School Improvement in Maryland

Sample Items: Reading Grade 6

 (1) Selected Response Sample
Choose the word or group of words that means the same, or about the same, as the underlined word. Then mark the space for the answer you have chosen.


The batter had to check his swing to avoid a strike.

Check means _____.

  1. test
  2. stop
  3. mark
  4. choose

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_ela_6_002.xml

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 (2) Selected Response Sample
Choose the word or group of words that means the same, or about the same, as the underlined word. Then mark the space for the answer you have chosen.


John cast his fishing line from the boat.

In which sentence does the word cast mean the same thing as in the sentence above?

  1. The doctor put the cast on his leg.
  2. The girl cast the dog a treat.
  3. The artist cast a bronze statue.
  4. The director began to cast the play today.

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_ela_6_003.xml

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 (3) Selected Response Sample
Read this passage from 'The Coastwatcher', a novel that takes place during World War II when the United States was at war with Germany. Then answer the following.


Read this line which is paragraph 5.
Not yet, Mama

These italicized words show Hugh's

  1. anger
  2. annoyance
  3. nervousness
  4. shock

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_ela_6_027.xml

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 (4) Selected Response Sample
Read this passage from 'The Coastwatcher', a novel that takes place during World War II when the United States was at war with Germany. Then answer the following.


Read what Hugh's mother says in paragraph 12.
"Oh no, you don't" she said. "Go wash off that sand."

Which word best describes the tone of Hugh's mother's words?

  1. concerned
  2. confused
  3. determined
  4. excited

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_ela_6_028.xml

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 (5) Selected Response Sample
Read this passage from 'The Coastwatcher', a novel that takes place during World War II when the United States was at war with Germany. Then answer the following.


Which of these questions is NOT answered by the details and events in this passage?

  1. Why does Hugh want his ocean discovery to be a secret?
  2. How determined is Hugh about ocean watching?
  3. What kind of relationship does High have with Jiggs?
  4. How observant about Hugh's behavior is his mother?

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_ela_6_029.xml

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 (6) Selected Response Sample
Read the play 'The Weeping Willow Wedding Day'. Then answer the following.


Read the stage direction in the last line of the play.

(Grandpa Singleton winks at Grandma Singleton as Tyrone walks past him.)

What does this stage direction most help a reader understand?

  1. how Grandpa feels about the wedding
  2. how much Grandpa admires Tyrone
  3. that Grandpa approves of his family’ appearance
  4. that Grandpa knows there is no punishment

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_ela_6_055.xml

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 (7) Selected Response Sample
Read the play 'The Weeping Willow Wedding Day'. Then answer the following.


Read Tyrone’s speech in Scene 1.

Fun—I wish we could have some fun, but we can’t do anything at all, hardly even breathe. Grandma Singleton said if we get one little spot on us, we’ll be washing dishes for 100 guests all by ourselves.

What do Tyrone’s words mostly help a reader understand?

  1. a reason for a conflict
  2. a character’s behavior
  3. the stage directions
  4. the setting

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_ela_6_056.xml

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 (8) Selected Response Sample
Read the play 'The Weeping Willow Wedding Day'. Then answer the following.


In the stage directions for Scene 2, which of these details is most important to the plot?

  1. The one hundred guests
  2. The outlined grass stains
  3. The wedding music playing loudly and clearly
  4. The wedding rings on a willow-covered pillow

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_ela_6_057.xml

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 (9) Selected Response Sample
Read the play 'The Weeping Willow Wedding Day'. Then answer the following.


Another good title for this play is

  1. Falling in Trouble
  2. Practicing a Wedding
  3. Washing Paper Plates
  4. Swinging from Branches

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_ela_6_058.xml

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 (10) Selected Response Sample
Read the play 'The Weeping Willow Wedding Day'. Then answer the following.


The children’s use of the words coolest, wildest, craziest, and loudest to describe their experience shows that they are

  1. unaware of the problems created by their activity
  2. uncertain of the time left before the wedding
  3. excited about the party after the wedding
  4. happy about missing the white carpet

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_ela_6_059.xml

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 (11) Selected Response Sample
Read the play 'The Weeping Willow Wedding Day'. Then answer the following.


The purpose of Scene 2 is to

  1. learn the children’s punishment
  2. introduce Grandpa and Grandma
  3. show Grandpa’s cleverness
  4. show the beauty of the wedding

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_ela_6_060.xml

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 (12) Brief Constructed Response Sample
Read the article 'Persistence' and answer the following question.


What other title would help a reader understand the main idea of this passage? Explain how the title you selected will help the reader better understand the main idea of the passage.

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_ela_6_020.xml

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 (13) Brief Constructed Response Sample
Read the story 'Swamp Talk' and answer the following question.


Explain the mood the author creates in paragraph 7. In your response, use examples from the paragraph that show how the author creates this mood. Write your answer on your answer document.

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_ela_6_021.xml

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 (14) Brief Constructed Response Sample
Read the story 'Swamp Talk' and answer the following question.


Explain how Billie Wind demonstrates her understanding of the setting. In your response, use details and examples from the story that support your explanation.

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_ela_6_022.xml

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 (15) Brief Constructed Response Sample
Read the story 'Saints and Strangers on the Ship of Hope' and answer the following question.


Compare the way the Saints and Strangers describe the events of the voyage to the way the author describes them. In your response, use information from the article that supports your answer. Write your answer on your answer document.

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_ela_6_023.xml

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 (16) Brief Constructed Response Sample
Read the poem 'At The Library' and answer the following question.


Explain how the speaker in "At the Library" feels about reading. In your response, use details and examples from the poem that support your explanation. Write your answer on your answer document.

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_ela_6_024.xml

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 (17) Brief Constructed Response Sample
Read this passage from 'The Coastwatcher', a novel that takes place during World War II when the United States was at war with Germany. Then answer the following.


Explain how the setting affects the mood of the passage. In your response, use details from the passage that help explain how the setting affects the mood of the passage. Write your answer on the lines below.

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_ela_6_025.xml

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 (18) Brief Constructed Response Sample
Read this passage from 'The Coastwatcher', a novel that takes place during World War II when the United States was at war with Germany. Then answer the following.


Explain how the author makes Hugh and his mother seem like real people. In your response, use details from the passage that show how Hugh and his mother seem like real people. Write your response on the lines below.

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_ela_6_026.xml

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 (19) Brief Constructed Response Sample
Read the play 'The Weeping Willow Wedding Day'. Then answer the following.


Explain a message about life that this play most helps a reader understand. In your response, use details from the play that help support your explanation. Write your response on the lines below.

/toolkit/vsc/assessment_items/msa_ela_6_061.xml

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