions helps students, especially struggling readers, to focus on what is important in a text.
Also, remember the significance of wait time. Research has shown that the amount of time an educator
waits for a student to answer after posing a question has a critical effect on learning. So, after you ask
a student a question, silently count to five (or ten, if you have a student who struggles to get his or her
thoughts into words) before giving any additional prompts or redirecting the question to another student.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 


Introduction (cont.)

Bloom’s Taxonomy
The questions that follow each passage in Comprehension and Critical Thinking assess all levels of
learning by following Bloom’s Taxonomy, a six-level classification system for comprehension questions
that was devised by Benjamin Bloom in 1956. The questions that follow each passage are always
presented in order, progressing from knowledge to evaluation.
The skills listed for each level are essential to keep in mind when teaching comprehension in order to
assure that your students reach the higher levels of thinking. Use this classification to form your own
questions whenever your students listen to or read material.
Level 1: Knowledge—Students recall information or find requested information in an article. They
show memory of dates, events, places, people, and main ideas.
Level 2: Comprehension—Students understand information. This means that they can find
information that is stated in a different way from how the question is presented. It also means that
students can rephrase or restate information in their own words.
Level 3: Application—Students apply their knowledge to a specific situation. They may be asked to do
something new with the knowledge.
Level 4: Analysis—Students break things into components and examine those parts. They notice
patterns in information.
Level 5: Synthesis—Students do something new with the information. They pull knowledge together
to create new ideas. They generalize, predict, plan, and draw conclusions.
Level 6: Evaluation—Students make judgments and assess value. They form opinions and defend
them. They can also understand another person’s viewpoint.

Practice Suggestions: Short-Answer Questions


The short-answer question for each passage is evaluative—the highest level of Bloom’s Taxonomy. It is
basically an opinion statement with no definitive right answer. The students are asked to take stances
and defend them. While there is no correct response, it is critical to show the students how to support
their opinions using facts and logic. Show the students a format for response—state their opinion
followed by the word because and a reason. For example, “I do not think that whales should be kept at
sea parks because they are wild animals and don’t want to be there. They want to be in the ocean with
their friends.” Do not award credit unless the child adequately supports his or her conclusion. Before
passing back the practice papers, make note of two children who had opposing opinions. Then, during
the discussion, call on each of these students to read his or her short-answer response to the class. (If
all the children drew the same conclusion, come up with support for the opposing one yourself.)

 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Introduction (cont.)

Practice Suggestions: Document-Based Questions


It is especially important to guide your students in how to understand, interpret, and respond to the
document-based questions. For these questions, in order to formulate a response, the students will
have to rely on their prior knowledge and common sense in addition to the information provided
in the document. Again, the best way to teach this is to demonstrate through thinking aloud how to
figure out an answer. Since these questions are usually interpretive, you can allow for some variation in
student responses.
The more your students practice, the more competent and confident they will become. Plan to have
the class do every exercise in Comprehension and Critical Thinking. If you have some students who
cannot read the articles independently, allow them to read with partners, and then work through
the comprehension questions alone. Eventually, all students must practice reading and answering
the questions independently. Move to this stage as soon as possible. For the most effective practice
sessions, follow these steps:

1. Have the students read the text silently and answer the questions.

2. Collect all the papers to score the short-answer and the document-based question portions.

3. Return the papers to their owners, and discuss how the students determined their answers.

4. Refer to the exact wording in the passage.

5. Point out how students had to use their background knowledge to answer certain questions.

6. Discuss how students should explain their stances in each short-answer question.

7. Discuss the document-based questions thoroughly.

Practice Suggestions: Document-Based Extension Activities


The document-based extension activities provide students with opportunities to investigate topics
related to the article in more detail. It may be useful to complete several of the document-based
extension activities as a whole class prior to assigning them to students. By doing so, students will
develop an understanding of how the activities relate to the article that was read, the types of activities
that are available, as well as the amount of detail needed to successfully complete the activities.
The document-based extension activities can be completed individually, in pairs, or in small groups.
You may assign the activities to the students, or allow them to select activities that interest them.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 


Introduction (cont.)

Scoring the Practice Passages


Identify the number of correct responses when scoring the practice passages. Share the number of
correct responses with the students. This is the number they will most easily identify; additionally, the
number of correct responses coincides with the Student Achievement Graph. However, for your own
records and to share with the parents, you may want to keep track of numeric scores for each student.
If you choose to do this, do not write the numeric score on the paper.
To generate a numeric score, follow these guidelines:

Number of Points Possible Total Number


Type of Question
Questions Per Question of Points
Short-answer questions 6 5 points each 30 points
Document-based questions 2 20 points 40 points
Document-based extension 1 30 points 30 points
Total 100 points

Standardized Test Success


One of the key objectives of Comprehension and Critical Thinking is to prepare your students to get
the best possible scores on the reading portion of standardized tests. A student’s ability to do well on
traditional standardized tests in comprehension requires these factors:
• a large vocabulary
• test-taking skills
• the ability to effectively cope with stress
Every student in your class needs instruction in test-taking skills. Even fluent readers and logical
thinkers will perform better on standardized tests if you provide instruction in the following areas:
Understanding the question—Teach the students how to break down the question to figure out what
is really being asked. This book will prepare the students for the kinds of questions they will encounter
on standardized tests.
Concentrating only on what the text says—Show the students how to restrict their responses to only
what is asked. When you review the practice passages, ask your students to show where they found the
correct response in the text.
Maintaining concentration—Use classroom time to practice this in advance. Reward the students
for maintaining concentration. Explain to them the purpose of this practice and the reason why
concentration is so essential.

 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Teaching Nonfiction Comprehension Skills
Nonfiction comprehension encompasses many skills that develop with a lot of practice. The following
information offers a brief overview of the crucial skills of recognizing text structure, visualizing,
summarizing, and learning new vocabulary. This information is designed for use with other classroom
materials, not the practice passages in Comprehension and Critical Thinking.
Many of these skills can be found in scope-and-sequence charts and standards for reading
comprehension:
• recognizes the main idea • classifies, sorts into categories
• identifies details • compares and contrasts
• determines sequence • makes generalizations
• recalls details • draws conclusions
• labels parts • recognizes text organization
• summarizes • predicts outcome and consequences
• identifies time sequence • experiences an emotional reaction to a text
• describes character(s) • recognizes facts
• retells information in own words • applies information to a new situation

Typical Comprehension Questions


Teaching the typical kinds of standardized-test questions gives students an anticipation framework
and helps them learn how to comprehend what they read. It also boosts their test scores. Questions
generally found on standardized reading comprehension tests are as follows:
Facts—questions based on what the text states: who, what, when, where, why, and how
Sequence—questions based on order: what happened first, last, and in-between
Conditions—questions asking the students to compare, contrast, and find the similarities and
differences
Summarizing—questions that require the students to restate, paraphrase, choose main ideas,
conclude, and select a title
Vocabulary—questions based on word meaning, synonyms and antonyms, proper nouns, words in
context, technical words, geographical words, and unusual adjectives
Outcomes—questions that ask readers to draw upon their own experiences or prior knowledge, which
means that students must understand cause and effect, consequences, and implications
Opinion—questions that ask the author’s intent and require the use of inference skills
Document-based—questions that require students to analyze information from a source document to
draw a conclusion or form an opinion

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 


Teaching Nonfiction Comprehension Skills (cont.)

Teaching Text Structure


Students lacking in knowledge of text structure are at a distinct disadvantage, yet this skill is
sometimes overlooked in instruction. When referring to a text to locate information to answer a
question, understanding structure allows students to quickly locate the right area in which to look.
The students also need to understand text structure in order to make predictions and improve overall
comprehension.
Some students have been so immersed in print that they have a natural understanding of structure.
For instance, they realize that the first sentence of a paragraph often contains the main idea, followed
by details about that idea. But many students need direct instruction in text structure. The first step
in this process is making certain that students know the way that authors typically present ideas in
writing. This knowledge is a major asset for students.
Transitional paragraphs join together two paragraphs to make the writing flow. Most transitional
paragraphs do not have a main idea. In all other paragraph types, there is a main idea, even if it is not
stated. In the following examples, the main idea is italicized. In order of frequency, the four types of
expository paragraph structures are as follows:
1. The main idea is often the first sentence of a paragraph. The rest of the paragraph
provides the supporting details.
Clara Barton, known as America’s first nurse, was a brave and devoted humanitarian. While
caring for others, she was shot at, got frostbitten fingers, and burned her hands. She had severe
laryngitis twice and almost lost her eyesight. Yet she continued to care for the sick and injured
until she died at the age of 91.
2. The main idea may fall in the center of the paragraph, surrounded on both sides by
details.
The coral has created a reef where more than 200 kinds of birds and about 1,500 types of fish
live. In fact, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef provides a home for many interesting animals. These
include sea turtles, giant clams, crabs, and crown-of-thorns starfish.
3. The main idea comes at the end of the paragraph as a summary of the details that came
before.
Each year, Antarctica spends six months in darkness, from mid-March to mid-September. The
continent is covered year-round by ice, which causes sunlight to reflect off its surface. It never
really warms up. In fact, the coldest temperature ever recorded was in Antarctica. Antarctica
has one of the harshest environments in the world.
4. The main idea is not stated in the paragraph and must be inferred from the details given.
This paragraph structure is the most challenging for primary students.
The biggest sea horse ever found was over a foot long. Large sea horses live along the coasts of
New Zealand, Australia, and California. Smaller sea horses live off the coast of Florida, in the
Caribbean Sea, and in the Gulf of Mexico. The smallest adult sea horse ever found was only
one-half inch long!
In this example, the implied main idea is that sea horses’ sizes vary based on where they live.
10 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education
Teaching Nonfiction Comprehension Skills (cont.)

Teaching Text Structure (cont.)


Some other activities that will help your students understand text structure include the following:
Color code—While reading a text, have the students use different-colored pencils or highlighters to
color-code important elements such as the main idea (red), supporting details (yellow), causes (green)
and effects (purple), and facts (blue) and opinions (orange). When they have finished, ask them to
describe the paragraph’s structure in their own words.
Search the text—Teach the students to identify the key words in a question and look specifically for
those words in the passage. Then, when you discuss a comprehension question with the students, ask
them, “Which words will you look for in the text to find the answer? If you can’t find the words, can
you find synonyms? Where will you look for the words?”
Signal words—There are specific words used in text that indicate, or signal, that the text has a
cause-effect, sequence, or comparison structure. Teaching your students these words will greatly
improve their abilities to detect text structure and increase their comprehension.

These Signal Words… Indicate…


since, because, caused by, as a result, before and after, cause and effect
so, this led to, if/then, reasons, brought about, so that, The answer to “Why did it happen?” is a
when/then, that’s why cause.
The answer to “What happened?” is an
effect.
first, second, third, next, then, after, before, last, sequence
later, since then, now, while, meanwhile, at the same
time, finally, when, at last, in the end, since that time,
following, on (date), at (time)
but, even if, even though, although, however, instead, compare/contrast
not only, unless, yet, on the other hand, either/or, as
well as, “–er” and “–st” words (such as better, best,
shorter, tallest, bigger, smallest, most, worst)

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 11


Teaching Nonfiction Comprehension Skills (cont.)

Teaching Visualization Skills


Visualization—Visualization is seeing the words of a text as mental images. It is a significant factor
that sets proficient readers apart from low-achieving ones. Studies have shown that the ability to
generate vivid images while reading strongly correlates with a person’s comprehension of text.
However, research has also revealed that 20 percent of all children do not visualize or experience
sensory images when reading. These children are thus handicapped in their abilities to comprehend
text, and they are usually the students who avoid and dislike reading because they never connect to
text in a personal, meaningful way.
Active visualization can completely engross a reader in text. You have experienced this when you just
could not put a book down and you stayed up all night just to finish it. Skilled readers automatically
weave their own memories into text as they read to make personalized, lifelike images. In fact, every
person develops a unique interpretation of any text. This personalized reading experience explains why
most people prefer a book to its movie.
Visualization is not static; unlike photographs, these are “movies in the mind.” Mental images must
constantly be modified to incorporate new information as it is disclosed by the text. Therefore, your
students must learn how to revise their images if they encounter information that requires them to do so.
Sensory Imaging—Sensory imaging employs other senses besides sight and is closely related to visual
imaging. It too has been shown to be crucial to the construction of meaning during reading. This is
because the more senses that are employed in a task, the more neural pathways are built, resulting in
more avenues to access information. You have experienced sensory imaging when you could almost smell
the smoke of a forest fire, taste the sizzling bacon, or laughed along with a character as you read. Sensory
imaging connects the reader personally and intimately to the text and breathes life into words.
Since visualization is a challenging skill for one out of every five students to develop, begin with simple
fictional passages to scaffold their attempts and promote success. After your students have experienced
success with visualization and sensory imaging in literature, they are ready to employ these techniques
in nonfiction text.
Visualization has a special significance in nonfiction text. The technical presentation of ideas in
nonfiction text coupled with new terms and concepts often overwhelms and discourages students.
Using visualization can help students move beyond these barriers. As an added benefit, people who
create mental images display better long-term retention of factual material.
Clearly, there are important reasons to teach visualization and sensory imaging skills to students. But
perhaps the most compelling reason is this: visualizing demands active involvement, turning passive
students into active constructors of meaning.

12 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Teaching Nonfiction Comprehension Skills (cont.)

Teaching Visualization Skills (cont.)


Doing Think-Alouds—It is essential for you to introduce visualization by doing think-alouds to
describe your own visualization of text. To do this, read aloud the first one or two lines of a passage
and describe what images come to your mind. Be sure to include details that were not stated in the
text, such as the house has two stories and green shutters. Then, read the next two lines, and explain
how you add to or modify your image based on the new information provided by the text. When you
are doing a think-aloud for your class, be sure to do the following:
• Explain how your images help you to better understand the passage.
• Describe details, being sure to include some from your own schema.
• Mention the use of your senses—the more the better.
• Describe your revision of the images as you read further and encounter new information.

Teaching Summarizing
Summarizing informational text is a crucial skill for students to master. It is also one of the most
challenging. Summarizing means pulling out only the essential elements of a passage—just the main
idea and supporting details. Research has shown that having students put information into their own
words causes it to be processed more thoroughly. Thus, summarizing increases both understanding
and long-term retention of material. Information can be summarized through such diverse activities as
speaking, writing, drawing, or creating a project.
The basic steps of summarizing are as follows:
• Look for the paragraph’s main idea sentence; if there is none, create one.
• Find the supporting details, being certain to group all related terms or ideas.
• Record information that is repeated or restated only once.
• Put the summary together into an organized format.
Scaffolding is of critical importance. Your students will need a lot of modeling, guided practice, and
small-group or partner practice before attempting to summarize independently. All strategies should
be done as a whole group and then with a partner several times before letting the students practice
them on their own. Encourage the greatest transfer of knowledge by modeling each strategy’s use in
multiple content areas.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 13


Teaching Vocabulary
Students may see a word in print that they have never read or heard before. As a result, students
need direct instruction in vocabulary to make real progress toward becoming readers who can
independently access expository text. Teaching the vocabulary that occurs in a text significantly
improves comprehension. Because students encounter vocabulary terms in science, social studies,
math, and language arts, strategies for decoding and understanding new words must be taught
throughout the day.
Students’ vocabularies develop in this order: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. This means that
a child understands a word when it is spoken to him or her long before he or she uses it in speech.
The child will also understand the word when reading it before attempting to use it in his or her
own writing. Each time a child comes across the same word, his or her understanding of that word
deepens. Research has shown that vocabulary instruction has the most positive effect on reading
comprehension when students encounter the words multiple times. That is why the best vocabulary
instruction requires students to use new words in writing and speaking as well as in reading.
Teaching vocabulary can be both effective and fun, especially if you engage the students’ multiple
modalities (listening, speaking, reading, and writing). In addition, instruction that uses all four
modalities is most apt to reach every learner.
The more experience a child has with language, the stronger his or her vocabulary base. Therefore,
the majority of vocabulary activities should be done as whole-group or small-group instruction. In
this way, children with limited vocabularies can learn from their peers’ knowledge bases and will
find vocabulary activities less frustrating. Remember, too, that a picture is worth a thousand words.
Whenever possible, provide pictures of new vocabulary words.

Selecting Vocabulary Words to Study


Many teachers feel overwhelmed when teaching vocabulary because they realize that it is impossible to
thoroughly cover all the words students may not know. Do not attempt to study every unknown word.
Instead, choose the words from each selection wisely. Following these guidelines in order will result in
an educationally sound vocabulary list:
• Choose words that are critical to the article’s meaning.
• Choose conceptually difficult words.
• Choose words with the greatest utility value—those that you anticipate the children will see
more often (e.g., choose horrified rather than appalled).
These suggestions are given for teaching nonfiction material in general. Do not select and preteach
vocabulary from these practice passages. You want to simulate real test conditions in which the
children would have no prior knowledge of any of the material in any of the passages.

14 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Teaching Vocabulary (cont.)

Elements of Effective Vocabulary Instruction


Vocabulary instruction is only effective if students permanently add the concepts to their knowledge
bases. Research has shown that the most effective vocabulary program includes contextual, structural,
and classification strategies. You can do this by making certain that your vocabulary instruction
includes the following elements:
• using context clues
• knowing the meaning of affixes (prefixes, suffixes) and roots
• introducing new words as synonyms and antonyms of known words

Using Context Clues


Learning vocabulary in context is important for two reasons. First, it allows students to become active
in determining word meanings; and second, it transfers into their lives by offering them a way to figure
out unknown words in their independent reading. If you teach your students how to use context clues,
you may eventually be able to omit preteaching any vocabulary that is defined in context (so long as
the text is written at your students’ independent levels).
There are five basic kinds of context clues.
• Definition—The definition is given elsewhere in the sentence or paragraph.
Example: The ragged, tattered dress hung from her shoulders.
• Synonym—A synonym or synonymous phrase is used in the sentence.
Example: Although she was overweight, her obesity never bothered her until she went to middle
school.
• Contrast—The meaning may be implied through contrast to a known word or concept. Be alert
to these words that signal contrast: although, but, however, and even though.
Example: Although Adesha had always been prompt, today he was 20 minutes late.
• Summary—The meaning is summed up by a list of attributes.
Example: Tundra, desert, grassland, and rain forest are four of Earth’s biomes.
• Mood—The meaning of the word can sometimes be grasped from the mood of the larger
context in which it appears. The most difficult situation is when the meaning must be inferred
with few other clues.
Example: Her shrill voice was actually making my ears hurt.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 15


Teaching Vocabulary (cont.)

Building Vocabulary
Your general approach to building vocabulary should include the following:
Brainstorming—Students brainstorm a list of words associated with a familiar word, sharing
everyone’s knowledge and thoroughly discussing unfamiliar words.
Semantic mapping—Students sort the brainstormed words into categories, often creating a visual
organization tool—such as a graphic organizer or word web—to depict the relationships.
Feature analysis—Students are provided with the key features of the text and a list of terms in a chart,
such as a semantic matrix or Venn diagram. Have the students identify the similarities and differences
between the items.
Synonyms and antonyms—Introduce both synonyms and antonyms for the words to provide a
structure for meaning and substantially and rapidly increase your students’ vocabularies.
Analogies—Analogies are similar to synonyms but require higher-level thinking. The goal is to help
students identify the relationship between words. Analogies appear on standardized tests in the upper
elementary grades.
Example: Bark is to tree as skin is to human.
Word affixes—Studying common prefixes and suffixes helps students deduce new words, especially in
context. Teach students to ask, “Does this look like any other word I know? Can I find any word parts I
know? Can I figure out the meaning based on its context?”
Important Affixes for Primary Grades

Prefix Meaning Example Suffix Meaning Example


cars;
un not unusual -s or -es more than one
tomatoes
re again redo -ed did an action moved

in, im not impassable -ing doing an action buying

dis opposite disassemble -ly like, very usually

non not nonathletic -er a person who farmer

over too much overcook -ful full of respectful

mis bad misrepresent -or a person who creator

pre before prearrange -less without harmless

de opposite decompose -er more calmer

under less underachieve -est most happiest

16 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Correlation to Standards
The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation mandates that all states adopt academic standards that
identify the skills students will learn in kindergarten through grade 12. While many states had already
adopted academic standards prior to NCLB, the legislation set requirements to ensure the standards
were detailed and comprehensive.
Standards are designed to focus instruction and guide adoption of curricula. Standards are statements
that describe the criteria necessary for students to meet specific academic goals. They define the
knowledge, skills, and content students should acquire at each level. Standards are also used to
develop standardized tests to evaluate students’ academic progress.
In many states today, teachers are required to demonstrate how their lessons meet state standards.
State standards are used in the development of Shell Education products, so educators can be assured
that they meet the academic requirements of each state.

How to Find Your State Correlations


Shell Education is committed to producing educational materials that are research and standards
based. In this effort, all products are correlated to the academic standards of the 50 states, the District
of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Dependent Schools. A correlation report customized for
your state can be printed directly from the following website: http://www.shelleducation.com. If you
require assistance in printing correlation reports, please contact Customer Service at 1-877-777-3450.

McREL Compendium
Shell Education uses the Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL) Compendium to
create standards correlations. Each year, McREL analyzes state standards and revises the compendium.
By following this procedure, they are able to produce a general compilation of national standards.
Each reading comprehension strategy assessed in this book is based on one or more McREL content
standards. The list below shows the McREL standards that correlate to each lesson used in the book.
To see a state-specific correlation, visit the Shell Education website at http://www.shelleducation.com.

Language Arts Standards


Standard 1 Uses the general skills and strategies of the writing process.
1.2 Uses strategies to draft and revise written work.
Standard 5 Uses the general skills and strategies of the reading process.
5.1 Uses mental images based on pictures and print to aid in comprehension of text.
5.2 Uses meaning clues to aid comprehension.
Standard 7 Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of
informational texts.
7.1 Uses reading skills and strategies to understand a variety of informational texts.
7.2 Understands the main idea and supporting details of simple expository information.
7.3 Summarizes information found in texts.
7.4 Relates new information to prior knowledge and experiences.
© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 17
Directions: Read the article.

In the Middle
Kennedy Frank, 11, goes to Humboldt Park K–8 School, in Milwaukee,
Wisconsin. Humboldt Park is one of 54 kindergarten through eighth grade
schools in the area. The school is part of a growing movement to change the
way kids ages 10–15 are educated. More and more educators are turning away
from middle schools for grades 6–8 in favor of K–8 schools.

Learning from the Past


Middle schools were created in the 1970s to fix flaws in traditional junior
high schools, which housed grades seven through nine. Middle schools were
supposed to ease kids into the rigors of high school with a curriculum tailored
to fit their changing physical and emotional lives. The middle school model
added sixth-graders, in part to help ease overcrowding in elementary schools.
Recent studies suggest that middle schools aren’t faring any better than
junior highs were. Psychologist Janna Juvonen says that sixth grade is a poor
time to switch schools. Kids’ minds and bodies are going through so many
changes that they need “more stability in terms of relationships with teachers
and their peers.”
The move to middle school also seems to have an effect on classroom
performance. Between 1999 and 2004, the nation’s elementary school students
saw increased test scores in reading and math. Middle school students made
smaller gains in math but made no progress in reading. And in New York
State, grade-by-grade testing in 2006 showed that students’ reading scores
dropped between the fifth and sixth grades.
Still, some argue that test scores can’t tell the whole story. Barry Fein,
principal of Seth Low Intermediate School in New York City, says that the
move from elementary to middle school is “a very hard transition.” But the
adjustment is well worth it, he adds, because middle schools offer students
more classes, team sports, and clubs.

No Easy Answers
Education officials, teachers, and students have their reasons for favoring
one kind of school over the other. But all agree that having the best-possible
learning environment for each kid is most important.
In California’s Capistrano Unified School District, parents and students now
have the option of choosing either a K–8 school or a middle school. “K–8 isn’t
a (magic) bullet,” says Lois Anderson, a Capistrano assistant superintendent.
“It won’t make other challenges go away.”

18 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

In the Middle (cont.)

Directions: Answer the questions. You may look at the article.

1. Why are more and more educators turning away from traditional middle schools, grades
6–8, in favor of K–8 schools?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. Explain Janna Juvonen’s perspective on switching schools in sixth grade. Do you agree or
disagree with her?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Summarize the impact that the move to middle school seems to have on classroom
performance. What is Barry Fein’s position on this issue?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. Does attending a K–8 school make the all the challenges students face go away? Discuss
your answer.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
5. Compare K–8 schools to middle schools. What are the pros and cons of each option?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
6. As a student, what is your opinion on this debate? Where would you rather be, in a K–8
school or a traditional middle school? Write a brief essay discussing your feelings. Use the
back of this page.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 19


Name ____________________________________________________

In the Middle (cont.)

Which Way Should I Go?


Growing up and getting a proper education is challenging enough, especially for kids aged 10–15.
Now that some schools are changing from the more traditional middle schools (grades 6–8) to
K–8 schools (grades K-8), it is becoming even more confusing for kids. In addition to all the other
questions they have about changes in their minds and bodies, they are now questioning where
they belong and what type of educational environment is best for them. Use the picture below to
answer the questions.

Las Flores Middle School

Humboldt Park
K-8 School

“Which school is right for me?”

1. Explain what is happening in the picture.


______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. Do you think that choosing which type of school is best for you is a difficult decision?
Predict the impact that choosing the wrong type of school could have on your future.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Write a paragraph describing how the student is feeling and what he might be thinking
about. Use the back of this page.

20 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

In the Middle (cont.)

Document-Based Extension Activities


Students may work independently, or the teacher may copy this page and then cut out activities
and distribute them to students for completion in small groups.

1. Conduct an interview with a parent


or teacher about his or her sixth-
grade experience. What do you 2. Take a class poll. Ask your classmates
want to know? Write down a list of if they would rather go to a traditional
questions you might ask. Compare 6–8 middle school, or a K–8 school.
the experiences of the person you Create a table illustrating your findings.
interviewed with yours. Write an essay
comparing the different points of view.

4. Your school district has decided not


to close its middle school doors. This
decision goes against the efforts parents
have been putting toward switching
to K–8 schools. As principal of your
3. Make a Venn diagram for middle middle school, you must write a
schools (6–8) and K–8 schools. Your persuasive letter convincing parents
diagram should provide information on that this is the best decision for the
various ways the schools are alike and students. Your letter will need facts
different. and evidence to support your position.
Remember: the goal is to convince
parents you are right and that you have
their children’s best interests in mind.
More research to support your position
may be necessary.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 21


Directions: Read the article.

Good Medical News


In January 2007, health officials announced good news in the battle
against cancer. For the second year in a row, fewer people in the United
States died of cancer.
Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in America, after heart
disease. But science is making strides against the disease’s hefty toll. The
new report shows that there were 3,014 fewer cancer-related deaths in 2004
than in 2003. The numbers also decreased from 2002 to 2003. That was the
first drop since 1930.
The new data indicates a trend. “It’s not only continuing,” says Ahmedin
Jemal of the American Cancer Society. “The decrease in the second year is
much larger.”
Death rates have fallen for three of the most common kinds of cancer.
Experts believe that early detection, advances in treatment, and a decline
in smoking are responsible for the positive change. The American Cancer
Society says it believes cancer deaths will continue to go lower.
“It’s very exciting,” says Dr. Felice Schnoll-Sussman of New York
Presbyterian Hospital’s Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City.
“Once you start to see a trend like this, it makes you feel like we must be
doing something right.”

22 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

Good Medical News (cont.)

Directions: Answer the questions. You may use the article.

1. What is the good news about cancer?


______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. What is the only disease that causes more deaths than cancer?
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Explain what experts believe to be responsible for the positive change in cancer death rates.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. According to Ahmedin Jemal of the American Cancer Society, what trend does the new
data indicate?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
5. What does this news mean to cancer sufferers? Does it provide hope for their future?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
6. Early detection is one way to fight back against cancer. Develop a campaign for your
neighborhood that encourages adults to visit their doctors regularly. Create a flyer with
facts and statistics about the survival rate of those who detect their cancer early. Use the
back of this page.
7. Do you know anyone who currently has cancer, survived cancer, or lost his or her life to
cancer? Write a paragraph about how cancer has personally affected your life. If you don’t
have a personal connection with anyone, then simply write a paragraph detailing what you
know or want to know about cancer. Use the back of this page or another paper to write
your response.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 23


Name ____________________________________________________

Good Medical News (cont.)

Common Cancers for Men and Women


Unfortunately, cancer is not picky. Cancer strikes regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity. However,
if you know your risks, live a healthy life, avoid smoking and drinking alcohol, and see your doctor
regularly, you have a better chance of fighting off cancer. The table below lists, in order, the top
cancers that affect men and women. Use the table to answer the questions below.

Women Men
Breast Cancer Prostate Cancer
Lung Cancer Lung Cancer
Colon Cancer Colon Cancer
Uterine Cancer Bladder Cancer
Ovarian Cancer Melanoma
Melanoma Kidney Cancer
Bladder Cancer Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic Cancer Stomach Cancer
Cervical Cancer
Kidney Cancer
Stomach Cancer

1. What are the top five cancers affecting women? What about men?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. What types of cancers are specific to women? What about men?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Lung cancer is said to be the most preventable of all cancers. Why is this so? What is one
way we can avoid getting lung cancer?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

24 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

Good Medical News (cont.)

Document-Based Extension Activities


Students may work independently, or the teacher may copy this page and then cut out activities
and distribute them to students for completion in small groups.

1. There are many foundations and


charities that help make life a little
easier for children with cancer. 2. Create a presentation for your class on
Research some of these foundations ways to prevent lung cancer. Include
and/or charities and pick two to share informational posters, websites,
with your class. You should learn as brochures, etc., that will help your class
much as you can about their missions. get a better understanding about what
Do they operate on donations and lung cancer is, what causes it, and how
volunteers? If possible, share some to prevent it.
stories of children who have been
touched by the foundation’s work.

3. If you could interview a cancer 4. Many people are afraid to talk about
researcher, what would you want to cancer. Do you understand why? How
know? Think of at least five questions. does talking about cancer make you
Maybe you want to know what feel? Do you think that even though
particular cancer he or she is studying it is an uncomfortable subject, we still
and related statistics. What are the need to learn and talk about it? Why
pros and cons of the job? or why not? Write a few paragraphs
detailing your feelings and opinions.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 25


Directions: Read the article.

High-Tech Bullies
Mariah Lopez, 12, didn’t have much to cheer about after cheerleading
tryouts last month. Girls started a mean rumor about her. The tale spread
throughout her school, where more lies started. Soon Mariah started to
receive disturbing text messages and calls from numbers she didn’t recognize.
When the messages turned into threats, Mariah reached out to adults for help.
She told her parents and contacted her school principal.
Today, the bully battles have moved to a new frontier—cyberspace. Using
emails, instant messages, websites, and cell phones, cyberbullies deliberately
harm or threaten others. With their identities hidden behind computer
screens, cyberbullies can be harder to catch, and sometimes even bolder than
their playground predecessors.

Bullying by the Numbers


Criminal-justice professors Justin Patchin and Sameer Hinduja surveyed
1,500 kids ages 10 to 17. They report that about one-third of the kids claimed
to have been cyberbullied. Sue Limber and Robin Kowalski, researchers and
teachers at Clemson University in South Carolina, recently finished a study
of 3,767 students in grades six through eight. They found the most popular
method of cyberbullying is instant messaging. Mean messages in chat rooms,
emails, and on websites were close behind. Limber and Kowalski also found
that girls were twice as likely as boys to be the victims of attacks.

That’s E-Nough!
Several states either have laws or are working on laws that require school
districts to ban cyberbullying and punish students who are involved. But
cracking down on cyberbullying is challenging. Some officials question
whether schools can legally punish students for those actions.
Finding out the identity of the bully and getting kids to report a problem
pose additional problems. “It is difficult for someone who is being
cyberbullied to know who is doing it because identities can often be hidden or
false,” Limber says. If you are a victim, she advises, ask an adult for help.

Something to Cheer About


Mariah was thankful that her parents and principal got involved. After
the cyberbullies were identified, her principal confronted them. Mariah’s
school district, which is in Highland, Utah, voted to add cyberbullying to its
antibullying rules. Her school’s efforts could give other kids something to
cheer about.

26 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

High-Tech Bullies (cont.)

Directions: Answer the questions. You may use the article.

1. What is the most popular method of cyberbullying? What other methods are there?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. Explain why cracking down on cyberbullying can be challenging.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. According to the study conducted by Sue Limber and Robin Kowalski, who is more likely
to be a target of cyberbullying, girls or boys? How much more likely? Why?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. Summarize Mariah Lopez’s experience with cyberbullying.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
5. Think about a day in the life of Mariah Lopez. How does she feel? Describe some of her
experiences.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
6. Compare and contrast the bullies of the past with the cyberbullies of today. Then, write
a paragraph about how and why cyberbullies are much more dangerous. Use the back of
this page.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 27


Name ____________________________________________________

High-Tech Bullies (cont.)

Fighting Back
Many kids use cell phones, text and instant messaging, chat rooms, and email to keep in touch
with their friends and families. However, for some, it isn’t always this simple. Kids can become
victims of cyberbullies and online predators. It is crucial that kids learn how to be smart when
using cell phones and computers to communicate. Use the information below to help you learn
how to be safe in cyberspace. Then, answer the questions.

Tips for Cyberspace Safety


1. Keep all your personal information (your name, address, phone numbers, and
passwords) a secret.
2. Never arrange a visit with someone you meet online—it can be extremely dangerous.
Only do so with permission from your parents and when they can be with you.
3. Becoming friends with someone online is risky because you don’t know who is on the
other side of the computer. Unfortunately, not everyone is who they say they are.
4. Inform a trusted adult (a parent, teacher, etc.) if someone or something makes you
uncomfortable.

1. What is the purpose of the information provided above?


______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. Why should you keep your personal information private? Discuss the risks of giving your
phone number(s), address, name, passwords, etc. to someone you don’t know.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Explain why chatting online with someone you don’t know can be as dangerous as taking
candy from a stranger.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

28 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

High-Tech Bullies (cont.)

Document-Based Extension Activities


Students may work independently, or the teacher may copy this page and then cut out activities
and distribute them to students for completion in small groups.

2. Conduct a survey. How do the kids in


1. Create a brochure for cyberbullying. your class communicate with others?
Explain what it is, how to prevent it Do they use their cell phones, instant
and how to fight back when and if it messages, text messages, email, chat
happens to you. rooms, etc? Use a graph to represent
your findings.

4. Pretend you are living in a state that


doesn’t yet have a law requiring
schools to ban cyberbullying. Write
3. Write and perform a skit for your class a persuasive letter to your governor
on ways to “just say no to cyberbullying.” convincing him or her of the
For example, you may want to pick importance of such a law. Provide facts
five problems or situations a younger and data illustrating how much of a
child or teenager may face and provide problem cyberbullying is, as well as the
examples of possible solutions. potential threat it poses to children.
You may want to remind your governor
of the states that already have a law in
place.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 29


Directions: Read the article.

A Belated Honor
On March 29, 2007, more than 60 years after bravely serving its country,
a group of African-American pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen was
awarded a Congressional Gold Medal. It is the highest honor that Congress
gives civilians.
The Tuskegee Airmen took part in an Army Air Corps program for
African-Americans during World War II. It was a time of racial divisions and
discrimination. Nearly 1,000 African-American fighter pilots trained at an
air base in Tuskegee, Alabama. They were not allowed to train with white
pilots.
President George W. Bush saluted the airmen at a ceremony in
Washington, D.C. “They were fighting two wars,” he said. “One was in
Europe, and the other took place in the hearts and minds of our citizens.”
The Tuskegee Airmen flew thousands of missions. Dozens of the pilots
died in combat. The medal will be displayed at the Smithsonian Institution,
in Washington, D.C. Each airman will receive a replica. About 300 airmen
and their families and friends attended the awards ceremony on Capitol Hill.
“It’s never too late for your country to say, ‘You’ve done a great job for us,’”
said retired colonel Elmer D. Jones, 89.

30 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

A Belated Honor (cont.)

Directions: Answer the questions. You may use the article.

1. What was the group of African-American pilots known as?


______________________________________________________________________________
2. How many airmen attended the awards ceremony.
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Explain what President Bush meant by “They were fighting two wars. One was in Europe,
and the other took place in the hearts and minds of our citizens.”
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. Write an essay from the perspective of a Tuskegee Airman describing how he felt and what
he experienced from the day he was recruited over 60 years ago up to now, after finally
being recognized for his efforts. Use the back of this page for your essay.
5. Do you agree with retired colonel Elmer D. Jones’ quote at the end of the article? Do you
think it matters when someone is honored for his or her work, as long as honor is given at
some point? What if the person dies before that day of recognition comes? Discuss your
feelings.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
6. If the Tuskegee Airmen were flying today, how would life be different for them and their
families? How would they be treated?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 31


Name ____________________________________________________

A Belated Honor (cont.)

The Tuskegee Airmen


Even though the Tuskegee Airmen fought hard for their country and achieved great success during
World War II, they came home to a country that still discriminated against them because they
were black. Finally, they received the recognition they deserved when President George W. Bush
presented them with the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal. It took 60 years.

1. Describe what you see in the picture.


______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. What do you think the American flag meant to the airmen?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Research the types of planes the airmen flew during the war. Pick three types and list
them by name, provide a brief description, and draw a picture of them. Use the back of
this page.
4. The Tuskegee Airmen painted the tails of their planes red. Why? Research the Tuskegee
Red Tails and explain their significance. Use the back of this page or another paper to write
your response.
32 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education
Name ____________________________________________________

A Belated Honor (cont.)

Document-Based Extension Activities


Students may work independently, or the teacher may copy this page and then cut out activities
and distribute them to students for completion in small groups.

1. Design a poster for a new symbol or 2. You are retired colonel Elmer D.
logo for the Tuskegee Airmen. Create Jones. Write a journal entry for March
one that represents the group’s recent 29, 2007, the day you and the other
honor and their past history. airmen were finally honored for your
accomplishments.

4. Write two newspaper articles.


• The first article should be from the
past. Write about the day President
Franklin Roosevelt ordered the nearly
1,000 African-American black fighter
pilots to an airbase in Tuskegee,
Alabama. You should include
3. Research the history of aviation. Create information about the president’s
a time line detailing key events. Your decision, the country’s reaction, and
time line should include at least 10 the discrimination that the airmen
events. faced.
• The second article should be a
current piece. You are reporting
about the awards ceremony. The
Congressional Gold Medal has finally
been given to the Tuskegee Airmen.
Describe the event, the people there,
and the feelings that come along with
such a historical day.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 33


Directions: Read the article.

One Tough Job


What is it like to negotiate with Condoleezza Rice, the nation’s top
diplomat? She walks into the room, opens up a slim leather notebook and
pulls out a couple of note cards imprinted with the words Secretary of State.
Each card contains five to 10 keywords, points taken from hours of preparation.
Sometimes, the foreign diplomat she’s meeting will respond with a half-
hearted or unacceptable solution. “You need to do better than that,” she will
say. Then she will go at it until someone backs down. “She won’t take no for
an answer,” says one top adviser.

Working Hard to Succeed


The Secretary of State is not accustomed to failure. She played Beethoven
on the piano at age five, became an accomplished ice skater as a teen,
skipped several grades in elementary school and finished college at age 19.
Rice was born in 1954, in Birmingham, Alabama. She grew up at a time
when racism kept most African-Americans out of top jobs. Her loving parents
taught her that she could do anything she wanted to do. She planned to study
music and to follow her passion for piano, which she still plays regularly. But
a lecture by a professor caught her interest and changed her course. Rice
decided to pursue political science and international studies and became
determined to make a difference in the world.
During the administration of President George H.W. Bush, she served on the
National Security Council. She was the National Security Advisor from 2001 to
2005. On January 26, 2005, Rice became the first African-American woman to
serve as United States Secretary of State. As the nation’s top diplomat, she is
in charge of the country’s dealings with other countries.

A Jet-Setting Life
Rice meets with world leaders at home and abroad. In 2006, she took 18
trips to 33 countries, traveling a total of 247,603 miles. She has been asked
to troubleshoot problems with Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and North Korea. Her
success is judged by whether the United States can advance its interests
without resorting to military force. Rice remains optimistic that issues—even
Iran’s desire to promote a nuclear program—can be resolved peacefully.
Each morning, Rice wakes up at 4:45 and is at her desk by 6:30. Still, she
manages to make time for things that are important to her outside of work.
She keeps up with her piano playing, and she exercises daily, at home and on
the road.

34 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

One Tough Job (cont.)

Directions: Answer the questions. You may use the article.

1. As the United States Secretary of State, the nation’s top diplomat, what exactly is
Condoleezza Rice in charge of?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. Where and when was Rice born? Describe what was going on in the world as she was
growing up.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. When Rice first attended college, what did she intend to study? What area did she turn
her focus to? What changed her course?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. Summarize Rice’s journey from college graduate to United States Secretary of State.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
5. What is unique about Rice being the United States Secretary of State?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
6. How is Rice’s success judged?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
7. Think about a time you resolved a problem peacefully. Describe the problem, what
happened, the decisions you made, and how you felt after it was resolved. Predict what
might have happened if you had handled the problem differently. Use the back of this
page.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 35


Name ____________________________________________________

One Tough Job (cont.)

The Indianapolis Colts vs. The Chicago Bears…History is Made


When Tony Dungy’s Indianapolis Colts and Lovie Smith’s Chicago Bears made it to the Super
Bowl in 2007, history was made. Never before in the event’s 41-year history had an African-
American head coach lead his team to the Super Bowl. Two coaches reaching this milestone in
the same year made it even more special. The fact that Condoleezza Rice was rooting for the Colts
didn’t matter—she was there to congratulate both coaches on making history.

1. What two teams made it to the Super Bowl?


______________________________________________________________________________
2. Who were the coaches? What was unique about these head coaches?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. How can Condoleezza Rice relate to the coaches? What major life experiences do they all
share?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. Using the Internet or other sources, research African-American history. Pick three
inspirational African-American figures who made history. Write a short essay about
each person, describing what he or she did and how others were affected by his or her
achievements. Use the back of this page.

36 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

One Tough Job (cont.)

Document-Based Extension Activities


Students may work independently, or the teacher may copy this page and then cut out activities
and distribute them to students for completion in small groups.

1. If you could interview Condoleezza 2. Write a story titled “A Day in the Life of
Rice, what would you want to know? Condoleezza Rice.” Your story should
List at least five questions you would detail her day from the time she wakes
ask, and explain why you would ask up until the time she goes to sleep. If
them. necessary, you can use the Internet or
other sources to get a better idea of
what her daily life consists.

4. Pretend your school has had many


incidents of fighting on campus. As
3. The article mentions that last year class president, you have been recuited
Rice took 18 trips to 33 countries. by your teacher and principal to
Using a blank world map, mark all the develop a workshop on peaceful conflict
locations she visited last year. A few resolution. You will need to pick a
countries were listed in the article, but team of five people to help you prepare
you will need to gather information to for this assignment. Your workshop
determine the remaining countries she should include (but not be limited
visited. Share your findings with the to) an introductory presentation,
class. helpful strategies, posters, and skits
demonstrating possible problems and
solutions.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 37


Directions: Read the article.

Welcome to the City of the Future


The hottest year on record in the United States was 2006. Most scientists say
that human activities have played a significant role in global warming. Much of
our daily activity overloads the atmosphere with carbon dioxide (CO2): driving big
cars, using computers, and building skyscrapers, houses, and schools. Carbon
dioxide and a few other gases trap solar heat near the earth’s surface.
Wealthy countries are the biggest contributors to CO2 overload. About 25
percent of the world’s CO2 output in 2006 came from the United States. Mayors
in at least 453 United States cities have signed an agreement to reduce pollution.
San Francisco, California has banned Styrofoam food containers. New York City
is converting a landfill into a lush park. Chicago, Illinois has more than 200 grass
roofs. Energy-smart communities are on the rise. Here are other ways some
communities are making a difference.

The Green House


Energy-saving homes and buildings conserve water and energy. Grass-
covered rooftops absorb less heat and act as filters for rainwater harvesting.
Geothermal heat pumps use water to cool the home in summer and keep it warm
in winter. Some homes are made from recycled materials. Stores and offices are
within walking distance of homes. Backyards can be used for composting.

Clean Power
Solar panels, wind turbines, hydropower, and geothermal energy use the
power of nature to generate electricity and make things run. Solar panels turn
the sun’s energy into electricity to power homes. Wind turbines, often found
on farms, convert the energy of the wind into electricity. Hydropower harnesses
energy from flowing water. Geothermal energy draws heat from deep within the
earth’s interior. These sources release much less CO2.
Alternative transportation cars, trucks, and buses run on renewable fuels.
Mass transit reduces the use of gasoline. Hybrid cars combine fuel-burning
engines and battery-powered motors. Electric cars run on batteries that are
charged in the same way as laptop computer batteries.

Open Spaces
Backyards are used for composting. Food, paper, and yard waste break down
quickly to create rich soil for gardening. Recycling is as common as taking out
the trash. Even land is recycled. Former airports and dumps are cleaned up and
turned into parks.

38 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

Welcome to the City of the Future (cont.)

Directions: Answer the questions. You may use the article.

1. What types of activities overload the environment with carbon dioxide (CO2)?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. How can people use their backyards to help the environment?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Explain how energy-saving homes and buildings conserve both water and energy. Would
you like to live in an energy-saving house? What about attending an energy-saving school?
Why or why not?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. What are New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago doing to help ease the CO2 output of
the United States? Predict what would happen if the rest of the United States took part in
their efforts.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
5. Wealthy countries are the biggest contributors to CO2 overload. About 25 percent of
the world’s CO2 output comes from the United States alone. Do you think we have a
responsibility to the rest of the world to reduce this amount, and to do it fast? Can you
think of anything you can start doing differently right now?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
6. Draw a picture detailing how you envision the “city of the future” described in the article.
Use the back of this page.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 39


Name ____________________________________________________

Welcome to the City of the Future (cont.)

How Hydropower Works


Hydropower is a favored fuel for producing electricity. Unlike nonrenewable fuel alternatives, it is
renewable, economical, and air- and water-pollution-free, and it doesn’t create waste. Mechanical
energy is created by harnessing moving water (accumulated in reservoirs by dams) through the
penstock (pipe). The water then pushes against and turns the blades in the turbine to spin the
generator. The generator produces electric energy for homes and businesses to use. Use the
diagram to help you answer the questions below.

powerlines
dam

transformer
reservoir

powerhouse

generator
intake
penstock

control
gate

turbine outflow

1. How does the water get to the turbine?


______________________________________________________________________________
2. Where is the water stored?
______________________________________________________________________________
3. What are the benefits of using hydropower energy?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. Where do you think the water comes from? List two possible sources.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
40 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education
Name ____________________________________________________

Welcome to the City of the Future (cont.)

Document-Based Extension Activities


Students may work independently, or the teacher may copy this page and then cut out activities
and distribute them to students for completion in small groups.

1. What is a wind turbine? Write a 2. What is composting? Draw a diagram


narrative paragraph describing what detailing the process. Write a short
it looks like and how it functions. essay about how and why people should
Create a poster complete with labels, do this. Is it easy? Does it work? What
descriptions, and illustrations. Share are the benefits? Present your research
your findings with the class. to your class.

4. Research 10 ways to live “green.”


3. What efforts is your city making to be
Develop a presentation to share with
environmentally friendly? Write a
your school during an assembly or
letter to your mayor to find out what
to kick off the next Earth Day. You
is being done to help the environment.
will need to find easy and practical
Share your knowledge about what
examples for students to incorporate
needs to be done. Provide examples of
into their daily lives. You may want to
ways to make a difference.
make posters, banners, and diagrams to
help your cause.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 41


Directions: Read the article.

A Checkup on Wheels
To play on his basketball team, Tommy Shelton, from Carrollton, Texas,
needs to stay in top shape. Tommy, 10, must visit the doctor every few months.
He suffers from diabetes and Graves’ disease. Both illnesses affect how the
body reacts under stress and during exercise.
To live a healthy, active life, Tommy needs good medical care. For many
families, paying for visits to the doctor is a hardship.

Health Care Hits the Road


In cities across the United States, hospitals and other care providers are
converting vans and buses into fully equipped medical offices. These mobile
units deliver doctors and nurses to people who need them the most. The
programs have more than just wheels in common. All give free or
low-cost care to kids who might otherwise have to go without regular
checkups.
“We have the ability to prevent so many (illnesses),” says Dr. Dina Lieser, of
Docs for Tots, a group working to improve children’s health and well-being.
The Children’s Health Fund (CHF) helps support a national network of 21
programs that bring medical services to kids who need care. CHF works with
hospitals or health clinics to run the programs. CHF medical vans make weekly
visits to schools, homeless shelters, and other neighborhood sites.

Reaching Unprotected Kids


Nearly nine million kids in the United States lack health insurance. Insurance
helps people pay for doctor visits, prescription drugs, hospital stays, and other
services. Some people buy their own insurance, which can cost more than
$900 a month. Others get coverage at reduced rates from their employers.
More than one in five poor children are uninsured. Two government
programs provide health insurance to children living in poverty—Medicaid and
State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Medicaid gives insurance
to kids whose parents earn little or no money. SCHIP is for families who earn
a bit more. Tommy Shelton and his family are glad that SCHIP is available to
them. Some people fall through the cracks. They don’t qualify for Medicaid or
SCHIP, but still cannot afford insurance.
Medical vans and clinics like those run by CHF bring health care to
uninsured families. Still, Dr. Lieser says that the mobile units should be only a
short-term solution. “There’s got to be a more cohesive medical system.”

42 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

A Checkup on Wheels (cont.)

Directions: Answer the questions. You may use the article.

1. Why does Tommy need to visit the doctor so often?


______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. Explain why organizations are going out of their way to bring kids in for checkups.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Describe what United States hospitals and other health care providers are doing, and why.
How do they reach the kids?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. What is the Children’s Health Fund’s (CHF) role in providing health care to children in need?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
5. Discuss how the government is trying to help. What programs have been developed so far?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
6. Read Dr. Lieser’s last quote. What does she mean by a more cohesive medical system?
Write a paragraph detailing your idea of an appropriate medical system. Use the back of
this page.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 43


Name ____________________________________________________

A Checkup on Wheels (cont.)

Teacher, Can I Go to the Doctor?


It is critical for children of all ages to receive regular health checkups. Unfortunately, many
children do not get the care they need because their families cannot afford health insurance.
The good news is that help is on the way. With the help of United States hospitals and other
care providers, kids are receiving the care they so desperately need. This help comes to them on
wheels. Various organizations are transforming buses and vans into medical offices. Now kids
in need can get routine checkups and preventative care right at school. Use the picture below to
answer the questions.

Las Flores Middle School

Checkup
on Wheels

1. What can you tell by looking at the picture? Who is in the picture? Where are they?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. Explain why it is important for all kids, regardless of financial issues, to receive proper
health care.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. If your family could not afford health insurance, would you be grateful for the services
provided by these doctors? Using the back of this page, write a thank-you note to the
doctors who participate in these programs.
44 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education
Name ____________________________________________________

A Checkup on Wheels (cont.)

Document-Based Extension Activities


Students may work independently, or the teacher may copy this page and then cut out activities
and distribute them to students for completion in small groups.

1. The article mentions that nine million


2. Not only do children need medical
children lack health insurance.
care, but they also need dental and
Programs like CHF offer medical help
vision care, too. Develop an idea to
to some of these children, but they
bring these types of care to children.
cannot help them all on their own. The
Describe how you would start a
government has two programs in place
program offering these services. How
to aid those families that make little to
would you enlist the help of dentists
no money, but still not everyone can
and optometrists? Would they join
afford insurance. Do think it is the
forces with the doctors? Write a plan
government’s responsibility to make
for your program, think of a name, and
sure all American citizens have medical
create a logo, slogan, etc. Share your
insurance? Write an essay explaining
finished product with your class.
your answer.

3. There are children in need all around 4. Other than visiting a doctor, what
the world. Find out about what types other things can children do to stay
of programs are in place to help them. healthy? Write a paragraph describing
Describe these programs and the three ways kids can stay healthy. Draw
services they offer to children around a picture illustrating each of the three
the world. ways. You may want to make it into a
poster or brochure.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 45


Directions: Read the article.

A Call to End Darfur’s Violence


For several years, the Darfur region of Sudan in Africa has been ripped
apart by violence. More than 200,000 people have been killed, and two and
a half million people have been driven from their homes by rebel groups.
President George W. Bush called for the bloodshed to stop. “The brutal
treatment of innocent civilians in Darfur is unacceptable,” he said. “(It) must
end.”
The president warned the government of Sudan that it was time to abide
by peace agreements. If Sudan fails to act properly, the United States will
impose strict economic penalties. Bush spoke at the Holocaust Memorial
Museum in Washington, D.C. The museum is devoted to preserving
the memory of the estimated six million Jewish people who were killed
by Germany’s Nazi government during World War II. Bush said that the
museum serves as a reminder to the world that it must not allow evil acts to
be committed. Google, an Internet search company, has joined ranks with
the Holocaust Museum to let the world know what is going on in Darfur.
People can see images of the suffering there on the Google Earth website.
The United States and the United Nations have brokered several
agreements between Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, and rebel groups.
Sudan agreed to accept 3,000 United Nations troops who will work with
7,000 African Union forces to bring peace to the region. But Sudan’s
government has broken many agreements. “The time for promises is over,”
said Bush. “President Bashir must act.”

46 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

A Call to End Darfur’s Violence (cont.)

Directions: Answer the questions. You may use the article.

1. What was the warning issued to the government of Sudan by President George W. Bush?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. How did the United States threaten to retaliate against Sudan if they do not act properly?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Summarize what is going on in Darfur.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. Explain the connection between what occurred during the Holocaust and what is
happening now in Darfur. Should the United States and the United Nations get more
involved? Explain your answer.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
5. Why does the president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, not have the complete confidence of the
United States and United Nations?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
6. Using the Internet and/or other sources, find out what groups of people are involved in the
violence in Darfur. Who is responsible? Who are the victims?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 47


Name ____________________________________________________

A Call to End Darfur’s Violence (cont.)

Violence in Africa—Darfur and Rwanda


Over 10 years ago, the ongoing violence in Rwanda, Africa climaxed in 1994 when an estimated
800,000 people were killed in only four months. The world described this as genocide (the
systematic and planned extermination of an entire national, racial, political, or ethnic group).
Now in the Darfur region of Sudan, Africa, there is again fear of genocide. Various sources
estimate the deaths somewhere between 200,000 and 450,000 people.
Many people around the world are joining forces to stop the violence in Darfur. Use the map to
help you answer the questions below.

$ARFUR

2WANDA

Violence in Darfur 2003-present:


200,000-450,000 lives lost
Violence in Rwanda—1994 genocide:
800,000 million lives lost

1. What does the map above show?


______________________________________________________________________________
2. Name the two regions affected by violence.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. How are the innocent civilians affected by the violence? What must life be like for them?
What about the children? Write a journal entry from a child’s perspective detailing how
the violence impacts his or her life. Use the back of this page.
48 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education
Name ____________________________________________________

A Call to End Darfur’s Violence (cont.)

Document-Based Extension Activities


Students may work independently, or the teacher may copy this page and then cut out activities
and distribute them to students for completion in small groups.

1. Think of the challenges that children


living in war-torn countries face every
day. They need to find food and water
for their families, hide from hostile 2. How can you help? Research various
militia, and struggle to do other efforts that focus on protecting kids
ordinary tasks. For them, every day living in these hostile environments.
is a struggle to survive. Imagine the Pick one program that inspires you and
fear, hunger, violence, devastation, present it to your class. What can you
boredom, and sadness that surrounds do as a group to make a difference?
them. Write and illustrate a story about
what life must be like for them. More
research may be necessary.

4. Compare the events of the Holocaust,


Rwanda, and Darfur. What do they
have in common? When and where
3. Create a slogan, poster, and/or project
did they take place? What group of
that focuses on putting an end to
people is or was responsible for the
violence around the world. Present
brutality? What group of people is
your ideas to the class.
or was the victims? Predict what will
continue to happen in the world’s future
if nonviolent solutions are not found.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 49


Directions: Read the article.

Discoveries From the Land Down Under


Australia’s unique animals are among the most fascinating creatures
on the planet. Roly-poly wallabies, duck-billed platypuses, cuddly koalas,
flightless emus, and prickly echidnas can be found only on that continent.
But a recent fossil discovery reveals that Australia’s ancient creatures were
even more bizarre than their modern cousins.
About 500,000 years ago, kangaroos as tall as trucks, wombats weighing
more than 400 pounds, and fierce marsupial lions roamed the Land Down
Under. Scientists call the animals megamarsupials for their giant size. A
marsupial is a mammal whose infants develop in an external pouch. In
January 2007, Australian scientists announced that they had found a treasure
trove of fossils, including the first-ever complete skeletons of marsupial lions.

Locked Up in Caves
In 2002, a team of cave explorers were soaking up the sights on the
Nullarbor Plain, in southern Australia. They came across several small
openings in the ground. The group found that the holes led to a series of
extensive caves. Gavin Prideaux reported that they found “heaps of bones
and complete skeletons of unusual animals that looked as fresh as if they
had died yesterday.” Prideaux, the lead scientist, examined the bones.
He believes the animals accidentally fell through holes into the caves and
died there. In all, the scientists unearthed 69 well-preserved fossils of birds,
mammals, and reptiles.
A giant wombat, two new species of parrots, and eight new species
of ancient kangaroos, including two tree-climbing varieties, were found.
But scientists are most excited about finding complete skeletons of the
marsupial lion, or Thylacoleo carnifex. The lion was the largest carnivorous,
or meat-eating, marsupial ever to roam Australia. The 220-pound prehistoric
predator has fascinated scientists for more than a century.

Why Did They Go Extinct?


Researchers had long believed that a drastic change in climate was
responsible for the extinction of Australia’s megamarsupials. After studying
the fossils, the sciencists have come to believe that climate change alone
cannot account for the animals’ disappearance. “Current evidence tells us
that the extinctions happened soon after people arrived, probably within a
few thousand years,” says Christopher Johnson, a scientist who consulted
with the team. “That points to man as the cause.”

50 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

Discoveries from the Land Down Under (cont.)

Directions: Answer the questions. You may use the article.

1. List the unique animals that can only be found on the continent of Australia.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. What is a marsupial? What are the three types of megamarsupials scientists believe
roamed Australia 500,000 years ago?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. What did a team of cave explorers stumble upon in southern Australia in 2002?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. Explain the significance of this discovery. How do scientists believe the megamarsupials
ended up in the caves?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
5. What have researchers long believed to be the cause for Australia’s megamarsupials
becoming extinct? Compare their original explanations with what they now believe to be
true.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
6. About which particular skeleton were the scientists most excited? Research what it may
have looked like. Draw a picture of this megamarsupial and write a description for it. Use
the back of this page.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 51


Name ____________________________________________________

Discoveries From the Land Down Under (cont.)

Modern Marsupials of Australia


Megamarsupials roamed Australia 500,000 years ago. Now that they are extinct, we are left to
enjoy their relatives. Below, you will learn about three of Australia’s most common marsupials.
Use the table to help you answer the questions.

Animal Features Average Where it What it Eats Did you Know?


Length Lives
Koala gray with a white 2 feet eucalyptus leaves of Koalas are not
chest; thick long forests in eucalyptus related to bears.
curved claws on eastern trees
front paws for Australia
climbing
Common bristly brown fur; 29 inches Forests in grass and Wombats can sleep
Wombat sharp front teeth long southeast plants with their four feet
and powerful Australia sticking up in the
claws for digging air.
burrows
Red soft red or 5 feet tall grasslands grass and The red kangaroo
Kangaroo gray fur; large and deserts flowering can’t walk; it only
muscular hind in central plants hops.
legs for hopping Australia

1. Which marsupial can sleep with its four feet in the air?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. Compare and contrast two of the marsupials listed in the chart above.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Draw a picture of each marsupial listed in the chart above. Using the Internet or other
sources, find out one more detail about each one. Then, write what you learned under the
corresponding picture. Use the back of this page.

52 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

Discoveries From the Land Down Under (cont.)

Document-Based Assessment Activities


Students may work independently, or the teacher may copy this page and then cut out activities
and distribute them to students for completion in small groups.

1. Draw a picture illustrating what you 2. Write a newspaper article reporting on


think Australia would look like with the the discovery of the caves. What was
ancient megamarsupials roaming the the experience like for the explorers?
land. What impact did their findings have on
the study of megamarsupials? Include
pictures, interviews, and facts.

3. Write a story about the friendship 4. Create a Venn diagram that compares
between a megamarsupial lion and a megamarsupials with modern
T-rex dinosaur. Describe what it would marsupials. You may use the article,
be like if megamarsupials and dinosaurs Internet, and other sources.
coexisted. Include an illustration.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 53


Directions: Read the article.

The War Goes On


Traditionally, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan is a time of prayer,
fasting, and family. For the people of Iraq, the 2006 Ramadan was also a
time of violence. Bomb blasts rocked Iraq’s capital, Baghdad. North of the
city, rebels attacked Iraqi police recruits. In the southern city of Amarah,
police battled militias, which are private armies. Many civilians and more
than 300 Iraqi security-force members were killed. United States forces also
paid a high toll. At least 97 United States troops were killed.

Taking New Steps


At a press conference, President George W. Bush acknowledged that
there had been setbacks in Iraq. He assured Americans that military tactics
were changing to meet new challenges. He also pointed out that violence
was confined to a small section of Iraq.
A day earlier, General George Casey, the top United States commander
in Iraq, and Zalmay Khalilzad, the United States ambassador, announced
that the United States was setting a timetable that would eventually lead to
full Iraqi control of the country within 12 to 18 months. But before that can
happen, the Iraqi government has to improve its security forces, get rid of
militias, and split oil wealth among all religious and ethnic groups.

Caught in the Crossfire


Iraq is a deeply divided nation. Most Iraqis belong to one of three
groups: Kurds, Sunni Muslim Arabs, or Shiite Muslim Arabs. Much of the
fighting has pitted Iraqis against Iraqis. Increasingly, United States forces
find themselves caught in the crossfire of a civil war.
In Amarah, fighters loyal to a Shiite Muslim leader, Muqtada al-Sadr,
attacked Sunnis policemen. Al-Sadr says his goal is to force foreign troops
to leave Iraq. But his private militia, the Mahdi Army, has killed thousands of
Sunnis and any Shiites who didn’t follow his lead.
To establish a nation, Iraq’s government must rein in al-Sadr and other
militia leaders. But for Iraqis like Ammar Jawad, it may be too late. In
October, Jawad moved his family out of Baghdad to Balad. He hoped that
they would be safe in the small town. Instead, within a week of their arrival,
Balad erupted in violence. Nearly 100 people died in the fighting. Jawad
said he has “given up believing things will be better anywhere in Iraq.”
Can the Iraqi government convince its people not to give up on their
country?

54 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

The War Goes On (cont.)

Directions: Answer the questions. You may use the article.

1. What is Ramadan? Describe what was different about Ramadan in 2006 for the Muslim
people.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. What was the announcement made by General George Casey, the top United States
commander in Iraq, and Zalmay Khalilzad, the United States Ambassador?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. What must the Iraqi government accomplish in order to ensure that full Iraqi control of
the country is achieved?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. Shiite Muslim leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, says his goal is to force foreign troops to leave Iraq.
Explain how his actions contradict his words.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
5. Who is Ammar Jawad? What is life like for him and his family? Do you understand why
he feels that there is no hope for a better Iraq? Discuss your feelings.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 55


Name ____________________________________________________

The War Goes On (cont.)

The Five Pillars of Faith


As part of Islamic religion, Muslims must perform five duties. These duties are called the Five
Pillars of Faith. Listed below are the Five Pillars of Faith. Use this information to help you
answer the questions below.
The Five Pillars of Faith
1. Shahada (affirmation)
The duty to recite the creed: “There is nothing worthy of worship save Allah, and
Muhammad is the Messenger of God.”
2. Salat (prayer)
The duty to worship the One God in prayer five times each day.
3. Zakat (alms giving)
The duty to distribute alms and help the needy.
4. Siyam (fasting)
The duty to keep the Fast of Ramadan.
5. Hajj (pilgrimage)
The duty to make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime.

1. Name the Five Pillars of Islamic Faith.


______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. Which pillar represents the pilgrimage to Mecca?
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Describe the Islamic symbol.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

56 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

The War Goes On (cont.)

Document-Based Extension Activities


Students may work independently, or the teacher may copy this page and then cut out activities
and distribute them to students for completion in small groups.

2. You are writing an article about


innocent civilians caught in the
1. Write an essay detailing the civil war in
crossfire of the Iraqi war. You have
Iraq. Who is involved? Who is fighting
an interview scheduled with Ammar
for control? Discuss the impact the war
Jawad. List the questions you are going
is having on the Iraqi people.
to ask him. Write an article based on
your interview.

4. Research what has happened in Iraq


3. Create a T-chart for the toll on America since the 2006 Ramadan. Write a
and Iraq as a result of the war. newspaper article with an update.
Present your findings to the class.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 57


Directions: Read the article.

A Larger-Than-Life President
Theodore Roosevelt (T.R.) stares down from Mount Rushmore, in South
Dakota. He is surrounded by giants: Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln.
Roosevelt is the only 20th-century president carved on the mountain. He
was sworn in as the 26th president in 1901. Today, more than 100 years later,
changes made during his presidency still influence foreign policy, business,
environmentalism, and more.

The Making of a Hero


Throughout his life, Roosevelt was drawn to challenges. At 22, he climbed
Matterhorn, a 14,692-foot mountain in Europe. As police commissioner in New
York City, he took on criminals. During the Spanish-American War, he led the
charge at the battle of San Juan, in Cuba, and came home a hero. After he left
politics, he set out to explore the Amazon rain forest.
Roosevelt was more than a politician. He was a writer, a historian, an
explorer, and a naturalist. He was the first president to make protecting the
environment a political issue. He created the United States Forest Service
and set aside 150 national forests, 51 national wildlife refuges, 18 national
monuments, and five national parks for generations to come.
Early in his presidency, Roosevelt, a Republican, decided that it was the
government’s responsibility to control big business. He went after the railroad
companies and other corporations that were competing unfairly. “We must
demand that big business give the people a square deal,” he later wrote. In
his second term, T.R. pushed through the Pure Food and Drug Act and a
meat-inspection law. Both laws still help consumers.

A Man, a Plan, a Canal, Panama


Roosevelt believed that the United States should be a global force, too.
After Russia and Japan went to war, T.R. persuaded the two nations to send
representatives to peace talks in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He convinced
the countries to end their war, and earned a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.
As T.R. saw it, “by far the most important action” he had taken in foreign
affairs was building the Panama Canal, a vital shipping shortcut between the
Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In 1903, the United States signed a treaty with the
new nation of Panama. It took 10 years and $387 million to dig the canal across
50 miles of jungle. “This is one of the great works of the world,” Roosevelt
told workers at the construction site. “It is greater than you yourselves at the
moment realize.”

58 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


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A Larger-Than-Life President (cont.)

Directions: Answer the questions. You may use the article.

1. Which former United States presidents are surrounding Theodore Roosevelt (T.R.) on
Mount Rushmore? What was special about T.R. being part of the monument?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. T.R. accomplished many great things before he became president. Explain how he was
more than just a politician.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Describe T.R.’s environmental efforts.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. What impact did T.R. have on big business? Explain how consumers are still benefiting
from the decisions he made long ago.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
5. T.R. believed the building of the Panama Canal was his most significant accomplishment
in the area of foreign affairs. Why do you think he felt this way?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
6. Using the back of this page, write a brief essay summarizing the life of T.R. How would
you describe him? Do you think he was a good president? Do you admire his dedication
and achievements? Explain your answers.
7. Read the last subtitle in the article backward. What do you notice?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 59


Name ____________________________________________________

A Larger-Than-Life President (cont.)

Mount Rushmore
The Mount Rushmore National Monument was created by a sculptor, Gutzon Borglum. The
monument is located in South Dakota. Borglum chose the location for the grainy, granite
consistency of the mountain. Each president was chosen for what he symbolized. George
Washington represents the struggle for independence; Thomas Jefferson the idea of government
of the people, by the people, and for the people; Abraham Lincoln for his ideas on equality and the
permanent union of the states; and Theodore Roosevelt for his responsibility for the 20th-century
role of the United States in domestic and foreign affairs.

1. Name the presidents whose faces appear on Mount Rushmore and explain why each
president was chosen to be a part of this historical piece of art.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. Why do you think more presidents have not been added to the monument over the years?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Would you like to visit the monument? Which president represented interests you admire
the most? Use the back of this page for your response.

60 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


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A Larger-Than-Life President (cont.)

Document-Based Extension Activities


Students may work independently, or the teacher may copy this page and then cut out activities
and distribute them to students for completion in small groups.

2. Roosevelt served as vice president


under President William McKinley.
It was not until McKinley was
assassinated in 1901 that T.R. became
1. Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th president. Unfortunately, McKinley
president of the United States. He is not the only president in history to
held office from 1901–1908. Name the have been assassinated. There have
presidents who served before and after also been numerous attempts made
him. Be sure to include their years in to take a president’s life, including the
office. one on T.R. in 1912. Create a time
line that includes the names of the
presidents and the dates that they were
assassinated or that an attempt was
made to assassinate them.

4. Pick three former presidents to


3. Develop a presentation on the history investigate. Write an essay detailing
of the Panama Canal. Share important their time in office. What did they
facts, dates, and maps with your class. accomplish? For what are they known?
You will also want to include how the How are the decisions they made
canal has impacted business over the during their time in office remembered?
years. Are they remembered for their mistakes
or for their achievements?

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 61


Directions: Read the article.

A Democracy Divided
Fireworks erupted after the announcement that Felipe Calderón would be
Mexico’s next president. Upon hearing the news, demonstrators in Mexico
City raised their fists, waved signs, and shouted slogans. Their words were
angry. The fireworks were not celebratory.
Calderón was declared the winner two months after Mexico’s presidential
election on July 2, 2006. He won the vote by less than one percent. Losing
candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the former mayor of Mexico
City, immediately challenged the results, saying that the election had been
rigged.
Two months later, though, the country’s top electoral court ruled that the
election had been fair. The Federal Electoral Tribunal came to its decision
by reviewing campaign tactics and recounting some of the votes. The court
found some irregularities, but said that there was not enough evidence to
change the results.
The court’s president, Leonel Castillo Gonzalez, urged Mexicans to unite
behind Calderón. “I hope we conclude this process leaving confrontation
behind,” he said.

The Challenge Ahead


The election exposed a deep divide between Mexico’s rich and poor.
Almost half the population of 106 million lives in poverty. López Obrador
won widespread support among Mexico’s disadvantaged. Many did not
trust what they view as Calderón’s pro-business policies.
The country’s electoral system has a history of fraud. For decades, fixed
elections allowed one party to stay in power.
López Obrador vowed not to accept the court’s ruling. He said he would
set up an “alternative government.” He also threatened to organize mass
protests on September 16, Mexico’s Independence Day.
As he prepared to take office on December 1, Calderón needed to
address the issues raised by the election. He reached out to López Obrador,
saying he would sit down for negotiations. He also promised to create jobs
and fight corruption. “I am going to be a president for everyone,” he said,
“a president driven by fairness and equality.”

62 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

A Democracy Divided (cont.)

Directions: Answer the questions. You may use the article.

1. Who was named Mexico’s next president? By how much did he win the election race?
Explain why many people were against the election results. How did they show their
disapproval?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. What steps were taken to prove the election was fair?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Discuss the deep divide between Mexico’s rich and poor. How much of the country lives
in poverty? Which candidate did the poor and disadvantaged people favor? Why?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. Compare Caldéron’s promise to bring the nation together with López Obrador’s threat
of protesting and division? Who do you feel is right? Is either man’s approach realistic?
Explain your answers.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
5. As Mexico’s new president, what challenges did Caldéron face? What do you think he
needed to do to unite the nation? Using the back of this page, write a paragraph discussing
your answers.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 63


Name ____________________________________________________

A Democracy Divided (cont.)

The History of the Flag of Mexico


The current flag of Mexico (the Fourth National Flag) was adopted in 1968, but the design has been
used since 1821, when the First National Flag was created. The flag is a vertical tricolor of green,
white, and red. Most people agree that the green represents independence or hope, the white
represents unity or the purity of Roman Catholicism, and the red represents the union between
Europeans and Americans or the blood of national heroes. Although the meaning of the colors
has changed over time, the national coat of arms in the center has remained the same. The coat
of arms is an eagle holding a serpent in its talon, perched on top of a prickly pear cactus. The
cactus is on top of a rock that rises above the sea. The symbol is derived from an ancient Aztec
legend. According to the legend, the gods advised the Aztecs to build a city where they saw an eagle
devouring a serpent on top of a prickly pear cactus. The city they built is now known as Mexico
City. Use the information provided above and the flag below to help you answer the questions.

Green Red

1. Describe the coat of arms symbol in the center of the flag.


______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. Summarize the ancient Aztec legend from which the coat of arms symbol is derived.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. What year was the current flag adopted? When was the flag’s design first used? Use the
back of this page for your response.
64 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education
Name ____________________________________________________

A Democracy Divided (cont.)

Document-Based Extension Activities


Students may work independently, or the teacher may copy this page and then cut out activities
and distribute them to students for completion in small groups.

1. Write an essay on protesting. Discuss 2. Choose four countries that interest you.
why people protest and the pros and Using the Internet and other sources,
cons of this type of expression. Find research the history of each country’s
and discuss two examples of protesting flag. Make a poster with four sections,
in United States history, one when one for each country. Include a picture
protesting had a positive impact and of each country’s flag and a paragraph
one when only negative impacts were detailing its history.
made.

3. Pretend you are Felipe Calderón. Write


a speech that convinces those who
4. Compare and contrast Mexico’s recent
oppose you that, if given the chance,
presidential election experience with
you can and will meet their needs.
the controversial election results
Your speech should convince them that
between George Bush and John Kerry
joining forces with López Obrador is
in 2004.
not the answer. Encourage them to
work with you not against you.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 65


Directions: Read the article.

Kids in Charge
If you are anything like the go-getters featured here, the lazy days of
summer could be very busy. All three got an early start creating their own
businesses. Read their success stories. It could help you find your inner boss!

LAVTweb—Laima Tazmin
Laima Tazmin, 17, started on her career path when she was seven years
old. She borrowed her older brother’s computer books and began creating
websites for fun. Her hobby became a promising business idea. In 2001,
Laima founded LAVTweb. From her home office in New York City, she designs
websites for small-business owners, artists, and other professionals. LAVT
earned $25,000 during its second year, and business is still booming. The job
also has one priceless plus: Laima is her older brother’s boss.

Shay’s Bones and Biscuits—Shay Hammond


Since starting her own business at age 11, Shay Hammond has attracted
many loyal, drooling customers. Shay sells homemade dog treats. She was
inspired by her lovable mutt, Pancake. Pancake was just a skinny pup when he
gobbled up the first batch of treats that Shay made.
In the past three years, Pancake has grown and so has Shay’s company,
Bones and Biscuits. It earned about $200 last year. Three stores sell the
snacks, and Shay also takes orders online.
Bones and Biscuits come in two flavors: Mutter Butter, made with peanut
butter, and Chicken Lickin’, made with chicken broth. The treats have
all-natural ingredients, which could draw a new kind of customer. “Whenever
I sold them at school, everybody would dip them in cheese,” Shay said.
“Maybe I should start selling them to people.”

Baywear Legend—Luis Villa


Luis Villa’s community has been hurt by gangs and violence. Luis founded a
business that takes a stand against senseless fighting. He is the chief executive
of Baywear Legend, a company that makes belts, bandanas, and T-shirts.
Baywear takes bandana patterns that gangs use to identify themselves and
pairs them with colors that promote unity.
Luis, 16, cofounded the company, which was then called Latin Style, when
he was 14 years old. Now leading the company under its new name, Luis has
his eye on college and the future. He says that starting a company has shown
him “the potential I have for being successful.”

66 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

Kids in Charge (cont.)

Directions: Answer the questions. You may use the article.

1. What was Laima Tazmin’s hobby? How did it help her become a businesswoman?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. Describe Shay Hammond’s business. What is it called? What product does she make?
What type of customers does she have?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Who is Luis Villa? Explain how his business makes money and helps his community at the
same time.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. Discuss the pros and cons of being your own boss at such a young age.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
5. Pretend you are going to start your own business. What kind of business do you see a
need for? What will you call your business? Be creative and have fun! Use the back of this
page to do your work.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 67


Name ____________________________________________________

Kids in Charge (cont.)

What Is a Franchise?
One way entrepreneurs are finding success is through operating 2006: America’s Top
franchises. A franchise is a form of business that already has Ten Franchises
a well-known established company (either by name, product,
or service) behind it. It allows an individual or partnership to 1. Subway® (sandwiches)
resell its products or services under the name of the already 2. Quiznos®
well-known organization. In other words, if you wanted (sandwiches)
to open and run a McDonald’s restaurant, you could do 3. Curves® (a
this through a franchise agreement with McDonald’s®. The women-only exercise
obligations you would have as a franchise owner might include facility)
fees for using McDonald’s name and products, such as cups, 4. UPS Store/The Mail
boxes, bags, and food. The advantages of operating a franchise Boxes, Etc.®
are the immediate name recognition and customer base you
5. Jackson Hewitt Tax
inherit from day one. If you opened your own fast-food burger
Service®
restaurant (without the McDonald’s name), you might struggle
with attracting customers, and it would take much longer 6. Dunkin’ Donuts®
to make a profit without the big name. The disadvantage of 7. Jani-King® (cleaning
operating a franchise is that you are not the sole decision and company)
profit maker. Use the information provided above and in the 8. ReMax International®
chart to answer the questions. 9. 7-Eleven, Inc.®
10. Liberty Tax Services®

1. What is the meaning of a franchise business?


______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. What types of businesses are represented on the top-ten list?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. What are the advantages of owning or operating a franchise? Disadvantages?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. Would you want to own your own business someday? Would you consider a franchise
opportunity? Explain your answer. Use the back of this page to write your response.

68 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

Kids in Charge (cont.)

Document-Based Extension Activities


Students may work independently, or the teacher may copy this page and then cut out activities
and distribute them to students for completion in small groups.

1. Do you want to be a kid in charge? See 2. Pick your favorite “kid in charge” from
if you have the next great idea. Make the article and create a commercial
a list of all your hobbies, then come up to advertise his or her company or
with a business idea for each one. product.

4. Can you think of any kids who have


3. Pick a product you want to produce come up with ideas for projects that are
and sell. Develop a prototype or model intended to help others? Their goal is
of it. Make up a logo or symbol that not to make money or be famous; they
represents your product. Create a plan simply want to make a difference. Pick
to market it to consumers and investors. two people who have invented ways
Think about what your product has to make life easier for others. Write
to offer that other products do not; a paragraph describing their causes
who will use it; how much you should and accomplishments. Hint: Think
charge; if you can you do it on your about all that has been done to help
own or need others to help. Present the soldiers in Iraq or the victims of
your product and plan to your class. Hurricane Katrina. You may use the
Internet or other sources to guide you.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 69


Directions: Read the article.

A Language Art
Jessica Bucknam shouts “tiao!” (tee-ow), and her fourth-grade students
jump. “Dun!” (doo-wen) she commands, and they crouch. They giggle as
the commands keep coming in Mandarin Chinese. Most of the kids have
studied Chinese since they were in kindergarten.
They are part of a Chinese-immersion program at Woodstock Elementary
School in Portland, Oregon. Bucknam, who is from China, introduces her
students to approximately 150 new Chinese characters each year. Students
read stories, sing songs, and learn math and science, all in Chinese.
Half of the 340 students at the K–5 school are enrolled in the program.
They can continue studying Chinese in middle and high school. The goal: to
speak like natives.
About 24,000 American students are currently learning Chinese. Most are
in high school. But the number of younger students is growing in response
to China’s emergence as a global superpower.
The United States government is helping to pay for language instruction.
Recently, the Defense Department gave Oregon schools $700,000 for classes
like Bucknam’s. The Senate is considering giving $1.3 billion for Chinese
classes in public schools.
“China has become a strong partner of the United States,” says Mary
Patterson, Woodstock’s principal. “Children who learn Chinese at a young
age will have more opportunities for jobs in the future.”
Isabel Weiss, age nine, isn’t thinking about the future. She thinks learning
Chinese is fun. “When you hear people speaking in Chinese, you know what
they’re saying,” she says. “And they don’t know that you know.”

Want to Learn Chinese?


You have to memorize 3,500 characters to really know it all! To hear some
words and phrases spoken in this 6,000-year-old language, visit
http://www.timeforkids.com/TFK/mandarin.

70 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

A Language Art (cont.)


Directions: Answer the questions. You may use the article.

1. Describe the Chinese-immersion program at Woodstock Elementary School.


______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. Why is the number of younger students studying Chinese growing? What impact will
learning Chinese have on their futures?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. How does the United States government feel about the importance of American students
learning Chinese? Explain the government’s position, using facts provided in the article.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. Summarize how Isabel Weiss views learning Chinese. Do you agree with her? Discuss
your answer.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
5. Can you think of any other languages that American students would benefit from learning?
If so, which ones and why?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
6. Which language would you like to learn to speak the most—Spanish, Chinese, German,
Japanese, Portuguese, French, or another? Take a class poll. Create a pie chart to illustrate
your findings. Use the back of this page.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 71


Name ____________________________________________________

A Language Art (cont.)

I’m Speaking Chinese!


Given the diversity in the United States, it is becoming more and more important for us to speak
more than one language. Spanish and French were once the two most common languages other
than English taught in schools. Now, with China’s economic and global growth, Chinese is
becoming the second language of choice. Use the table below to answer the questions.

English Mandarin Chinese English Pronunciation


Hello Nin hao (neen how)
Goodbye Zai jian (dzai jee-an)
Thank you Xie xie (syeh syeh)
You’re welcome Bu yong ke chi (boo yong ke chi)
I’m speaking Chinese! Wo zai jiang hua yü! (who dzai jiang hwa yu!)
Where is the bathroom? Ce suo zai naer? (tse suo dzai nah er?)
What is your name? Nin gui xing? (neen gway sing?)
My name is __________. Wo jiao __________. (woh jee-ow __________.)
Wow, that’s so cool! Hao bang ah! (how bahng ah!)
Jump! Tiao! (tee-ow!)
Crouch! Dun! (doo-wen!)

1. How would you ask where the bathroom is in Chinese?


______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. Using the above translations, have a brief conversation with a classmate in Chinese.
3. How would you tell someone your name in Chinese?
______________________________________________________________________________
4. Which Chinese phrase would you use to describe something you saw on TV that you liked
a lot?
______________________________________________________________________________

72 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

A Language Art (cont.)

Document-Based Extension Activities


Students may work independently, or the teacher may copy this page and then cut out activities
and distribute them to students for completion in small groups.

2. Write a story about a time when


1. Discuss the benefits of knowing more
knowing how to communicate in
than one language fluently (being
another language would have been
bilingual, trilingual, etc.). In what ways
helpful to you or to someone else.
will this skill impact job opportunities?

4. What is your position on speaking the


native language of the country in which
3. Rank the languages spoken most in the
you live? For instance, if you move
United States from highest to lowest.
to France, should you be expected to
Illustrate your findings by using a pie
learn how to speak and communicate
chart. Show the percentages.
in French? Write a persuasive letter
expressing your opinion on this issue.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 73


Directions: Read the article.

An Immigrant Nation
Coming to America means different things to different people. Freedom.
Opportunity. A better life. Whatever the reason, each year nearly two million
people move to the United States.
President George W. Bush spoke at a ceremony in which people from 20
countries became United States citizens. The President congratulated the new
citizens at a time when immigration is a matter of great debate. Lawmakers are
struggling to find ways to better regulate the flow of people coming into the
United States. The Pew Hispanic Center in Washington, D.C. estimates that
the United States is home to more than 37 million foreign-born people. Of that
number, up to 12 million are living here illegally.

Broken Borders
About 800,000 undocumented, or illegal, immigrants enter the United States
each year. Some sneak across the border. Others enter the United States with
permission for a temporary job, or visit and then stay longer.
Illegal workers make up about five percent of the United States labor force. The
Senate recently set to work on an immigration policy that would balance national
security with a plan to help illegal immigrants who are working in the United
States. Under discussion was a proposal that would increase border security but
allow some undocumented workers to register to work in the country legally for up
to six years as guest workers. In addition, illegal immigrants currently living in the
United States would have the opportunity to become citizens.
Critics argue that this plan rewards lawbreakers. “It’s a slap in the face to every
single person who has [come here] the right way,” says Tom Tancredo, a Colorado
congressman.
Once the Senate agrees on a proposal, its plan will have to be reconciled with
a bill that the House of Representatives passed in December 2006. The House
bill does not include a guest-worker program and would make illegal immigrants
subject to tough criminal penalties. After the Senate and the House reach an
agreement, a bill will be presented to the president for him to sign into law.
As senators addressed the issue, thousands of people throughout the United
States took to the streets to show their support for immigrants. Students walked
out of high schools in California and Texas.
The President said he would like Congress to come up with a program on which
the United States and its neighbors can agree. “I am confident we can deliver a
bill that protects our people, upholds our laws and makes our people proud,” he
said.

74 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

An Immigrant Nation (cont.)

Directions: Answer the questions. You may use the article.

1. Why do nearly two million people move to the United States each year?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. What are lawmakers struggling to find?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Summarize the goal of the immigration policy on which that the Senate is working.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. How does Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo feel about the proposal the Senate is
considering? Do you sympathize with his position on this issue at all? Discuss your
feelings.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
5. Compare the Senate’s proposal with the bill that the House of Representatives passed in
December 2006.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
6. Write an essay about the problems you might face if you moved to another country. Use
the back of this page.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 75


Name ____________________________________________________

An Immigrant Nation (cont.)

The Breakdown
The topic of immigration is a sensitive one. People are concerned about how the decisions
politicians make in regard to immigration will impact our country. In order to understand what
some of the concerns are, we must be clear about the various statuses of immigrants in the United
States. Illegal immigrants come to this country and obtain work without first going through
the legal procedures. There are approximately 12 million immigrants living in the United States
illegally; of that 12 million, 6 million are from Mexico. Naturalized citizens are immigrants who
have gone through the legal process to become United States citizens; they have met language
and residency requirements, passed a test, and have done the other things required to become
citizens. A legal permanent resident is a non-United States citizen who has been given permission
to make the United States his or her permanent home. Refugees are immigrants who have fled
their country in search of refuge from war, political oppression, racism, or religious persecution.
Temporary legal residents are non-United States citizens who are given permission to work in or
visit the United States for a specified amount of time. Use the information and pie chart provided
to help you answer the questions below.
Types of Immigrants in the U.S.

3%

7% 3% Temporary Legal Citizens

30% 30% Illegal Immigrants


28%
31% Naturalized Citizens

28% Legal Permanent Residents


31%
7% Refugees

1. What are the various types of immigrants living in the United States?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. What is the difference between an illegal immigrant and a naturalized citizen?
______________________________________________________________________________
76 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education
Name ____________________________________________________

An Immigrant Nation (cont.)

Document-Based Extension Activities


Students may work independently, or the teacher may copy this page and then cut out activities
and distribute them to students for completion in small groups.

1. Research the risks of crossing the 2. List the four states in the United States
border illegally. Write about why you with the most illegal immigrants. How
think people still cross despite the many illegal immigrants live in each
danger. state? Discuss the reasons why more
immigrants are drawn to these states
than others.

3. Develop a presentation for your school 4. Using what you know about
that provides students with appropriate immigration, write a persuasive essay
ways to treat students from other explaining your position. You should
countries. Show them ways in which use facts and real-life examples to
they can help them adapt, fit in, and feel support your position. You may do
more at home. more research if you need to.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 77


Directions: Read the article.

Grade Expectations
Devanté Sanford, age 13, hops a subway train at 7:00 a.m. to his school in
downtown Manhattan. After a six-hour day, he’s back on the train. He is not
going home, but to the Sylvan Learning Center uptown. It’s 4:30 p.m. by the
time he climbs the stairs to the tutoring center, where he gets extra help in
reading and math.
Devanté isn’t the only kid trading free time for extra schoolwork. Tutoring
companies serving K–12 students are popping up around the country to fill a
growing demand for one-on-one instruction in subjects such as math, reading,
and writing. Some tutoring companies offer homework help, too. Today, there
are more than two million professional tutors, says Sandi Ayaz, the director
of the National Tutoring Association. Five years ago, there were only about
250,000 tutors.
What’s fueling the boom in the tutoring industry? One factor is that many
people feel anxious over the demands of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
law, which requires yearly testing in math and reading in grades three through
eight.

The High Price of Success


Under NCLB, some kids who attend schools that fail to improve for three
years in a row are eligible to receive free tutoring. But for many kids who seek
tutoring to catch up or to get ahead, help often has a big price tag. One-on-
one tutoring from private companies can cost from $20 to $100 an hour.
For Devanté’s mother, the money is well spent. The individual instruction
has boosted her son’s confidence and brought him from a sixth-grade to a
10th-grade reading level in four months. Now he’s working on his math skills.

All Work and No Play?


Child psychologists warn that kids must balance the pressures of studying
with play. Faced with budget cuts and the pressure to do better on tests,
however, some schools have cut extracurricular subjects. Although Devanté
loves to draw and play baseball and soccer, his school doesn’t offer art or team
sports.
“Nobody is saying that kids should go to school all day and to tutoring all
night,” says Richard Bavaria, the vice president of education for Sylvan. “But
if a child has difficulties in school, there is something that we can do to help.
That’s tutoring.”
After his long day, Devanté doesn’t arrive home until after 7:00 p.m. And he
still has an hour of homework to do.

78 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

Grade Expectations (cont.)

Directions: Answer the questions. You may use the article.

1. Explain why tutoring companies are popping up around the country. What types of
services do these companies offer?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. Describe the growth in professional tutors over the last five years.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Under the NCLB law, who is eligible to receive free tutoring? For those who must pay for
private tutors, how much does it cost?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. Why have some schools cut extracurricular subjects (art, music, PE, etc.) out of their daily
curriculum? In which ways does this help students and in which way does it hurt them?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
5. Describe how private tutoring has impacted Devanté Sanford’s education. Detail his daily
routine. Is his educational growth worth the personal and financial sacrifice that both
he and his mom are making? Do you think there should be more of a balance between
studying and playing in his life? Explain.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
6. How do child psychologists feel about the importance of balancing studying and playtime?
Do you agree with them? Write a paragraph discussing your opinion. Use the back of this
page.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 79


Name ____________________________________________________

Grade Expectations (cont.)

Can I Get a Little Help?


There is a growing amount of pressure to succeed in school. Many students need outside help to
supplement in-class instruction. Help like this comes in various forms. Check out some of the
ways in which students are tutored. Use the information below to help answer the questions.
Online tutoring—Students receive help in core subjects from tutors around the world with just a
click of the mouse.
Private tutoring—Tutoring companies provide one-on-one help in math, reading, writing,
test-taking skills, and so on for grades K–12. Fees range from $20–100 an hour.
Telephone Tutoring—Some school districts provide free homework help over the phone from
teachers, college students, and other individuals.
Pencil-and-paper tutoring—This method of tutoring is done independently or in small groups.
No electronics are needed. All you need is your brain.
Computer software-based tutoring—Computer software programs provide help in subjects such
as reading and math. If you get an answer wrong, it provides you with a step-by-step solution.
Peer-to-peer tutoring—This method involves help from a sibling, older student, or from
someone in your class. This offers the helper a chance to review.
1. What tutoring sources are available to students outside the classroom?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. List the types of tutoring that require a computer to access. Describe how they work.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. If you needed help in school, which style of tutoring do you think would work best for you?
Why?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

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Name ____________________________________________________

Grade Expectations (cont.)

Document-Based Extension Activities


Students may work independently, or the teacher may copy this page and then cut out activities
and distribute them to students for completion in small groups.

1. Find three companies that offer private


tutoring. Create a table that compares
the companies on the following areas:
• services offered in reading, writing,
and math 2. Develop a class survey to find out
• services offered for homework, how many students in your class have
developing test-taking skills and used private tutors. Record your
test-prep courses findings using a bar graph. Have a class
• pricing discussion about whether they liked the
tutoring program and found it helpful.
• one-on-one tutoring or small-group
work
• qualifications the tutors must have
(teaching credential, college degree,
etc.)

3. Research the No Child Left Behind law.


4. Break up into groups and discuss
What is it, and how does it affect your
what makes a good peer tutor. What
school? Ask your teachers how they
qualities do they need in order to help
feel about the law. What are the pros
other students?
and cons of the law?

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 81


Directions: Read the article.

Catch a Comet by Its Tail


The space capsule Stardust blazed through the skies at 30,000 miles per
hour before it landed, slowed by parachutes, in a Utah desert. Stardust
brought home the first material collected from a comet.
Comets are chunks of ice, rock, and dust that are billions of years old.
Studying them could provide clues to how the solar system formed. The
space capsule flew to within 150 miles of Comet 81P/Wild 2 and stuck out a
tennis racketlike contraption to catch tiny grains of material being blown off
the surface of the comet. The microscopic particles were trapped in an airy
goo called aerogel. Scientists believe that a million of these dust particles
may have been captured by the craft.
Why is this so exciting? Comets are like cosmic time capsules. They
contain material that has been in the deep freeze since the sun and the
planets formed more than four and a half billion years ago.
Volunteers may be able to help scientists unlock the secrets of space
dust. People can peer at images of the aerogel at http://stardustathome.
ssl.berkeley.edu/ to search for tiny particles. Once researchers know where
to look, they will carefully extract the dust and analyze it. Another reason to
pitch in? People who find grains of space dust get to name them!

82 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


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Catch a Comet by Its Tail (cont.)

Directions: Answer the questions. You may use the article.

1. What is a comet? What does studying them provide?


______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. What is Stardust? What did it do?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Describe how Stardust collected material from the comet. From which comet did the craft
catch material?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. The craft trapped microscopic particles in aerogel. Discuss the significance of capturing
the particles.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
5. Create a 30-second commercial on how volunteers can help scientists unlock the secrets
of the space dust.
6. Research the Stardust’s mission and find three facts not mentioned in the article.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
7. Conduct a class survey. Ask your friends if they are interested in helping scientists search
for comets and stardust. On the back of this page, make a graph to represent your findings.
© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 83
Name ____________________________________________________

Catch a Comet by Its Tail (cont.)

Comets vs Asteroids
When we think of the solar system, we tend to think only of the sun, the eight planets (nine if
you count Pluto), and their moons. However, the empty spaces of our solar system are filled with
comets and asteroids. Perhaps the most famous comet is Halley’s Comet. It was first observed
back in 240 b.c.! It comes and goes every 76 years. Asteroids are not as easily seen as comets. In
fact, they typically go unnoticed until they enter Earth’s atmosphere. The first asteroid to be seen
was Ceres in 1801. Although comets and asteroids are a lot alike, they have some key differences.
Use the Venn diagram to answer the questions.

Comets Asteroids
have long gas, dust, and ion have no tail
tails Both also known as planetoids
made from frozen ice, gas, and dust orbit the made of rock and/or metal
surrounded by a hydrogen cloud sun
have no atmosphere
are part of our
Halley, Shoemaker-Levy 9 (SL-9) and solar system Ceres is the biggest.
Hale-Bopp are famous ones.
Some come close Most orbit between Mars and Jupiter.
Sungrazers are ones that crash into the to Earth.
sun. not very bright
Some have
have highly elliptical orbits hit Earth.

can be very bright; bright enough


to be seen with the naked eye

1. Which does not have atmosphere, comets or asteroids?


______________________________________________________________________________
2. What is Ceres?
______________________________________________________________________________
3. How are comets and asteroids alike? How are they different?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

84 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


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Catch a Comet by Its Tail (cont.)

Document-Based Extension Activities


Students may work independently, or the teacher may copy this page and then cut out activities
and distribute them to students for completion in small groups.

1. Create a table comparing four famous


comets. Include their names, dates first
2. Draw a picture of the solar system that
seen, dates last seen, and when we can
includes comets and asteroids.
expect to see them again. How many
years are in-between their appearances?

4. Research the International Space


Station (ISS). Write an essay that
includes, but is not limited to,
information answering the following
questions:
• Which five space agencies are
3. Considering all the planets in our solar involved in the ISS project?
system, which has the most potential
• When did the first resident crew
for life? Least potential? Explain your
arrive at the ISS?
answer.
• Currently, how many people can live
in the ISS at one time?
• Which two countries are primarily
responsible for servicing the ISS?
• How have ordinary people been able
to experience space via the ISS?

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 85


Directions: Read the article.

Remembering Rosa Parks


Around 50 years ago, civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks quietly opened a new
chapter in our nation’s history. Parks died in 2005 at her home in Detroit,
Michigan. She was 92 years old. The world mourns the loss of a leader who
took a stand by taking a seat.
On December 1, 1955, Parks broke the law. Her crime was to take an
empty seat on a public bus in Montgomery, Alabama. It’s an act that doesn’t
seem special at all today. But in 1955, segregation laws in some states
required separate seating for African-Americans and whites in restaurants,
on buses, and in other public spaces. Parks stood for racial equality by
refusing to move when a white man wanted her to give up her seat.
Parks was arrested, but her act of bravery set off a chain of events that
changed the United States. African-Americans responded to the injustice
by refusing to ride buses in Montgomery. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the
peaceful boycott, which lasted 381 days. In 1956, the United States Supreme
Court ruled that African-Americans could not be forced to sit only in certain
areas on buses. In 1964, the Civil Rights Act outlawed racial discrimination in
all public places.
Many admirers call Parks the mother of the civil rights movement. She led
by example, showing that peaceful protest could create dramatic change.
But Parks shared the credit. “The only thing that made it significant was that
the masses of the people joined in,” she said.

86 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


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Remembering Rosa Parks (cont.)

Directions: Answer the questions. You may use the article.

1. Describe the segregation laws in 1955.


______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. What did Rosa Parks do to get arrested?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. How did she stand up for racial equality?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. How did the African-American community unite and fight back against the injustice Parks
faced?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
5. List the two legal results of the civil rights movement. Include the years they passed.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
6. Discuss the similarities in the ways Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks created great
change. Using the back of this page, write a brief essay detailing their methods and
achievements. You may do more research, if necessary.
7. In your own words, describe Rosa Parks. Include details of her life, the type of person you
think she was, and what impact she had on our country. Use the back of this page to write
your response.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 87


Name ____________________________________________________

Remembering Rosa Parks (cont.)

Civil Right Milestones


The dates and milestones listed below are only some of the key events in the history of the civil
rights movement. The emphasis is on the efforts affecting the civil rights of African Americans.
Key Events in the History of the Civil Rights Movement
1954 The United States Supreme Court rules that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional.
1955 Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on the bus. She is arrested.
1956 The United States Supreme Court rules to desegregate buses.
1957 Nine African-American students in Little Rock, Arkansas are blocked from entering school on orders from the
governor. President Eisenhower sends troops on behalf of the students who became known as the Little Rock Nine.
1962 Martin Luther King, Jr. is arrested during antisegregation protests. While in Birmingham City Jail, he writes that
individuals have the moral duty to disobey unjust laws.
1963 About 200,000 people walked from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial. Martin Luther King Jr.
delivers his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
1964 President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits all discrimination based on race, color, religion,
or national origin.
1965 Congress passes the Voting Rights Act of 1965, making it easier for Southern blacks to vote.
1965 Race riots erupt in Watts, California.
1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. is shot and killed on the balcony outside his hotel room.

1. Who are the Little Rock Nine? Describe the event that gave them their name. When and
where did it take place?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. Where was Martin Luther King, Jr. when he wrote “Letter from Birmingham Jail”? Why
was he there? What did the letter argue?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Which United States President signed a majority of civil rights laws and orders?
______________________________________________________________________________
4. Ask your parents, grandparents, teachers, or neighbors if they remember the Watts Riots
in 1965. Write a brief essay discussing their feelings, thoughts, and memories. Use the
back of this page.

88 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

Remembering Rosa Parks (cont.)

Document-Based Extension Activities


Students may work independently, or the teacher may copy this page and then cut out activities
and distribute them to students for completion in small groups.

2. When did the fight for


African-American civil rights begin?
What was life like for everyone during
1. Create a collage with pictures of various that time? What would you have done
civil rights leaders and events. Include if you were alive back then? How did
leaders and events that represent all the movement change how we live our
races. For example: Martin Luther lives today? Predict how life would be
King, Jr. and Cesar Chavez. different if the Civil Rights Movement
never took place? Write an essay
or story, or give a presentation that
discusses these questions and more.

4. When Martin Luther King, Jr. and


Rosa Parks were practicing peaceful,
nonviolent ways in which to stand up
3. List three sports figures that helped
against discrimination, what
break down the barriers of racial
African-American groups were doing
discrimination and segregation in
the opposite? List two or three key
professional sports. Write a brief
figures or groups in African-American
summary of each figure’s life, actions,
history that were willing to fight for
accomplishments, etc.
their rights by any means necessary?
Who were they, what did they do, and
what were the effects of their actions?

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 89


Directions: Read the article.

The White Sox Sweep to Victory


A very long wait is finally over for the Chicago White Sox. On October 27,
2005, the team won its first World Series championship in 88 years. It was
the third title ever for the White Sox, who won in 1906 and 1917, and their
first World Series appearance since 1959.
The White Sox were almost perfect. The team lost only one postseason
game on the way to the championship. They swept the Boston Red Sox in
the first round of the playoffs. Then they beat the Los Angeles Angels of
Anaheim in five games to take the American League title. Finally, Chicago
defeated the Houston Astros in four straight games to win the World Series.
White Sox right fielder Jermaine Dye was named the Series’ most
valuable player. In the eighth inning of the final game, he hit a single and
drove in the game’s only run, leading his team to a 1–0 victory.
The championship has allowed the White Sox to finally step out of
the shadow of Chicago’s more well-known hard-luck baseball team, the
Cubs, who haven’t won a World Series since 1908. Even some Cubs fans
hit the streets to celebrate victory. “We’re happy to be able to bring a
championship to the city of Chicago,” Dye said.

Top Five-Longest World Series Games


During the World Series, many baseball teams hang on until the bitter
end and then come out swinging for more! Game three of the 2005 Series
between the Chicago White Sox and the Houston Astros lasted nearly six
hours. Listed below are the longest World Series games on record.

1. 2005 Game Three—Chicago White Sox v. Houston Astros: 5 hours 41 minutes


2. 2000 Game One—New York Yankees v. New York Mets: 4 hours 51 minutes
3. 1993 Game Four—Toronto Blue Jays v. Philadelphia Phillies: 4 hours 14 minutes
4. 1973 Game Two—New York Mets v. Oakland Athletics: 4 hours 13 minutes
5. 1997 Game Seven—Florida Marlins v. Cleveland Indians: 4 hours 11 minutes

90 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


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The White Sox Sweep to Victory (cont.)

Directions: Answer the questions. You may use the article.

1. Which team won the World Series on October 27, 2005? How long had it been since it
won its last World Series? How many titles does it have now and in what years did they
earn them?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. How long did game 3 of the World Series last? Can you imagine how tired the players
must have been? As a fan, would you have lasted six hours?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Who was the team’s most valuable player? What did he do to earn that honor?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. In your own words, what does the article title “Sweep to Victory,” mean?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
5. The White Sox are not the city of Chicago’s only baseball team. What is the other team?
Describe its World Series history.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
6. Write a front-page newspaper article for the day the White Sox won the World Series on
October 27, 2005. Include game facts, perspectives of both players and fans, and a picture
of the celebration at home plate. Use the back of this page.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 91


Name ____________________________________________________

The White Sox Sweep to Victory (cont.)

Take Me Out to the Ball Game


The song Take Me Out to the Ball Game was written in 1908—by two men who had never
attended a baseball game! It first became popular in vaudeville. Vaudeville was a popular style
of live entertainment with music, comedy, and other acts. Later, the song began to be played
at baseball games. It is usually sung in the middle of the seventh inning, also called the
seventh-inning stretch. People stand and sing, sometimes adding hand motions to the song.
Today, the song is said to be the third-most commonly played song in the United States, after
Happy Birthday and The Star-Spangled Banner. The full song also has verses that are not sung
at baseball games. The part most people know is really only the chorus of the song:

Take me out to the ball game,


Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks.
I don’t care if I never get back.
Let me root, root, root for the home team.
If they don’t win, it’s a shame!
For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out,
At the old ball game.
—Jack Norworth (lyrics) and Albert Von Tilzer (music)

1. What two songs are more commonly played in the United States today than Take Me out
to the Ball Game?
______________________________________________________________________________ .
2. Describe what happens during the seventh-inning stretch. Have you ever participated in
one?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________ .
3. Judging by the song, what might it have been like to attend a vaudeville show?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

92 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

The White Sox Sweep to Victory (cont.)

Document-Based Extension Activities


Students may work independently, or the teacher may copy this page and then cut out activities
and distribute them to students for completion in small groups.

1. Research the history of the Negro


Baseball League. Create a time line
showing key dates and milestones.
Develop a presentation about the
league. You should include, but are
not limited to, answers to the following
questions:
2. List the top-three team managers
• Who was responsible for starting the (coaches) in both the National and
league? American Leagues with the most World
• What were the names of the first Series wins.
teams?
• Who were some of the first players?
• How were the players treated?
• What was life like for them compared
to the lives of white baseball players?
• What was the difference in salaries?

4. How has the recent rise in alleged


illegal drug use impacted baseball?
3. Research which team has won the Some players will have difficulty
World Series each year since the World making it into the baseball Hall of
Series began. Create a pie chart or bar Fame as a result of this very issue.
graph to show which teams have won For those involved, how are their
most often. accomplishments affected? How do
current Hall of Famers and fans feel
about these types of players?

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 93


Directions: Read the article.

Seeds of Hope
Walk through countless small villages in Sub-Saharan Africa and you will see
the same scene: women and kids bent over, tending to scrawny plants. Every
year, Africa’s farms yield fewer and fewer crops. Many Africans are living on the
edge of starvation.
Philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates say it is time for a revolution. On
September 12, 2006, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced it was
teaming up with the Rockefeller Foundation to fight hunger in Africa. The two
groups will spend $150 million to boost farming methods on the continent.

Seeds of Change
The new program is called the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa
(AGRA). It is a back-to-basics plan that will start with the seeds farmers plant
and end with the markets where they sell crops. AGRA wants to help scientists
breed crops that flourish in Africa, then get seeds for those crops into the
hands of farmers. In time, better harvests will result in surpluses that farmers
can sell. AGRA also hopes to help farmers get and use chemical fertilizers,
which will improve soil quality.
Sub-Saharan Africa contains 16 of the 18 most undernourished countries
in the world. It is the only region on Earth where people have less food each
year.
African scientists have developed more than 100 new crop varieties. New
rice plants, called NERICA (New Rice for Africa), are adapted to growing
conditions in the area. They have a shorter growing cycle and are resistant to
weeds. The effects of planting hardier plants can already be felt. Children are
spending less time in the field. School attendance is up in the areas where the
new rice is grown.
Between 1960 and 1984, a green revolution more than doubled total food
production in developing countries in Asia and Latin America. But experts
agree that Africa is more complex, because growing conditions vary across
the continent. “You’re not going to develop a single crop that revolutionizes
African agriculture,” says Paula Bramel, a researcher in Tanzania. “This is a
much more diverse place.”
No one expects success to come easily. Even if governments and farmers
do everything right, it will take years to see the fruits of their labor. But the
Gates and Rockefeller Foundations envision a new Africa, where farmers aren’t
doomed to a life of hunger. They have started by planting a small seed of hope.

94 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

Seeds of Hope (cont.)

Directions: Answer the questions. You may use the article.

1. Explain how the Gates Foundation (Bill and Melinda Gates) and the Rockefeller
Foundation have teamed up to fight hunger in Africa. What are they doing, and what are
their goals?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. What is the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)? What is AGRA’s plan?
How will it help farmers?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Describe NERICA. What does it stand for? What is unique about it? Explain how it
affects the lives of children.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. Summarize how the green revolution helped the developing countries of Asia and Latin
America. Why is Africa more complex than these countries?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
5. Write a story about a day in the life of a woman farmer and her children.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
6. Why do you think of the title of the article? What does the title, “Seeds of Hope,” mean to
you? Use the back of this page to write your response.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 95


Name ____________________________________________________

Seeds of Hope (cont.)

Problems and Solutions


We know that the conditions in Africa are not what they should be. Many Africans live on the
verge of starvation. Every year it gets worse, not better. However, with the help of the Bill and
Melinda Gates and Rockefeller Foundations through their AGRA program and African scientists,
there is again hope for what was once a hopeless situation. Below, you will see a chart listing the
problems African farmers face and the possible solutions.

Problems Faced By African Farmers Solutions Possible With the Help of AGRA
Program and African Scientists
1. Every year, African farmers yield fewer and 1. The Gates and Rockefeller Foundations
fewer crops. will spend $150 million to boost farming
methods in Africa.
2. As a result of poor growing conditions and 2. African scientists have developed more
inadequate crop varieties, farmers barely than 100 new crop varieties.
grow enough food to feed their families.
3. The soil quality in Africa isn’t sufficient and 3. AGRA is working on helping farmers get
the farmers do not have the means to make and use chemical fertilizers to improve soil
improvements. quality.
4. A green revolution cannot be successful 4. Scientists have developed new crop
in Africa like it has been in other varieties and new rice plants (NERICA-
underdeveloped countries due to Africa’s New Rice for Africa) that are adapted to the
diverse growing conditions across the growing conditions within the continent.
country. The crops have a shorter growing cycle and
are more resistant to weeds.
5. Children are expected to help in the fields, 5. The effect of planting hardier plants
taking them away from school. reduces the need for children’s help,
allowing them to go to school.

1. How is AGRA helping to keep children in school?


______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. Why is it more difficult to plant crops successfully in Africa than it is in Asia and Latin
America?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

96 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

Seeds of Hope (cont.)

Document-Based Extension Activities


Students may work independently, or the teacher may copy this page and then cut out activities
and distribute them to students for completion in small groups.

1. There are many problems Africa faces


in addition to poor crop-growing
conditions and starvation. Many
volunteers and missions visit Africa
every year. Research the other issues
affecting Africa (at least two), and write
a detailed essay about them. Consider 2. Using a blank map of Africa, label all
the following questions: the countries on the continent.
• What is the issue or problem?
• Who and what are affected?
• What is being done to solve the
problem?
• How is the rest of the world helping?

3. There are many African flags that 4. Africa is known for its spectacular
represent the different countries on the variety of roaming wildlife. If you were
continent. Pick six countries of interest to go on a safari in Africa, what would
to you and research their flags. Then, you expect to see? Study the wildlife
make each flag by drawing it or using for which Africa is known. Then,
construction paper, and put together a draw a picture or make a collage that
poster with a brief narrative description represents the wildlife in Africa. Title
next to each flag’s picture. your illustration African Wildlife.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 97


Directions: Read the article.

A Taste of History
Inside a glass case in New York City’s Museum of Natural History rests a
small piece of chocolate so old that no one would dream of eating it. More
than 1,500 years ago, Mayan people, in what is today Honduras, made that
chocolate into a spicy, foamy drink. They buried a cup of the drink with a
king as a sign of respect.
In 1998, archaeologists discovered the brown sludge and realized it was
ancient chocolate! Recently, the oldest known chocolate was on display as
part of an exhibit celebrating the history of one of the world’s favorite treats.
The exhibit is traveling to museums in nine states. “Chocolate is a gift from
Latin America to the rest of the world,” says Charles Spencer, the director of
Mexican and Central American anthropology at the museum. The Mayans
found that the bitter seeds of cacao trees, or cocoa trees, could be made
into hot cocoa. They used it in religious and royal ceremonies.
In the 1400s, the Aztecs, who ruled much of Mexico and Central America,
used cocoa seeds as money. Back then, money really did grow on trees!
It wasn’t until after the Spanish arrived in the New World in the 1500s that
Europeans first tasted chocolate.
Cocoa beans are grown mostly in West Africa and South America. Once
dried, the beans are shipped to chocolate makers in the United States and
Europe. Some of the world’s most popular chocolate is made in Belgium,
France, and Switzerland. Although chocolate is often made with unhealthful
fat and sugar, some chocolate may have health benefits. A recent study
showed that dark chocolate may actually help lower blood pressure. Isn’t
that sweet?

98 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

A Taste of History (cont.)

Directions: Answer the questions. You may use the article.

1. What did the Mayans use chocolate for over 1,500 years ago? Why did they bury it with a
king?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. Where are most of the world’s cocoa beans grown? What happens to the beans once they
are dried?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Where are most of the world’s most popular chocolates made? Locate these places, using a
map or a globe.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. We often hear that eating too many sweets can be unhealthy. Explain which particular
type of chocolate may actually prove that the opposite is true. Why?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
5. What do you think the author means by back then, money really did grow on trees? To
which culture is this quote referring? What part of the world did they rule, and during
what time?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
6. Write about a time that you asked your parents (or anyone else) for something and they
told you no because “money does not grow on trees.” Did you understand what they
meant? Describe your feelings. What were you asking for? What point were they trying
to make? Use the back of this page.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 99


Name ____________________________________________________

A Taste of History (cont.)

Top-Five Candy Bar Brands


Did you know that Americans eat more that three America’s Top 5 Candy Bar Brands
billion pounds of chocolate every year? Now that is a
lot of chocolate! Halloween is the most popular time 1. Hershey’s®
of year for eating chocolate. To the right, you will see 2. M & M’s®
which brand of chocolates America likes best. Did
your favorite make the list? Use the information on this 3. Reese’s®
page to answer the questions.
4. Snickers®
5. Kit Kat®

1. About how much chocolate do Americans consume every year?


______________________________________________________________________________
2. When is the most popular time of year to eat chocolate?
______________________________________________________________________________
3. What are the top-five candy bar favorites in America? What is your favorite type of
chocolate? Did it make the list? If you are not a fan of chocolate, what is your favorite
sweet treat?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. Can you think of any other types of candy kids your age enjoy?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
5. Explain why it is important to brush your teeth after eating sweets. How does being active
help keep you healthy?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

100 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

A Taste of History (cont.)

Document-Based Extension Activities


Students may work independently, or the teacher may copy this page and then cut out activities
and distribute them to students for completion in small groups.

1. Research the Hershey Company®.


• When was the company established?
• From where do they import their
cocoa beans? 2. Take a class survey: What is your
favorite candy bar? Create a graph of
• Where is the main headquarters
your choice to represent your findings.
located?
• The Hershey Company offers tours
of their factory. What might you see
and experience on a tour?

3. Discuss the recent findings on the 4. Create a poster that illustrates the
health benefits of eating chocolate. process of making chocolate. Start with
Which type of chocolate? How much the tree and end with the chocolate.
should you consume? How does it
improve your health?

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 101


Directions: Read the article.

Power Shift
Democrats won big on November 7, 2006. For the first time since 1994,
they gained control of the House of Representatives and the Senate. All
435 seats in the House were up for grabs. Members serve two-year terms.
Democrats won at least 28 seats that had been held by Republicans.
Only 33 of the country’s 100 Senate seats were up for election. Senators
serve six-year terms. The new Senate is almost evenly divided. Republicans
and Democrats each hold 49 seats. There are two independent senators,
Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who don’t
belong to either party. Both are likely to side with Democrats on the issues.

The Edge
Many of the contests were bitterly fought, and the margins of victory were
razor thin. In Virginia, Democrat Jim Webb declared victory over Republican
Senator George Allen. “The votes are in and we won,” Webb said. About
7,000 votes out of 2.3 million separated the candidates.
Surveys of voters showed that many citizens were unhappy with the
Republican Party. About six in 10 voters said the nation was headed in
the wrong direction. They expressed concerns about the war in Iraq and
President Bush’s performance. The day after the election, Bush announced
that he was replacing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Scandal and
accusations of corruption also hurt many Republican candidates.

The Next Election


After all the votes are counted, politicians look ahead to the next big
contest—the 2008 presidential election. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton,
who scored a huge reelection victory in New York, and Senator Barack
Obama of Illinois are Democratic contenders. On the Republican side,
Arizona Senator John McCain and former New York City Mayor, Rudy
Giuliani, threw their hats into the ring.
For now, the power shift in Congress means that lawmakers must
compromise. “We are prepared to govern,” Speaker of the House Nancy
Pelosi said. “We will do so working together with the administration and the
Republicans in Congress.” Bush echoed her words. “It is our responsibility
to put the elections behind us and work together,” he said.

102 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

Power Shift (cont.)

Directions: Answer the questions. You may use the article.

1. Which political party won control of Congress (House of Representatives and Senate)?
How long had it been since the last time they had control?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. How many seats are in the House of Representatives? How many seats are in the Senate?
How long is the term for members of the House of Representatives? How long is the term
for members of the Senate?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
3. Write a brief summary detailing why most voters are unhappy with the Republican Party.
Do you agree with them? Why or why not?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. In your own words, explain how, now more than ever, the Democrats and Republicans will
have to work together and compromise.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
5. Every American can legally vote once he or she turns 18 years old. Write a persuasive
letter discussing this important responsibility. How will your letter motivate young
citizens to exercise their right to vote in all elections—local, state, and federal? Use the
back of this page.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 103


Name ____________________________________________________

Power Shift (cont.)

Can One Vote Really Make a Difference?


Voting is one of the most valuable rights an American citizen has. All citizens 18 and older
are given this right. The problem is that almost half the population chooses not to do so. By
exercising your right to vote, you are taking a stand for what you believe in. Although only adults
(18 and older) are allowed to vote in state, local, and federal elections, many children vote in
school. They vote for student officers, classroom rules, and on other issues. People often wonder
if their one vote can make a difference. The answer is yes, and history proves it! Listed below
are key events when one vote actually influenced the results of an election or decision. Use the
information to answer the questions.

Proof that One Vote Really Does Make a Difference!


1820 One electoral vote kept President James Monroe from being reelected.
1845 One vote made Texas the 28th state in the United States
1846 One vote decided on war with Mexico. The United States won, and added five states:
New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and California.
1867 One vote gave Alaska to the United States in the Alaska Purchase. It became a state in
1958.
1868 One vote saved President Andrew Johnson from being voted out of office.
1876 One electoral vote gave the presidency to Rutherford B. Hayes.
1916 One vote in each of California’s voting districts reelected President Wilson instead of
voting in Charles Hughes.
1948 One vote per voting precinct gave Harry Truman the presidency over Thomas Dewey.
1960 One vote per voting precinct gave John Kennedy the presidency over Richard Nixon.
2000 The November 2000 election was the closest in history. George W. Bush won the
electoral vote by four votes, although Al Gore won the popular vote by 337,536 votes.

1. How did one vote hinder James Monroe in 1820?


______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
2. How did the deciding vote in 1846 to go to war against Mexico benefit the United States?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________

104 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Name ____________________________________________________

Power Shift (cont.)

Document-Based Extension Activities


Students may work independently, or the teacher may copy this page and then cut out activities
and distribute them to students for completion in small groups.

2. Research the United States


1. Pretend you are a teacher. Create a Constitution. Write an essay that
lesson about the three branches of answers the following questions (you
government (executive, judicial, and are not limited to these questions):
legislative). Include which offices are • When was it written?
parts of each branch, the main purpose
• What was the purpose for writing it?
and responsibilities, what powers the
branch has. Your lesson should be • Who was president at the time?
detailed, informative, and full of facts • Who were the authors?
about each branch. • Did any of the authors go on to
become president?

4. Map out where and when the following


historic events took place:
• the Civil War
3. Discuss the differences between
• signing of the Constitution
a democratic government and a
government focused around a dictator, • Ben Franklin and his discovery of
or a communist government. electricity
• Abraham Lincoln’s assassination
• Betsy Ross sewing the first American
Flag

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 105


Appendix A

References Cited
Grigg, W.S., M. C. Daane, Y. Jin, and J. R. Campbell. 2003. National assessment of
educational progress. The nation’s report card: Reading 2002. Washington, DC: U.S.
Department of Education.
Gulek, C. 2003. Preparing for high-stakes testing. Theory Into Practice 42 (1): 42–50.
Ivey, G. and K. Broaddus. 2000. Tailoring the fit: Reading instruction and middle school
readers. The Reading Teacher 54 (1): 68–78.
Kletzien, S.B. 1998. Information text or narrative text? Children’s preferences revisited.
Paper presented at the National Reading Conference, Austin, TX.
Miller, D. 2002. Reading with meaning: Teaching comprehension in the primary grades.
Portland, ME: Stenhouse.
Moss, B. and J. Hendershot. 2002. Exploring sixth graders’ selection of nonfiction trade
books. The Reading Teacher 56 (1): 6–18.
Pardo, L.S. 2002. Book Club for the twenty-first century. Illinois Reading Council Journal 30
(4): 14–23.
RAND Reading Study Group. 002. Reading for understanding: Toward a research and
development program in reading comprehension. Santa Monica, CA: Office of Education
Research and Improvement.
U.S. Congress. House. 2002. No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Pub. L. No. 107–110, 115
Stat. 1425.

106 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Appendix B

Student Achievement Graph


# of Number of Questions Correctly Answered
Passage Title
Questions 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 107


Appendix C

Answer Key
Many of the answers will show an example of how the students might respond. For many of the
questions there may be more than one correct answer.

Page 19 Page 24 (cont.) Page 32


1. The switch to K–8 is a result of 3. Lung cancer is preventable because 1. The picture has a fighter plane, an
recent studies that show that middle almost all cases result from smoking. African-American pilot, and the
schools aren’t doing any better than We can prevent getting lung cancer American flag.
junior high schools were. by not smoking or being around 2. Answers will vary.
2. Janna Juvonen, a psychologist, says others who smoke. 3. Answers will vary. Possible answers
that sixth grade is not the time might include P-30 (engine behind
to switch schools. At this age, Page 27 the pilot), P-40 (inline engine), P-47
kids’ minds and bodies are going 1. The most popular method of (air cooled radial engine in front
through so many changes that cyberbullying is instant messaging. of the pilot), P-51 (the Famous
they need more stability in terms Chat rooms, emails and websites are Tuskegee “Red Tails”), etc.
of relationships with teachers and close behind. 4. Answers will vary. Students’
peers. Answers will vary. 2 Cracking down on cyberbullying is answers might include that the tails
3. Between 1999 and 2004, the nation’s challenging because the majority of were painted red as a way to identify
middle school students made small incidents are happening outside of the group of training pilots. Once
gains in math but no progress in school, and it is difficult to find out the airmen demonstrated great skill
reading. Barry Fein doesn’t believe who the culprit is because his or her and success, the “red tails” were
that test scores tell the whole story. identity is often hidden or false. often requested to escort the white
He agrees that the switch from 3. According to the study, girls are bomber pilots.
elementary school to middle school twice as likely to be victims of
is a tough transition, but he feels cyberbullying than boys. Answers Page 35
that the benefits of more classes, will vary. 1. Condoleezza Rice is in charge of the
team sports, and clubs are worth the 4.–7. Answers will vary. United States’ dealings with other
adjustment. countries.
4.–6. Answers will vary. Page 28 2. Rice was born in Birmingham,
1. This information is intended Alabama in 1954. She grew up
Page 20 to encourage kids and teens during a time when racism was still
1. A student is standing in front of to be cautious when they are very much a harsh reality—a time
two very different types of schools communicating in cyberspace. It is a when most African-Americans were
wondering which one is best for him. tool to warn them about the possible kept out of top jobs.
2.–3. Answers will vary. dangers in cyberspace. 3. When Rice first attended college,
2. Answers will vary. Students might she intended to study music and
Page 23 mention that giving away personal follow her passion for the piano.
1. The good news is that for the second information provides predators and She switched her focus to political
year in a row, fewer people in the cyberbullies with ways to find them. science and international studies
United States died from cancer. 3. Answers will vary. Students might after hearing a lecture from a
2. Heart disease is the only disease that mention that communicating in professor.
takes more lives than cancer. cyberspace can be just as dangerous 4. Answers will vary. Students should
3. Experts believe that early detection, as taking candy from a stranger include that she served on the
advances in treatment options, and because you really don’t know who National Security Council under
a decline in smoking are responsible you are communicating with and former President George H.W.
for the positive change. what they are capable of. Bush, she was the National Security
4. The new data indicates a trend Advisor from 2001–2005, and
Page 31
that cancer deaths are not only finally in January 2005, she became
continuing to decline, but the 1. They were known as the Tuskegee Secretary of State.
decrease is becoming much larger Airmen. 5. Rice is the first African-American
than in past years. 2. About 300 airmen attended the woman to serve as Secretary of
5.–7. Answers will vary. awards ceremony. State.
3. Answers will vary. Students should 6. Rice’s success is judged by whether
Page 24 mention that they were fighting for the United States can advance
1. The top five cancers for women their country abroad during World its interests without resorting to
are breast, lung, colon, uterine, War II, while at the same time military force.
and ovarian. The top five cancers fighting racial discrimination at 7. Answers will vary.
for men are prostate, lung, colon, home.
bladder, and melanoma. 4.–6. Answers will vary.
2. Breast, uterine, ovarian, and cervical
cancers are specific to women.
Prostate cancer is specific to men.

108 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Appendix C

Answer Key (cont.)

Page 36 Page 43 (cont.) Page 47 (cont.)


1. The Indianapolis Colts and the 2. Many families cannot afford to pay 4. During the Holocaust, an estimated
Chicago Bears were in the Super for their kids to go to the doctor. six million Jewish people lost
Bowl. 3. Many United States hospitals and their lives. The Nazi government
2. Tony Dungy was the Colts’ head other health care providers are killed them. Now, the same thing
coach and Lovie Smith was the bringing health care to the children is happening in Darfur under
Bears’ head coach. This was a in need. They are converting vans the leadership of the Sudanese
unique accomplishment because and buses into fully equipped government. Answers will vary.
never before had an African- medical facilities. They provide free 5. Omar al-Bashir has broken many
American head coach led his team or low-cost care to kids who would agreements in the past.
to the Super Bowl, and both of these not receive health care any other 6. Answers will vary.
coaches were African-American way. They use the vans and buses
3. Answers will vary. Students should to travel to the kids. They go to Page 48
mention that despite the fact that all schools, homeless shelters, and other 1. The map shows the continent of
three grew up during a time when areas in need. Africa and two regions that have had
racism kept many African-American 4. CHF helps support a network of millions of lives lost due to violence.
people from achieving their dreams, 21 programs that provide medical 2. The regions are Rwanda and Darfur.
they have become key figures in services to kids who need care. Their 3. Answers will vary.
America’s history. medical vans visit schools, homeless
4. Answers will vary. shelters, and neighborhood sites. Page 51
5. The government has two programs 1. Roly-poly wallabies, duck-billed
Page 39 in place to support children living platypuses, cuddly koalas, flightless
1. Driving big cars, using computers, in poverty. The first program, emus, and prickly echidnas can only
and building skyscrapers, houses and Medicaid, gives insurance to families be found in Australia.
schools are all activities that overload that earn little or no money. The 2. Marsupials are mammals whose
the environment with CO2. second program, State Children’s infants develop in an external pouch.
2. People can use their backyards for Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), Kangaroos as tall as trucks, wombats
composting. The breakdown of food, gives insurance to families who earn weighing more than 400 pounds, and
paper and yard waste creates rich a little more. fierce marsupial lions are believed to
soil that can be used for gardening. 6. Answers will vary. have roamed Australia 500,000 years
3. Grass and plant covered rooftops ago.
absorb less heat and act as filters for Page 44 3. The cave explorers came across
rainwater harvesting. Geothermal 1. Answers will vary. Students should several small openings in the ground
heat pumps use water to cool the mention that a doctor is giving a that led to a series of extensive caves.
home in the summer and warm it child a checkup. They are located at 4. The discovery was significant
up during the winter. Answers will school. The doctor and the supplies because the scientists finally had
vary. came in the Checkup on Wheels complete skeletons to examine.
4. The three cities that are encouraging van. They believe that the animals
more earth-friendly living are 2. Answers will vary. Students should accidentally fell through the holes
San Francisco—banned the use of mention that all children need to and died there.
Styrofoam containers, New York be checked for illnesses and given 5. Researchers once believed that
City—converting a landfill into a preventative care to avoid illness and climate changes were responsible for
park, and Chicago—has more than to stay healthy. the extinction of megamarsupials.
200 grass roofs. Answers will vary. 3. Answers will vary. Now, they believe that climate and
5.–6. Answers will vary. human interaction are responsible
Page 47 for the extinction.
Page 40 1. President Bush warned that the 6. Scientists were most excited about
1. The water travels through a pipe government of Sudan must abide by discovering complete skeletons of
(penstock) to get to the turbine. peace agreements. the marsupial lion.
2. Water is stored in the reservoir. 2. If the government of Sudan fails
Page 52
3. Energy created by hydropower to abide by peace agreements, the
United States will impose strict 1. The common wombat can sleep with
is renewable, economical, and its feet in the air.
pollution-free. economic penalties.
3. Answers will vary. Students should 2.–3. Answers will vary.
4. The water comes from lakes and
rivers. mention that more than 200,000 Page 55
people have been killed and two
Page 43 1. Traditionally, Ramadan is a holy
and a half million people have been
month celebrated by the Muslim
1. Tommy is a 10-year-old kid who forced to leave their homes by rebel
people. There is prayer, food,
suffers from two serious illnesses: armies.
fasting, and family. In 2006,
diabetes and Graves’ disease. In however, it was overshadowed by
order to live a healthy and active life, violence in Iraq.
he needs to see a doctor regularly.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 109


Appendix C

Answer Key (cont.)

Page 55 (cont.) Page 59 (cont.) Page 64 (cont.)


2. The two representatives announced 5.–6. Answers will vary. 3. The current flag was adopted in
that the United States was setting a 7. It reads the same backward and 1968, but the design has been used
timetable that would eventually lead forward. Explain that this type of since 1821.
to full Iraqi control of the country wordplay is called a palindrome.
within the next 12–18 months. Page 67
3. In order for the Iraqi government Page 60 1. Laima Tazmin’s hobby was creating
to take full control of the country it 1. The four former presidents websites. She became the business
needs to improve its security forces, are included in the sculpture owner of a web-design company.
get rid of militias, and split oil wealth for different reasons. George 2. Shay Hammond’s business is called
among all religious and ethnic Washington represents the struggle Bones and Biscuits. Her clients are
groups. for independence; Thomas Jefferson pet owners. She makes her own
4. The Shiite Muslim leader, Muqtada represents the idea of government line of dog treats using all natural
al-Sadr, says his primary goal is of the people, by the people, and for ingredients. The treats come in two
to force foreign troops to leave the people; Abraham Lincoln for his flavors: Mutter Butter and Chicken
the country; however, his actions ideas on equality and the permanent Lickin’.
say something else. His private union of the states; and Theodore 3. Luis Villa is a 16-year-old who
militia, the Mahdi Army, has killed Roosevelt for his responsibility for founded a business that takes a
thousands of Sunnis and any Shiites the 20th-century role of the United stand against senseless violence.
who do not follow his lead. States in domestic and foreign His clothing and accessory line
5. Ammar Jawad is an Iraqi citizen who affairs. uses bandana patterns typically
moved his family out of Baghdad to 2.–3. Answers will vary. associated with gangs and pairs
Balad in an attempt to escape the them with colors that promote unity.
Page 63 4.–5. Answers wil vary.
violence. Within one week of their
arrival in Balad, violence erupted. 1. The new president of Mexico is
Answers will vary. Felipe Calderón. He won the vote Page 68
by less than one percent. Many 1. A franchise exists when someone
Page 56 people thought the election was opens a new business under an
1. The five pillars of Islamic faith are rigged. Upon hearing the news, existing company’s name and uses
Shahada (affirmation), Salat (prayer), demonstrators in Mexico City that company’s product and services.
Zakat (alms giving), Siyam (fasting), protested the results by waving The franchisee (person opening a
and Hajj (pilgrimage). signs, shouting slogans, and raising new business) pays a fee to use the
2. The fifth pillar, Hajj, represents the their fists. name, products, and services of the
pilgrimage to Mecca. 2. The Federal Electoral Tribunal, franchise (existing company).
3. The Islamic symbol is a crescent the country’s top electoral court, 2. The top 10 include food and service
moon and a star. ruled the election was fair. They businesses.
came to their decision by reviewing 3. Answers will vary. Students should
Page 59 campaign tactics and recounting mention that the advantages are
1. George Washington, Abraham some of the votes. Although the immediate name recognition,
Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson all court found some irregularities, customer base, and potential
surround Theodore Roosevelt. T.R. there was not enough evidence to to make profits faster. The
is the only 20th-century president change the results. disadvantages are paying fees, giving
whose face is carved on the 3. Answers will vary. Students should a percentage of all profits back and
mountain. mention that almost half the not being your own boss.
2. Answers will vary. Students should population of 106 million lives in 4. Answers will vary.
include that T.R. was a mountain poverty. López Obrador was favored
climber, police commissioner, among Mexico’s disadvantaged Page 71
soldier, and explorer. He loved people. 1. The Chinese-immersion program
nature. 4.–5. Answers will vary. at Woodstock Elementary School
3. T.R. was the first president to introduces the Chinese language to
Page 64 students in grades K–5. They learn
make protecting the environment
a political issue. He created the 1. The coat of arms is a symbol of an about 150 new Chinese characters
United States Forest Service and eagle with a serpent in its talon, each year (there are 3,500 in all).
dedicated 150 national forests, 51 perched on top of a prickly pear The students read stories, sing
national wildlife refuges, 18 national cactus. The cactus is on a rock that songs, and learn math and science in
monuments, and five national parks rises above the sea. Chinese.
for future generations to enjoy. 2. According to ancient Aztec legend, 2. The number of young students
4. T.R. decided that government should the gods advised the Aztecs to learning Chinese is increasing in
control big business and require build a city where they saw an eagle response to China’s emergence as a
them to compete fairly. He passed devouring a serpent while on top of global superpower. Children who
the Food and Drug Act and a meat a prickly pear cactus. learn Chinese at a young age will
inspection law. Both laws still help have more opportunities for jobs in
consumers today. the future.

110 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education


Appendix C

Answer Key (cont.)

Page 71 (cont.) Page 76 (cont.) Page 80 (cont.)


3. The United States government 2. A naturalized citizen has gone 3. Answers will vary.
supports American children learning through all the legal procedures
Chinese; in fact, they are even of becoming a citizen; he or she Page 83
helping to pay for the programs. The has met language and resident 1. Comets are chunks of ice, rock, and
Department of Defense gave Oregon requirements, passed tests, and has dust that are billions of years old.
schools $700,000 for done the other things required to Studying them can provide us with
Chinese-immersion programs, and become citizens. Illegal immigrants clues about how the solar system
the Senate is considering giving $1.3 have simply entered the United formed.
billion for Chinese classes in public States and started working without 2. Stardust is a space capsule that
schools. going through legal procedures. brought home the first material
4. Answers will vary. Students should collected from a comet.
mention that Isabel thinks learning Page 79 3. Recently, Stardust flew within 150
Chinese is fun. She thinks it is funny 1. Tutoring companies are popping miles of Comet 81P/Wild2. The
that people speaking Chinese do not up around the country for K–12 craft stuck out a tennis racketlike
know that she can understand what students in order to fill a growing contraption to catch tiny grains of
they are saying. demand for one-on-one instruction material being blown off the surface
5.–6. Answers will vary. in math, reading, writing, and of the rocket.
homework. 4. Comets are like time capsules. They
Page 72 2. There has been tremendous growth contain material that has been in the
1. Ce suo zai naer means where is the in professional tutoring. Five years deep freeze since the sun and the
bathroom? ago, there were around 250,000 planets were formed more than 4.5
2. Answers will vary. tutors; now there are more than two billion years ago.
3. Wo jiao ____________. million. 5.–7. Answers will vary.
4. You would say hao bang ah, 3. Under NCLB, some kids who attend
meaning, Wow, that’s so cool! schools that fail to demonstrate Page 84
improvement or growth for three 1. Asteroids do not have atmosphere.
Page 75 years in a row are eligible for free 2. Ceres is the biggest asteroid.
1. People come to the United States for tutoring. Unfortunately, there are 3. Comets and asteroids both orbit the
many reasons. They come in search still countless students who could sun, are part of our solar system, and
of freedom, opportunity, and a better benefit from tutoring, but don’t have either come close to or have
life. qualify for free services and cannot hit Earth. Comets have tails and are
2. Lawmakers are struggling to find afford the $20–100/hour rate of made from frozen ice, gas, and dust.
ways to better regulate the flow private tutors. Asteroids do not have tails and are
of people coming into the United 4. As a result of budget cuts and the made of rock and/or metal.
States. pressure to perform better on tests,
3. Answers will vary. Students many schools are cutting out Page 87
should mention that the Senate is much-needed extracurricular 1. In 1955, the segregation laws in
considering a proposal for a guest activities. Answers will vary. some states required separate
worker program, increasing border 5. Answers will vary. seating for blacks and whites in
security, and providing illegal 6. Child psychologists feel that there restaurants, on buses, and in other
immigrants already living in the needs to be a balance between the public spaces.
country with the opportunity to stay. pressures of studying and playtime. 2. Rosa Parks’s crime was taking an
4. Answers will vary. Congressman Answers will vary. empty seat on a bus.
Tom Tancredo feels that the 3. She took a stand by taking a seat; she
Page 80 refused to move when a white man
proposal is not fair to all those
immigrants who have followed the 1. The various types of out-of-school wanted her to give up her seat on a
rules and entered the United States tutoring available to students bus.
the right way. are private, peer-to-peer, online, 4. African-Americans responded to the
5. Answers will vary. Students should telephone, pencil and paper, and injustices by refusing to ride buses
mention that the House bill does computer software-based. in Montgomery, Alabama. The
not include a guest-worker program 2. Both online and computer peaceful boycott was led by Martin
and would make illegal immigrants software- based tutoring require the Luther King, Jr., and lasted 381 days.
subject to tough criminal penalties. use of a computer. Online tutoring 5. As a result of their peaceful
6. Answers will vary. connects students with tutors from protesting, in 1956 the United States
around the world with just click of Supreme Court ruled that African-
Page 76 the mouse. Computer Americans could not be forced to
1. The types of immigrants are illegal software-based tutoring uses sit only in certain areas on buses. In
residents, naturalized citizens, legal software to teach students subjects 1964, the Civil Rights Act outlawed
permanent residents, refugees, and like reading and math. If a student racial discrimination in all public
temporary legal citizens. makes a mistake, the software places.
program will provide a step-by-step 6.–7. Answers will vary.
solution to the problem.

© Shell Education #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking 111


Appendix C

Answer Key (cont.)

Page 88 Page 112 (cont.) Page 100 (cont.)


1. The Little Rock Nine was a group 2. AGRA is a back-to-basics plan to 2. Halloween is the most popular time
of nine students from Little Rock, help African scientists breed crops for eating chocolate.
Arkansas. In 1957, they were about that will flourish in Africa. The 3. Hershey’s®, M&M’s®, Reese’s®,
to enter school after integration was program hopes to help farmers get Snickers®, and Kit Kat®. Answers will
approved, but the governor ordered and use chemical fertilizers to help vary.
them to be blocked out. President improve soil quality. The overall 4.–5. Answers will vary.
Eisenhower sent federal troops in goal is to get the crops to grow so
support of the students. the farmers can eventually sell them Page 103
2. Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested in markets. 1. The Democrats won control of
for antisegregation protesting. He 3. NERICA stands for New Rice for Congress for the first time since
wrote the letter while in jail arguing Africa. The new rice plants are 1994.
that it is someone’s moral duty to adapted to growing conditions in the 2. There are 435 seats in the House,
disobey unjust laws. area. They have a shorter growing and the House representatives serve
3. President Johnson signed many laws cycle and are resistant to weeds. As two-year terms. There are 100 seats
and orders during the civil rights a result of these new plants, children in the Senate, and senators serve
movement. are needed less and less in the fields six-year terms.
4. Answers will vary. and can now attend school. 3. Answers will vary. Students should
4. The green revolution has helped mention that some voters feel the
Page 91 developing countries in Latin Republican Party is leading the
1. The Chicago White Sox won the America and Asia by doubling total nation in the wrong direction,
2005 World Series. It was their first food production. Africa is more and they are concerned about the
win in 88 years. They won World complex because growing conditions war in Iraq and President Bush’s
Series titles in 1906 and 1917. vary across the continent. performance.
2. Game three lasted nearly six hours. 5.–6. Answers will vary. 4.–5. Answers will vary.
Answers will vary.
3. Jermaine Dye was the White Sox’s Page 96 Page 104
most valuable player. He hit a single 1. The AGRA program is producing 1. Had James Monroe received one
in the final game and drove in the hardier plants, requiring less help more vote, he could have been re-
game’s only run, leading his team to from kids, thus allowing them to go elected president.
a 1–0 victory. back to school. 2. One vote decided on war with
4. Answers will vary. Students may 2. The growing conditions vary from Mexico. The United States won
mention that sweeping (in sports) field to field in Africa. So, finding a the war and added five states: New
means defeating an opponent in all universal crop is impossible. Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and
games within a series (no losses). California.
Page 99
5. The Cubs are the other professional
baseball team in Chicago. Their 1. The Mayans made chocolate in to a
World Series history is not one to be spicy, foamy drink. They buried it
proud of either. They have not won with the king out of respect.
a World Series title since 1908. 2. Cocoa beans are grown mostly in
6. Answers will vary. West Africa and South America.
Once the beans dry, they are shipped
Page 92 to chocolate makers in the United
1. “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” is States and Europe.
the third-most commonly sang song 3. Most of the world’s most popular
in the United States, after “Happy chocolates are made in Belgium,
Birthday” and “The Star-Spangled France, and Switzerland.
Banner.” 4. Recent studies have shown that dark
2. Answers will vary. People stand chocolate may actually help lower
and sing during the seventh-inning blood pressure.
stretch. 5. Answers will vary. Students should
3. Answers will vary. mention that back in the 1400s,
when the Aztecs ruled most of
Page 95 Mexico and Central America, they
1. The two groups are teaming up to used cocoa seeds as money.
fight starvation in Africa. They will 6. Answers will vary.
spend $150 million to boost farming
methods on the continent to try to Page 100
lift them out of extreme poverty. 1. Americans eat more than three
billion pounds of chocolate every
year.

112 #50246—Comprehension and Critical Thinking © Shell Education