Common Core: 10th Grade English Language Arts : Use Common Grade-Appropriate Greek or Latin Affixes and Roots to Determine Word Meanings: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.9-10.4.B

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Use Common Grade Appropriate Greek Or Latin Affixes And Roots To Determine Word Meanings: Ccss.Ela Literacy.L.9 10.4.B

Passage adapted from Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1798)

There passed a weary time. Each throat
Was parched, and glazed each eye.
A weary time! a weary time!
How glazed each weary eye,
When looking westward, I beheld
A something in the sky.

At first it seemed a little speck,
And then it seemed a mist:
It moved and moved, and took at last
A certain shape, I wist.

A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist!
And still it neared and neared:
As if it dodged a water-sprite,
It plunged and tacked and veered.

With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
We could not laugh nor wail;
Through utter drought all dumb we stood!
I bit my arm, I sucked the blood,
And cried, A sail! a sail!

With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
Agape they heard me call:
Gramercy! they for joy did grin,
And all at once their breath drew in,
As they were drinking all.

See! see! (I cried) she tacks no more!
Hither to work us weal;
Without a breeze, without a tide,
She steadies with upright keel!

The western wave was all a-flame
The day was well nigh done!
Almost upon the western wave
Rested the broad bright Sun;
When that strange shape drove suddenly
Betwixt us and the Sun.

And straight the Sun was flecked with bars,
(Heaven's Mother send us grace!)
As if through a dungeon-grate he peered,
With broad and burning face.

Alas! (thought I, and my heart beat loud)
How fast she nears and nears!
Are those her sails that glance in the Sun,
Like restless gossameres!

Are those her ribs through which the Sun
Did peer, as through a grate?
And is that Woman all her crew?
Is that a DEATH? and are there two?
Is DEATH that woman's mate?

Her lips were red, her looks were free,
Her locks were yellow as gold:
Her skin was as white as leprosy,
The Night-Mare LIFE-IN-DEATH was she,
Who thicks man's blood with cold.

The naked hulk alongside came,
And the twain were casting dice;
"The game is done! I've won! I've won!"
Quoth she, and whistles thrice.

The Sun's rim dips; the stars rush out:
At one stride comes the dark;
With far-heard whisper, o'er the sea.
Off shot the spectre-bark.

The use of the bolded and underlined word "unslaked" tells the reader that the sailor's throats are ________________.

Possible Answers:

raw from shouting

darkened

black

dry with thirst

Correct answer:

dry with thirst

Explanation:

The very first thing to note about the word you're being asked about here is that it includes a negating prefix. What's a negating prefix? you ask. The answer is "un." When you are "unhappy" you are NOT happy. Anytime you see this prefix you know that the root word is being negated, its opposite is being suggested.

So, what does "slaked" mean? If you've heard this word before, you've probably heard it in reference to thirst. Used in a sentence: "I need a glass of water to slake my thirst." To "slake" is to satisfy an urgent desire (almost always thirst). So, our prefix here creates a double negative, "unslaked" throats are "dry with a thirst" that has not yet been "quenched."

It was also possible to solve this question by guessing the word's intended meaning from the context of the rest of the sentence. Immediately following the reference to the "unslaked" throats, we have a reference to "baked" lips so dry that they are "black," so it's most reasonable to assume the throats, like the lips, are dry. 

Example Question #2 : Use Common Grade Appropriate Greek Or Latin Affixes And Roots To Determine Word Meanings: Ccss.Ela Literacy.L.9 10.4.B

Adapted from John Keats' "Ode on a Grecian Urn" (1819)
 
Thou still unravish'd bride of quietness, 
       Thou foster-child of silence and slow time, 
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express 
       A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme: 
What leaf-fring'd legend haunts about thy shape 
       Of deities or mortals, or of both, 
               In Tempe or the dales of Arcady? 
       What men or gods are these? What maidens loth? 
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape? 
               What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy? 
 
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard 
       Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on; 
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd, 
       Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone: 
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave 
       Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare; 
               Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss, 
Though winning near the goal yet, do not grieve; 
       She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss, 
               For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair! 
 
Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed 
         Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu; 
And, happy melodist, unwearied, 
         For ever piping songs for ever new; 
More happy love! more happy, happy love! 
         For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd, 
                For ever panting, and for ever young; 
All breathing human passion far above, 
         That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd, 
                A burning forehead, and a parching tongue. 
 
Who are these coming to the sacrifice? 
         To what green altar, O mysterious priest, 
Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies, 
         And all her silken flanks with garlands drest? 
What little town by river or sea shore, 
         Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel, 
                Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn? 
And, little town, thy streets for evermore 
         Will silent be; and not a soul to tell 
                Why thou art desolate, can e'er return. 
 
O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede 
         Of marble men and maidens overwrought, 
With forest branches and the trodden weed; 
         Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought 
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral! 
         When old age shall this generation waste, 
                Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe 
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st, 
         "Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all 
                Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

The underlined and bolded word "unheard" is closest in meaning to _____________.

Possible Answers:

perceived

Excluded from a group

not perceived

unenthused

Correct answer:

not perceived

Explanation:

The prefix "un" always acts as a negation, so something that is "unheard" is "not heard." Take note, however, that this option does not appear in your answer options. We can immediately eliminate any non-negative answers, like "perceived."

Now that we've slimmed down our options, let's think about other synonyms for "heard." If you "hear" or see or smell or feel something, you "perceive" that object or sensation. The best choice here is "unperceived."

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