Common Core: 4th Grade English Language Arts : Determine a Theme of a Story, Drama, or Poem from Details in the Text and Summarize: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.2

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for Common Core: 4th Grade English Language Arts

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All Common Core: 4th Grade English Language Arts Resources

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Determine A Theme Of A Story, Drama, Or Poem From Details In The Text And Summarize: Ccss.Ela Literacy.Rl.4.2

Adapted from "From a Railway Carriage" in A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson (1885)

Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging along like troops in a battle,
All through the meadows the horses and cattle:
All of the sights of the hill and the plain
Fly as thick as driving rain;
And ever again, in the wink of an eye,
Painted stations whistle by.

Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,
All by himself and gathering brambles;
Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;
And there is the green for stringing the daisies!
Here is a cart run away in the road
Lumping along with man and load;
And here is a mill and there is a river:
Each a glimpse and gone for ever!

 

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Adapted from "Snow Dust" by Robert Frost in The Yale Review (January, 1921)

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

The poem "From a Railway Carriage" primarily consists of which of the following?

Possible Answers:

Description of all of the different people and things riding on a train the narrator is on

An argument about why train travel is the best form of transportation

A story about how the narrator prepared to go on a train trip, what he or she saw, and how he or she returned home afterward

Descriptions of the things the narrator sees quickly passing by

An extended visual description of a train

Correct answer:

Descriptions of the things the narrator sees quickly passing by

Explanation:

Let's use process of elimination to answer this question. By looking at each of the answer choices and identifying the ones that are not correct, we can eventually narrow down our options to one remaining answer choice which will have to be the correct one.

"An argument about why train travel is the best form of transportation" - This poem isn't argumentative at all; it is descriptive. It doesn't try to convince the reader that any particular opinion or viewpoint is correct.

"A story about how the narrator prepared to go on a train trip, what he or she saw, and how he or she returned home afterward" - While the poem does have to do with trains, it doesn't tell a story about a train trip the narrator took. We never learn anything about how the narrator prepared to go on this trip or how he or she returned home afterward.

The remaining three answer choices all state that the poem is describing something. This is correct, so let's figure out which one of the answer choices is correct.

"An extended visual description of a train" - The poem is about trains, but it's not describing a train. It describes many different people and things.

Now we have two answer choices left. They differ on one point: is the poem describing "all of the different people and things riding on a train the narrator is on"? Or is it describing "the things the narrator sees quickly passing by"? Notice how the poem talks about "Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches" in line 2, "All through the meadows the horses and cattle" in line 4, and "Here is a cart run away in the road" in line 13. None of these things can be loaded onto a train and transported that way; the narrator is describing the things he or she can quickly glimpse while riding on the train. The poem's title supports this conclusion: the poem is made up of descriptions of things the narrator can see "From a Railway Carriage." So, the best answer is "Descriptions of the things the narrator sees quickly passing by".

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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