Main Idea
Text Structure
Inferencing
Characters
Vocab/Context Clues
100

There are few things better than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Some may say that they prefer ice cream, hamburgers, chicken nuggets, and other foods, but I beg to differ. Peanut butter sandwiches are the best food ever invented, and everyone should try eating it at least once in their life.


What is the main idea of this passage?

Peanut butter jelly sandwiches are the best food.

100

Hurricanes and tornados are both amazing yet deadly natural phenomena.  Both generate deadly conditions, but in different ways.  Tornados are likely to damage people and property with their high winds, which go up to 300 miles per hour, but hurricanes are generally more feared for their flooding.  Also, hurricanes can produce tornados, which makes them quite dangerous indeed.


What is the text structure?

Cause and Contrast

100

Kara looked at the beautiful vase, which lay shattered on the floor. She looked for a culprit, but no one was around. Suddenly, she saw a clue: there were muddy pawprints and a dog toy laying at the base of the vase.


Who broke the vase?

The pet dog.

100

Mr. Alex was the local garbage man. He started working when he was only 16 years old, and he never stopped. No matter the weather, Mr. Alex worked hard, enduring rain, heat, and wind to complete the job.


What is a character trait that describes Mr. Alex?

Hard-working, dedicated, perservering

100

The many colors of the hibiscus makes it a noticeably VIBRANT flower.


What is the meaning of the word VIBRANT?

Bright, colorful, striking

200

During the pandemic, students had a lot on their plates. Not only did they have to learn virtually, they had to motivate themselves to do assignments, they were isolated from their peers, and they did not have regular school activities like clubs and sports. Although a return to school eventually came, the pandemic had a big affect on the minds and lives of students. Even when they returned, they had to wear masks, clean their desks, and social distance.


What is the main idea of this passage?

The pandemic had a big impact on students.

200

The twist is a dance inspired by rock and roll music.   To do the Twist, first stand with your feet approximately shoulder width apart.  The torso may be squared to the knees and hips, or turned at an angle so one foot is farther forward than the other.  Then, hold your arms out from your body, bent at your elbow.  Next, rotate your hips, torso, and legs as a single unit with your arms staying more or less stationary.  Every so often lift one leg off of the floor for styling.   Now you’re doing the twist!


What is the text structure?

Sequence

200

Mike got out of the driver seat of the classic car. He looked at the mailbox and then at the bumper. The mailbox was smashed and bent. The shiny chrome bumper had a dent about the size of a football around the passenger side. Mike shook his head and got back in the driver seat. He knew what he had to do. He didn't want to do it, but he had to. He drove back home and sat in the driveway for a few minutes, holding his head in his hands. Mike's dad came out of the house carrying a black garbage bag. He smiled and waved at Mike as he passed the driver side of the car. Then he looked again as he walked past the passenger side of the vehicle. His mouth dropped open and he let go of the garbage bag.


In the text it says, "[Mike] knew what he had to do." What did Mike have to do?

Show his dad the car.

200

“A black shadow dropped down into the circle. It was Bagheera the Black Panther, inky black all over, but with the panther markings showing up in certain lights like the pattern of watered silk. Everybody knew Bagheera, and nobody cared to cross his path, for he was as cunning as Tabaqui, as bold as the wild buffalo, and as reckless as the wounded elephant. But he had a voice as soft as wild honey dripping from a tree, and a skin softer than down.” 


What is a character trait that describes Bagheera?

Conniving, manipulative, controlling

200

The student with all A's is known for being very STUDIOUS.


What is the meaning of the word STUDIOUS?

spending a lot of time studying or reading


300

Automation is the use of machines to reduce the need for human labor.  In other words automation is when jobs done by people become jobs done by robots.  Automation can be a good thing. Clothing, cars, and other manufactured products are available at good prices and in large supply because of automation. But automation can also be a bad thing.  Because of automation there are over 700,000 robots in America that do jobs once performed by humans.  The way of automation may not be best for humanity, but it is the course we are taking.


What is the main idea of this passage?

Automation has negatives and positives, but we are continue with it regardless of its affects. 

300

Cats may seem like cute and cuddly companions, but to birds and other small mammals, cats are highly lethal killing machines. Even well fed cats may hunt and kill many small animals such as birds, mice, and reptiles. Small animals are most at risk when cats are introduced to areas that have not hosted them before. Since they are not used to living with the threatening cats, these small animals are naïve and vulnerable. If they do not have the defenses to survive, cats will hunt these animals until they are wiped out completely. Cats have played a leading role in the extinction of many small animals, including the Hawaiian Rail and at least 22 other species of bird. While other things may have led to the destruction of these species, cat attacks were a main factor.


What is the text structure?

Descriptive

300

Miya came out of the bathroom with tears in her eyes. She ran down to the cafeteria and asked the staff if they had any rice. Fortunately for Miya, Ms. Lucille did. Ms. Lucille filled a red plastic cup about half way with white rice grains and handed it to Miya. Miya pulled a damp phone from out of her back pocket and pushed it into the dry rice grains inside of the plastic cup. She sincerely thanked Ms. Lucille and then went back to class. She felt relieved, but she was still a little worried.


Why does Miya put her phone in the cup of rice

She dropped her phone in the bathroom, and it is wet.

300

She was the kind of person that you meet once in your life, and she makes you feel an inner warmth immediately. Even when gray skies persist, you can't help but feel an inner comfort around her, an unbreakable feeling of peace.

Comforting, caring, loving

300

The student, having not studied at all, looked down at the test and was PERPLEXED by the test questions.


What is the meaning of the word PERPLEXED?

baffled, confused

400

It is a widely acknowledged fact that machines are stronger than people. Is it possible for them to become smarter than us too? Some scientists fear that it is, or so says the theory of technological singularity. In a nutshell, the theory of technological singularity says that there will be a moment when a computer can improve its own capabilities. This computer will go into an infinite loop, getting progressively smarter. Inevitably this will lead to machines becoming smarter than people, or so the theory goes. Such gains in available intelligence might lead to huge improvements in science and medicine. Diseases could be cured and such. But it could also lead to the total domination or replacement of mankind by robots, which would be bad. If the latter were the case, I, for one, would welcome our new computer overlords. 


What is the main idea of this passage?

Computers can improve their own capabilities and become smarter than humans.

400

The wolverine, a medium sized mammal weighing no more than 50 lbs., has earned its reputation for ferocity with its documented ability to kill prey many times its size.  The reason why wolverines have so many conflicts with other animals (including wolves, cougars, and even bears) is probably because of the wolverine’s preferred hunting style.  Rather than chasing down or tricking its prey like most hunters, the wolverine prefers to take its meals directly from other hunters.  So while a polar bear or a lone wolf might be enjoying a hard earned carcass, a hungry wolverine may try to take his lunch.  This keeps the wolverine in plenty of fights.


What is the text structure?

Descriptive

400

Michael was the star quarterback of the football team and he was dating Amanda Barnes, the captain of the cheerleading squad. Everything was going perfectly for them until Michael was seriously injured during one of the last games of the season. The doctors told him that he would probably never play football again and that he would have to wear a large cast on his leg for several months. Amanda stayed really close with Michael immediately after the injury, but then she started to change. She would not visit him often. She would not wait by his locker or help him carry his books to class anymore. Also, he noticed that she was talking more and more with Ken Madsen, the new quarterback. This upset Michael greatly. Then one day Amanda told him that she and Michael needed to have a talk after school. Michael did not like the sound of that.


What does Amanda want to talk about with Michael?

She wanted to break up with him.

400

“He smiled understandingly-much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced–or seemed to face–the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor.” 


What is a character trait that describes this character?

Understanding, compassionate, caring

400

The teacher, who had spent all night grading papers, spent the morning coaching athletes, and spent all day teaching wild middle schoolers, was very WEARY after school.


What is the meaning of the word WEARY?

feeling or showing tiredness, especially as a result of excessive exertion or lack of sleep

500

Hyperinflation refers to when the value of money drops rapidly. During World War I, Germany paid for the war by borrowing. The German Mark steadily lost value as the war went on and German people could buy less and less. After losing the war, Germany was required to make large payments to the Allies. They paid all the debts that they could by printing more money. Soon the German Mark was worthless. When the war had started, the U.S. Dollar was worth around four German Marks. By November of 1923, one U.S. Dollar was worth 4,210,500,000,000 German Marks. At this point the money had more value as a fuel than as a currency, and people burned it to stay warm.  


What is the main idea of this passage?

Hyperinflation caused the German Mark to be worthless.

500

Fellow Members of the Springfield Robotics Club:  It has come to my attention that the workshop has been left an absolute mess on at least two separate occasions.  Remember, that this is a shared space, so we must clean up behind ourselves after every meeting.  It is in the spirit of keeping our club meeting space that we establish this rule: when you take a tool off the rack, put it back.  If everyone puts their tools back immediately after they are done using them, there will be minimal mess to clean up, and we won’t get kicked out of the spot.  So if you like having a meeting place, put your tools back.


What is the text structure?

Problem and Solution

500

Brenda reached for the box of tissue. She blew her nose with a thunderous force and then tried breathing through it again. It was still clogged. She stood up and got a head rush that almost knocked her back down to the bed, but she regained her balance. As she tottered over to the phone on her dresser, all of her muscles ached. She located the contact labeled "Work" and pressed send. A couple of rings later, a familiar voice answered the phone, "Happy Fun Land, this is Deidra speaking. How can I help you have a happy fun day?" Brenda moaned, "Oh, Deidra, it's Brenda." Deidra responded with pep, "Hey, Brenda! I can't wait to see you this afternoon." Brenda grunted and replied, "Yeah, well, actually, I need to talk to the manager."


What is Brenda going to talk about with the manager?

She is too sick to work.

500

“Lord Asriel was a tall man with powerful shoulders, a fierce dark face, and eyes that seemed to flash and glitter with savage laughter. It was a face to be dominated by, or to fight: never a face to patronize or pity. All his movements were large and perfectly balanced, like those of a wild animal, and when he appeared in a room like this, he seemed a wild animal held in a cage too small for it.” 


What is a character trait that describes Lord Asriel?

Powerful, strong, commanding

500

The coach, convinced that they would go to the state championship, devised a RIGOROUS plan of weight room every day, practices twice a day, and hours spent watching film of other teams.


What is the meaning of the word RIGOROUS?

thorough, exhaustive, strict

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