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Reading Comprehension Practice Questions
Directions: Read the following paragraphs and answer the questions that accompany them. Circle the correct answer, which you believe most accurately satisfies the requirements of each question. The answer key is located at the end of this test.
Passage 1 – Was Dr. Seuss A Real Doctor?
A favorite author for over 100 years, Theodor Seuss Geisel was born on March 2, 1902. Today, we celebrate the birthday of the famous “Dr. Seuss” by hosting Read Across America events throughout the month of March. School children around the country celebrate the “Doctor’s” birthday by making hats, giving presentations and holding read aloud circles featuring some of Dr. Seuss’ most famous books.
But who was Dr. Seuss? Did he go to medical school? Where was his office? You may be surprised to know that Theodor Seuss Geisel was not a medical doctor at all. He took on the nickname Dr. Seuss when he became a noted children’s book author. He earned the nickname because people said his books were “as good as medicine”. All these years later, his nickname has lasted and he is known as Dr. Seuss all across the world.
Think back to when you were a young child. Did you ever want to try “green eggs and ham.”? Did you try to “Hop on Pop”? Do you remember learning about the environment from a creature called The Lorax? Of course, you must recall one of Seuss’ most famous characters; that green Grinch who stole Christmas. These stories were all written by Dr. Seuss and featured his signature rhyming words and letters. They also featured made up words in order to enhance his rhyme scheme and even though many of his characters were made up, they sure seem real to us today.
And what of his “signature” book, The Cat in the Hat? You must remember that cat and Thing One and Thing Two from your childhood. Did you know that in the early 1950’s there was a growing concern in America that children were not becoming avid readers? This was, book publishers thought, because children found books dull and uninteresting. An intelligent publisher sent Dr. Seuss a book of words that he thought all children should learn as young readers. Dr. Seuss wrote his famous story The Cat in the Hat, using those words. We can see, over the decades, just how much influence his writing has had on very young children. That is why we celebrate this doctor’s birthday each March.
Passage 1 – Questions
1. What does the word “avid” mean in the last paragraph?
2. What can we infer from the statement “ His books were like medicine”?
a. His books made people feel better
b. His books were in doctor’s office waiting rooms
c. His books took away fevers
d. His books left a funny taste in readers’ mouths.
3. Why is the publisher in the last paragraph referred to as “intelligent?”
a. The publisher knew how to read.
b. The publisher knew kids did not like to read.
c. The publisher knew Dr. Seuss would be able to create a book that sold well.
d. The publisher knew that Dr. Seuss would be able to write a book that would get young children interested in reading.
4. The theme of this passage is
a. Dr. Seuss was not a doctor.
b. Dr. Seuss influenced the lives of generations of young children.
c. Dr. Seuss wrote rhyming books.
d. Dr. Suess’ birthday is a good day to read a book.
Passage 2 – The Civil War
The Civil War began on April 12, 1861. The first shots of the Civil War were fired in Fort Sumter, South Carolina. It is interesting to note that even though more American lives were lost in the Civil War than in any other war, not one person died on that first day. The war began because eleven Southern states seceded from the Union and tried to start their own government, The Confederate States of America.
Why did the states secede? The issue of slavery was a primary cause of the Civil War. The eleven southern states relied heavily on their slaves in order to foster their farming and plantation lifestyles. The northern states, many of whom had already abolished slavery, did not feel that the southern states should have slaves. The north wanted to free all the slaves and President Lincoln’s goal was to both end slavery and preserve the Union. He had Congress declare war on the Confederacy on April 14, 1862. For four long, blood soaked years, the North and South fought against each other.
From 1861 to mid 1863, it seemed as if the South would win this war. However, on July 1, 1863, an epic three day battle was waged on a field in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Gettysburg is remembered for being one of the bloodiest battles in American history. At the end of the three days, the North turned the tide of the war in their favor. The North then went on to dominate the South for the remainder of the war. Most well remembered might be General Sherman’s “March to The Sea”, where he famously led the Union Army through Georgia and the Carolinas, burning and destroying everything in their path.
In 1865, the Union army invaded and captured the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. Robert E. Lee, leader of the Confederacy surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant, leader of the Union forces, on April 9, 1865. The Civil War was over and the Union was preserved.
Passage 2 – Questions
5. What does secede mean?
a. To break away from
b. To accomplish
c. To join
d. To lose
6. Which of the following statements summarizes a FACT from the passage?
a. Congress declared war and then the Battle of Fort Sumter began.
b. Congress declared war after shots were fired at Fort Sumter.
c. President Lincoln was pro slavery
d. President Lincoln was at Fort Sumter with Congress
7. Which event finally led the Confederacy to surrender?
a. The battle of Gettysburg
b. The battle of Bull Run
c. The invasion of the confederate capital of Richmond
d. Sherman’s March to the Sea
8. What does the word abolish as used in this passage mean?
a. To ban
b. To polish
c. To support
d. To destroy
When someone is avid about something that means they are highly interested in the subject. The context clues are dull and boring, because they define the opposite of avid.
Choice A is incorrect because dull and boring are not the opposite of good. Choice C is incorrect because dull and boring are not the opposite of slow. Choice D is incorrect because you can be a fast reader and still not be interested in what you have read.
The author is using a simile to compare the books to medicine. Medicine is what you take when you want to feel better. They are suggesting that if a person wants to feel good, they should read Dr. Seuss’ books.
Choice B is incorrect because there is no mention of a doctor’s office. Choice C is incorrect because it is using the literal meaning of medicine and the author is using medicine in a figurative way. Choice D is incorrect because it makes no sense. We know not to eat books.
The publisher is described as intelligent because he knew to get in touch with a famous author in order to develop a book that children would be interested in reading.
Choice A is incorrect because we can assume that all book publishers must know how to read.
Choice B is incorrect because it says in the article that more than one publisher was concerned about whether or not children liked to read.
Choice C is incorrect because there is no mention in the article about how well The Cat in the Hat sold when it was first published.
The passage describes in detail how Dr. Seuss had a great effect on the lives of children through his writing. It names several of his books, tells how he helped children become avid readers and explains his style of writing.
Choice A is incorrect because that is just one single fact about the passage.
Choice C is incorrect because that is just one single fact about the passage.
Choice D is incorrect because that is just one single fact about the passage. Again, choice B is correct because it encompasses ALL the facts in the passage, not just one single fact.
Secede most nearly means to break away from because the 11 states wanted to leave the United States and form their own country.
Choice B is incorrect because the states were not accomplishing anything.
Choice C is incorrect because the states were trying to leave the USA not join it.
Choice D is incorrect because the states seceded before they lost the war.
Look at the dates in the passage. The shots were fired on April 12 and Congress declared war on April 14.
Choice A is incorrect because the dates show clearly which happened first.
Choice C is incorrect because the passage states that Lincoln was against slavery.
Choice D is incorrect because it never mentions who was or was not at Fort Sumter.
The passage clearly states that Lee surrendered to Grant after the capture of the capital of the Confederacy, which is Richmond.
Choice A is incorrect because the war continued for 2 years after Gettysburg.
Choice B is incorrect because that battle is never mentioned in the passage.
Choice D is incorrect because the capture of the capital occurred after the march to the sea.
When the passage said that the North had abolished slavery, it implies that slaves were no longer allowed to be had in the North. In essence slavery was banned.
Choice B is incorrect because it makes no sense in relation to the context of the passage.
Choice C is incorrect because we know the North was fighting against slavery, not for it.
Choice D is incorrect because slavery is not a tangible thing that can be destroyed. It is a practice that had to be outlawed or banned.