Common Core: 4th Grade English Language Arts : Compare and Contrast a Firsthand and Secondhand Account of the Same Event or Topic: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.6

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All Common Core: 4th Grade English Language Arts Resources

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Compare And Contrast A Firsthand And Secondhand Account Of The Same Event Or Topic: Ccss.Ela Literacy.Ri.4.6

Passage 1: Adapted from "The Busy Blue Jay" in True Bird Stories from My Notebooks by Olive Thorne Miller (1903). 
The following passage is from a book in which the author talks about raising and releasing into the wild birds that had been captured and sold as pets. 

One of the most interesting birds who ever lived in my Bird Room was a blue jay named Jakie. He was full of business from morning till night, scarcely ever a moment still.

Jays are very active birds, and being shut up in a room, my blue jay had to find things to do, to keep himself busy. If he had been allowed to grow up out of doors, he would have found plenty to do, planting acorns and nuts, nesting, and bringing up families. Sometimes the things he did in the house were what we call mischief because they annoy us, such as hammering the woodwork to pieces, tearing bits out of the leaves of books, working holes in chair seats, or pounding a cardboard box to pieces. But how is a poor little bird to know what is mischief?

One of Jakie’s amusements was dancing across the back of a tall chair, taking funny little steps, coming down hard, “jouncing” his body, and whistling as loud as he could. He would keep up this funny performance as long as anybody would stand before him and pretend to dance, too.

My jay was fond of a sensation. One of his dearest bits of fun was to drive the birds into a panic. This he did by flying furiously around the room, feathers rustling, and squawking as loud as he could. He usually managed to fly just over the head of each bird, and as he came like a catapult, every one flew before him, so that in a minute the room was full of birds flying madly about trying to get out of his way. This gave him great pleasure.

Wild blue jays, too, like to stir up their neighbors. A friend told me of a small party of blue jays that she saw playing this kind of a joke on a flock of birds of several kinds. These birds were gathering the cherries on the top branches of a big cherry tree. The jays sat quietly on another tree till the cherry-eaters were busy eating. Then suddenly the mischievous blue rogues would all rise together and fly at them, as my pet did at the birds in the room. It had the same effect on the wild birds; they all flew in a panic. Then the joking jays would return to their tree and wait till their victims forgot their fear and came straggling back to the cherries, when they repeated the fun.

- - - - - - - - - -

 

Passage 2: Adapted from "Cyanocitta cristata: Blue Jay" in Life Histories of North American Birds, From the Parrots to the Grackles, with Special Reference to Their Breeding Habits and Eggs by Charles Bendire (1895)

The beauty of few of our local birds compares to that of the Blue Jay. One can’t help admiring them for their amusing and interesting traits. Even their best friends can’t say much in their favor, though. They destroy many of the eggs and young of our smaller birds. A friend of mine writes, “The smaller species of birds are utterly at [the Blue Jay’s] mercy in nesting time. Few succeed in rearing a brood of young. It is common in the woods to hear Vireos lamenting for their young that the Jay has forcibly carried away. Vast numbers of eggs are eaten and the nests torn up.”

Still, I cannot help admiring Blue Jays, because they have good traits as well. They are cunning, inquisitive, good mimics, and full of mischief. It is difficult to paint them in their true colors. Some writers call them bullies and cowards. Perhaps they deserve these names at times, but they possess courage in the defense of their young. But it is unfortunate that they show so little consideration for the feelings of other birds.

It is astonishing how accurately the Blue Jay is able to imitate the various calls and cries of other birds. These will readily deceive anyone. They seem to delight in playing tricks on their unsuspecting neighbors in this manner, apparently out of pure mischief. They are especially fond of teasing owls, and occasionally hawks; however, sometimes this has disastrous results for the Blue Jays.

Based on the passages, we can tell for sure that __________ has/have had firsthand experience interacting with a real live blue jay.

Possible Answers:

neither of the passages' authors

the author of Passage 2

the author of Passage 1 and the author of Passage 2

the author of Passage 1

Correct answer:

the author of Passage 1

Explanation:

To answer this question, we need to figure out which of the passages' authors have certainly had experience interacting with a real live blue jay. 

The author of Passage 1 has certainly interacted with a real live blue jay. We can tell this from sentences found in the passage like "One of the most interesting birds who ever lived in my Bird Room was a blue jay named Jakie" and "Jays are very active birds, and being shut up in a room, my blue jay had to find things to do, to keep himself busy." In addition, throughout Passage 1, the author provides detailed observations of some of her pet blue jay's behaviors. This helps convey to the reader that she has worked with a live blue jay herself.

In contrast, the author of Passage 2 never claims to have interacted with a live blue jay. In the first paragraph, he gets information about blue jays from what a friend has written to him. All of his other claims about blue jays are general and do not rely on him actually having interacted with one firsthand.

Given these conclusions, the best answer choice is "the author of Passage 1."

Example Question #2 : Compare And Contrast A Firsthand And Secondhand Account Of The Same Event Or Topic: Ccss.Ela Literacy.Ri.4.6

Passage 1: Adapted from "The Busy Blue Jay" in True Bird Stories from My Notebooks by Olive Thorne Miller (1903). 
The following passage is from a book in which the author talks about raising and releasing into the wild birds that had been captured and sold as pets. 

One of the most interesting birds who ever lived in my Bird Room was a blue jay named Jakie. He was full of business from morning till night, scarcely ever a moment still.

Jays are very active birds, and being shut up in a room, my blue jay had to find things to do, to keep himself busy. If he had been allowed to grow up out of doors, he would have found plenty to do, planting acorns and nuts, nesting, and bringing up families. Sometimes the things he did in the house were what we call mischief because they annoy us, such as hammering the woodwork to pieces, tearing bits out of the leaves of books, working holes in chair seats, or pounding a cardboard box to pieces. But how is a poor little bird to know what is mischief?

One of Jakie’s amusements was dancing across the back of a tall chair, taking funny little steps, coming down hard, “jouncing” his body, and whistling as loud as he could. He would keep up this funny performance as long as anybody would stand before him and pretend to dance, too.

My jay was fond of a sensation. One of his dearest bits of fun was to drive the birds into a panic. This he did by flying furiously around the room, feathers rustling, and squawking as loud as he could. He usually managed to fly just over the head of each bird, and as he came like a catapult, every one flew before him, so that in a minute the room was full of birds flying madly about trying to get out of his way. This gave him great pleasure.

Wild blue jays, too, like to stir up their neighbors. A friend told me of a small party of blue jays that she saw playing this kind of a joke on a flock of birds of several kinds. These birds were gathering the cherries on the top branches of a big cherry tree. The jays sat quietly on another tree till the cherry-eaters were busy eating. Then suddenly the mischievous blue rogues would all rise together and fly at them, as my pet did at the birds in the room. It had the same effect on the wild birds; they all flew in a panic. Then the joking jays would return to their tree and wait till their victims forgot their fear and came straggling back to the cherries, when they repeated the fun.

- - - - - - - - - -

 

Passage 2: Adapted from "Cyanocitta cristata: Blue Jay" in Life Histories of North American Birds, From the Parrots to the Grackles, with Special Reference to Their Breeding Habits and Eggs by Charles Bendire (1895)

The beauty of few of our local birds compares to that of the Blue Jay. One can’t help admiring them for their amusing and interesting traits. Even their best friends can’t say much in their favor, though. They destroy many of the eggs and young of our smaller birds. A friend of mine writes, “The smaller species of birds are utterly at [the Blue Jay’s] mercy in nesting time. Few succeed in rearing a brood of young. It is common in the woods to hear Vireos lamenting for their young that the Jay has forcibly carried away. Vast numbers of eggs are eaten and the nests torn up.”

Still, I cannot help admiring Blue Jays, because they have good traits as well. They are cunning, inquisitive, good mimics, and full of mischief. It is difficult to paint them in their true colors. Some writers call them bullies and cowards. Perhaps they deserve these names at times, but they possess courage in the defense of their young. But it is unfortunate that they show so little consideration for the feelings of other birds.

It is astonishing how accurately the Blue Jay is able to imitate the various calls and cries of other birds. These will readily deceive anyone. They seem to delight in playing tricks on their unsuspecting neighbors in this manner, apparently out of pure mischief. They are especially fond of teasing owls, and occasionally hawks; however, sometimes this has disastrous results for the Blue Jays.

Both passages characterize blue jays as __________.

Possible Answers:

shy

beautiful

friendly towards other birds

mischievious

Correct answer:

mischievious

Explanation:

Both passages characterize blue jays as "mischievous." They do this directly. In the last paragraph of Passage 1, the author refers to wild blue jays as "the mischievous blue rogues." Also, the second paragraph states, "Sometimes the things he did in the house were what we call mischief . . . But how is a poor little bird to know what is mischief?" This is more evidence that whether or not Jakie is doing it on purpose, he is acting in a mischievous way.

Passage 2 also characterizes blue jays as mischievous. In its second paragraph, it states that blue jays "are cunning, inquisitive, good mimics, and full of mischief." "Full of mischief" means "mischievous." The correct answer is "mischievous."

Example Question #3 : Compare And Contrast A Firsthand And Secondhand Account Of The Same Event Or Topic: Ccss.Ela Literacy.Ri.4.6

Passage 1: Adapted from "The Busy Blue Jay" in True Bird Stories from My Notebooks by Olive Thorne Miller (1903). 
The following passage is from a book in which the author talks about raising and releasing into the wild birds that had been captured and sold as pets. 

One of the most interesting birds who ever lived in my Bird Room was a blue jay named Jakie. He was full of business from morning till night, scarcely ever a moment still.

Jays are very active birds, and being shut up in a room, my blue jay had to find things to do, to keep himself busy. If he had been allowed to grow up out of doors, he would have found plenty to do, planting acorns and nuts, nesting, and bringing up families. Sometimes the things he did in the house were what we call mischief because they annoy us, such as hammering the woodwork to pieces, tearing bits out of the leaves of books, working holes in chair seats, or pounding a cardboard box to pieces. But how is a poor little bird to know what is mischief?

One of Jakie’s amusements was dancing across the back of a tall chair, taking funny little steps, coming down hard, “jouncing” his body, and whistling as loud as he could. He would keep up this funny performance as long as anybody would stand before him and pretend to dance, too.

My jay was fond of a sensation. One of his dearest bits of fun was to drive the birds into a panic. This he did by flying furiously around the room, feathers rustling, and squawking as loud as he could. He usually managed to fly just over the head of each bird, and as he came like a catapult, every one flew before him, so that in a minute the room was full of birds flying madly about trying to get out of his way. This gave him great pleasure.

Wild blue jays, too, like to stir up their neighbors. A friend told me of a small party of blue jays that she saw playing this kind of a joke on a flock of birds of several kinds. These birds were gathering the cherries on the top branches of a big cherry tree. The jays sat quietly on another tree till the cherry-eaters were busy eating. Then suddenly the mischievous blue rogues would all rise together and fly at them, as my pet did at the birds in the room. It had the same effect on the wild birds; they all flew in a panic. Then the joking jays would return to their tree and wait till their victims forgot their fear and came straggling back to the cherries, when they repeated the fun.

- - - - - - - - - -

 

Passage 2: Adapted from "Cyanocitta cristata: Blue Jay" in Life Histories of North American Birds, From the Parrots to the Grackles, with Special Reference to Their Breeding Habits and Eggs by Charles Bendire (1895)

The beauty of few of our local birds compares to that of the Blue Jay. One can’t help admiring them for their amusing and interesting traits. Even their best friends can’t say much in their favor, though. They destroy many of the eggs and young of our smaller birds. A friend of mine writes, “The smaller species of birds are utterly at [the Blue Jay’s] mercy in nesting time. Few succeed in rearing a brood of young. It is common in the woods to hear Vireos lamenting for their young that the Jay has forcibly carried away. Vast numbers of eggs are eaten and the nests torn up.”

Still, I cannot help admiring Blue Jays, because they have good traits as well. They are cunning, inquisitive, good mimics, and full of mischief. It is difficult to paint them in their true colors. Some writers call them bullies and cowards. Perhaps they deserve these names at times, but they possess courage in the defense of their young. But it is unfortunate that they show so little consideration for the feelings of other birds.

It is astonishing how accurately the Blue Jay is able to imitate the various calls and cries of other birds. These will readily deceive anyone. They seem to delight in playing tricks on their unsuspecting neighbors in this manner, apparently out of pure mischief. They are especially fond of teasing owls, and occasionally hawks; however, sometimes this has disastrous results for the Blue Jays.

Both passages provide examples of ways in which blue jays interact with other birds. What do these interactions have in common?

Possible Answers:

All of the interactions involve the blue jays playing tricks on other birds.

All of the interactions involve the blue jays stealing the other birds' food.

All of the interactions involve the blue jays wrecking other birds' nests.

All of the interactions involve the blue jays helping the other birds get away from actual predators.

Correct answer:

All of the interactions involve the blue jays playing tricks on other birds.

Explanation:

Before we can answer this question, we need to figure out where each passage describes an interaction between wild blue jays and other birds. In Passage 1, the fourth paragraph describes how Jakie would stir up a commotion and scare the other birds in the bird room by flying around the room making a lot of noise when there wasn't anything to be scared of. "One of his dearest bits of fun was to drive the birds into a panic," the author writes. Later, she adds, "This gave him great pleasure." In the fifth paragraph, the author adds, "Wild blue jays, too, like to stir up their neighbors." She then goes on to describe how a friend told her about how wild blue jays behave in a similar way, "playing this kind of a joke" on a flock of other birds.

In Passage 2, the last paragraph states, "It is astonishing how accurately the Blue Jay is able to imitate the various calls and cries of other birds. These will readily deceive anyone. They seem to delight in playing tricks on their unsuspecting neighbors in this manner, apparently out of pure mischief."

Now we can answer this question. What do all of these behaviors have in common? Jakie scaring the other birds in the bird room over nothing, the wild blue jays scaring a flock of other birds when there's no danger, and blue jays imitating the calls of other birds can all be summarized by this sentence from Passage 2: "They delight in playing tricks on their unsuspecting neighbors . . . apparently out of pure mischief." We can't correctly claim that these interactions all involve food, nests, or helping birds get away from predators; however, we can state that "All the interactions involve the blue jays playing tricks on other birds." This is the correct answer.

All Common Core: 4th Grade English Language Arts Resources

1 Diagnostic Test 28 Practice Tests Question of the Day Flashcards Learn by Concept
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