SBAC Grade 3 ELA Practice Test
Old Logs Help Animals
1. Miguel Gonzalez and his father took many walks in the woods near their house. When Miguel was very young, around five, he liked to pick up branches and hit them against the ground and the trees. Sometimes he would waive the stick and pretend he was fighting a great battle. Mr. Gonzalez always told Miguel to drop the stick.
2. "You will poke an eye out," said Mr. Gonzalez. A few years later, Miguel stopped hitting with sticks and started asking his father about the trees and other things he saw in the woods. Miguel's father told him how to identify different trees by the texture of their bark and the size and shape of their leaves. Miguel found out how trees spread their seeds and what kinds of animals eat the leaves, bark, and seeds. Miguel loved taking walks with his father, but he did not appreciate all the things that he saw in the woods. One day they almost tripped over a log that had fallen on the trail. Miguel kicked it.
3. "Stupid log, it almost made me fall," he said. Miguel's father waved his arms, shook his head, and told his son to stop.
"That's not just a piece of wood, Miguel," said Mr. Gonzalez. "That log is a home for many creatures and plants. Kicking that log would be like an earthquake to them! How would you like it if a giant ant kicked our house?"
4. "There are ants in there?" asked Miguel.
"Watch," said Mr. Gonzalez. He brushed the old brown leaves and rotting bark off the top of the log until they could see the wood buried underneath. On the smooth surface were clusters of small dark holes. An ant poked its head from one of the holes. Miguel laughed.
5. "Is there anything else in that log?" Miguel asked.
"Let's see," said Mr. Gonzalez. The two brushed off more leaves. They worked carefully to avoid touching the slimy slugs that dotted the log. Near the end of the rotten piece of timber was a large rough hole. A squirrel darted out from the hole and chattered noisily. On the nearby trees, birds called and sang noisily, too.
6. "They're waiting for us to leave so they can eat," smiled Mr. Gonzalez. "Those ants and slugs may not seem tasty to us, but they are a gourmet treat for the birds."
"Let's go," said Miguel. "They look hungry, and I hate making them wait for lunch."
7. After a few minutes, Miguel turned suddenly and started walking quickly in the opposite direction, back toward the log.
"Hey, what are you doing? What's up?" called Miguel's father.
Miguel stopped and turned around. "We left the log uncovered. If we don't put the leaves and bark back where we found them, the ants won't have anywhere to hide."
8. Miguel's father laughed and started to jog toward his son. "A little while ago you hated that log. Now you want to protect it."
"You always told me, treat others as you want to be treated," said Miguel with a smile. "I'm just following your advice!"
1. Paragraph 1 is mostly about:
The first paragraph mostly describes Miguel's behavior and actions as a five-year-old during walks with his father. "...he liked to pick up branches and hit them against the ground and the trees. Sometimes he would waive the stick and pretend he was fighting a great battle."
2. How did Miguel change when he got older?
Miguel showed more interest in the woods by asking his father questions about different trees and plants. As a result of his interest, Miguel learned how to identify trees by their bark and leaves and how trees reproduce by spreading their seeds to other parts of the forest.
3. Which meaning best fits the way the word "identify" is used in paragraph 2?
In this paragraph, the word identify is used to show the action of recognizing, or identifying by sight, different trees and plants by the appearance of their bark or leaves. It is different from understanding well because Miguel doesn't have to understand trees very well to identify their leaves and bark.
4. Where does this story take place?
This story takes place in a forest. Several hints in the story indicate its location, including mention of taking walks in the woods. Woods is another word for forest. Also, orchards tend to have the same kinds of trees, and gardens and parks tend to be tended neatly without rotting logs lying around.
5. Which of the following words best describes Miguel's reaction when he learns that ants live in logs?
Miguel is confused because he did not think of the rotten log as being useful for anyone or anything. He kicked the log for this reason. The news that it served as a home for different insects did not match his impression that rotten logs just take up space and make walking on trails difficult. He was angry when he almost tripped over the log, but he did not stay angry for long. He was neither happy nor sad.