Common Core: 4th Grade English Language Arts : Refer to Details from a Text when Explaining and Making Inferences About the Text: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.1

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Refer To Details From A Text When Explaining And Making Inferences About The Text: Ccss.Ela Literacy.Ri.4.1

A Look Into Space

Did you know that we used to think that there were nine planets that made up the solar system? Up until 2006, Pluto was considered to be the ninth planet and was located furthest away from the sun in our solar system. However, since 2006 Pluto has been considered to be a “dwarf planet” because it is too small to be considered a planet. Now that Pluto is not considered a planet, only eight planets are left to make up our solar system. The order of the planets from the sun is as follows: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. 

Mercury is the planet closest to the sun; however, can you believe that Mercury is not the planet with the hottest temperatures in our solar system? Well, believe it because Venus is the planet with the highest temperatures! The only award that sets Mercury apart from any other planet in the solar system is that it is the smallest planet. 

Earth is the planet where you and I live. Earth is the only planet currently known to be the home of living things. However, Mars does show some signs that there may be water on the planet, which is necessary for living things to grow and live on Mars. Maybe one day we will learn that aliens really do live on Mars!

Jupiter is the largest planet is the solar system, but it has the shortest days out of all of the planets because it turns so quickly. A day on Earth is 24 hours long, but a day on Jupiter is less than 10 hours long and a day on Saturn is just over 10 hours long. If we lived on Jupiter or Saturn, then we would spend most of the day in school! 

Uranus is not the furthest planet from the sun, but it is the coldest. Even though Uranus is the coldest planet, Neptune might have the worst weather. One storm on Neptune lasted for about 5 years! Could you imagine a storm lasting for 5 years on Earth? 

One fun thing about science is that we are always learning something new because science can change. We could learn more unknown, fun facts about the solar system in the future! 

Which planet has a day just over 10 hours long?

Possible Answers:

Jupiter 

Mars

Saturn

Neptune 

Correct answer:

Saturn

Explanation:

The answer to this question is a detail that can be found in the passage. According to the passage, Saturn has a day that is just lover 10 hours long. 

"Jupiter is the largest planet is the solar system, but it has the shortest days out of all of the planets because it turns so quickly. A day on Earth is 24 hours long, but a day on Jupiter is less than 10 hours long and a day on Saturn is just over 10 hours long. If we lived on Jupiter or Saturn, then we would spend most of the day in school!"

We are told that Jupiter's day is less than 10 hours long, but the passage does not mention how long the days are on Mars and Neptune. 

Example Question #2 : Refer To Details From A Text When Explaining And Making Inferences About The Text: Ccss.Ela Literacy.Ri.4.1

A Look Into Space

Did you know that we used to think that there were nine planets that made up the solar system? Up until 2006, Pluto was considered to be the ninth planet and was located furthest away from the sun in our solar system. However, since 2006 Pluto has been considered to be a “dwarf planet” because it is too small to be considered a planet. Now that Pluto is not considered a planet, only eight planets are left to make up our solar system. The order of the planets from the sun is as follows: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. 

Mercury is the planet closest to the sun; however, can you believe that Mercury is not the planet with the hottest temperatures in our solar system? Well, believe it because Venus is the planet with the highest temperatures! The only award that sets Mercury apart from any other planet in the solar system is that it is the smallest planet. 

Earth is the planet where you and I live. Earth is the only planet currently known to be the home of living things. However, Mars does show some signs that there may be water on the planet, which is necessary for living things to grow and live on Mars. Maybe one day we will learn that aliens really do live on Mars!

Jupiter is the largest planet is the solar system, but it has the shortest days out of all of the planets because it turns so quickly. A day on Earth is 24 hours long, but a day on Jupiter is less than 10 hours long and a day on Saturn is just over 10 hours long. If we lived on Jupiter or Saturn, then we would spend most of the day in school! 

Uranus is not the furthest planet from the sun, but it is the coldest. Even though Uranus is the coldest planet, Neptune might have the worst weather. One storm on Neptune lasted for about 5 years! Could you imagine a storm lasting for 5 years on Earth? 

One fun thing about science is that we are always learning something new because science can change. We could learn more unknown, fun facts about the solar system in the future! 

According to the passage, which planet is known for its long-lasting storms?

Possible Answers:

Neptune 

Venus

Earth

Mars

Correct answer:

Neptune 

Explanation:

This answer can be found directly in the passage by locating the part of the passage where storms are discussed. 

"Uranus is not the furthest planet from the sun, but it is the coldest! Even though Uranus is the coldest planet, Neptune might have the worst weather. One storm on Neptune lasted for about 5 years! Could you imagine a storm lasting for 5 years on Earth? "

Neptune is the correct answer. 

Example Question #3 : Refer To Details From A Text When Explaining And Making Inferences About The Text: Ccss.Ela Literacy.Ri.4.1

Passage and table adapted from "Why Leaves Change Color" on "Northeastern Area," a website by the USDA Forest Service. <https://www.na.fs.fed.us/fhp/pubs/leaves/leaves.shtm>.

There are two main types of trees: coniferous trees and deciduous trees. Coniferous trees have small, needle-like leaves. They keep these leaves all year. One example of a coniferous tree is a pine tree, which has green needles during all seasons. In contrast, deciduous trees lose their leaves every autumn. Before these leaves drop and blow away, they change from green to colors like red, orange, yellow, and brown.

Have you ever wondered why deciduous leaves change color in the fall? This color change is caused by a chemical process in the cells of tree leaves.

Green leaves are green because they contain a green molecule, chlorophyll. This is a very important molecule in the natural world. Leaves use this molecule to turn carbon dioxide, sunlight, and water into sugar and oxygen in a process called “photosynthesis.” So, chlorophyll lets the plant store energy as sugar, which it can use as food. It also lets the plant provide food for anything that eats it, like a cow, a bird, or even a human! 

So, what does chlorophyll, a green molecule, have to do with autumn leaf colors? Deciduous leaves also contain molecules of other colors, but the chlorophyll in the leaves covers them up in the summer. In the fall, deciduous trees stop making chlorophyll. Eventually there is no more chlorophyll in their leaves. The colors of the other molecules show through. The colors of these other molecules are the colors we see in autumn leaves. The next time you see colorful leaves in the fall, you’ll know more about the chemistry at work!

In which of the following sentences does the author reveal the source of the colors of autumn leaves?

Possible Answers:

"There are two main types of trees: coniferous trees and deciduous trees."

"The colors of these other molecules are the colors we see in autumn leaves."

"So what does chlorophyll, a green molecule, have to do with autumn leaf colors?"

"Before these leaves drop and blow away, they change from green to colors like red, orange, yellow, and brown."

Correct answer:

"The colors of these other molecules are the colors we see in autumn leaves."

Explanation:

To answer this question correctly, you need to pick out the sentence in which the author tells readers the cause of autumn leaves' bright colors.

"There are two main types of trees: coniferous trees and deciduous trees." - This sentence is not the correct answer because it talks about types of trees, not the colors of autumn leaves.

"Before these leaves drop and blow away, they change from green to colors like red, orange, yellow, and brown." - This sentence talks about the colors of autumn leaves, but it simply says that the leaves change color in the autumn. It does not tell the reader why they change color, merely that they do. The correct answer is the sentence in which the author presents the source of the color change, which this sentence does not, so this is not the correct answer.

"So what does chlorophyll, a green molecule, have to do with autumn leaf colors?" - The author talks about chlorophyll and autumn leaf colors in this sentence, but it is a question about how the two concepts are related. It does not tell us how they are related. So, this isn't the correct answer either.

"The colors of these other molecules are the colors we see in autumn leaves." - This is the correct answer! This sentence tells readers the source of autumn leaves' bright colors: it is the colors of the other molecules that the lack of chlorophyll reveals.

Example Question #4 : Refer To Details From A Text When Explaining And Making Inferences About The Text: Ccss.Ela Literacy.Ri.4.1

Passage and table adapted from "Why Leaves Change Color" on "Northeastern Area," a website by the USDA Forest Service. <https://www.na.fs.fed.us/fhp/pubs/leaves/leaves.shtm>.

There are two main types of trees: coniferous trees and deciduous trees. Coniferous trees have small, needle-like leaves. They keep these leaves all year. One example of a coniferous tree is a pine tree, which has green needles during all seasons. In contrast, deciduous trees lose their leaves every autumn. Before these leaves drop and blow away, they change from green to colors like red, orange, yellow, and brown.

Have you ever wondered why deciduous leaves change color in the fall? This color change is caused by a chemical process in the cells of tree leaves.

Green leaves are green because they contain a green molecule, chlorophyll. This is a very important molecule in the natural world. Leaves use this molecule to turn carbon dioxide, sunlight, and water into sugar and oxygen in a process called “photosynthesis.” So, chlorophyll lets the plant store energy as sugar, which it can use as food. It also lets the plant provide food for anything that eats it, like a cow, a bird, or even a human! 

So, what does chlorophyll, a green molecule, have to do with autumn leaf colors? Deciduous leaves also contain molecules of other colors, but the chlorophyll in the leaves covers them up in the summer. In the fall, deciduous trees stop making chlorophyll. Eventually there is no more chlorophyll in their leaves. The colors of the other molecules show through. The colors of these other molecules are the colors we see in autumn leaves. The next time you see colorful leaves in the fall, you’ll know more about the chemistry at work!

Do different types of maple trees turn the same color in the fall?

Possible Answers:

No, the mentioned kinds turn different colors.

It seems so, because all the mentioned kinds turn some shade of brown.

It seems so, because all the mentioned kinds turn some shade of yellow.

It seems so, because all the mentioned kinds turn some shade of red.

Correct answer:

No, the mentioned kinds turn different colors.

Explanation:

The passage does not talk about maple trees or their leaves at all. Information about maple trees and their leaves is only presented in the table. There are different kinds of maple trees listed in the table's left column: "Red Maple," "Sugar Maple," "Black Maple," and "Striped Maple." Do all of these trees turn the same color in the fall? To figure this out, we need to look at the color in the table's right column associated with each kind of maple tree. The table tells us that Red Maples turn "Bright Red" in the fall; Sugar Maples turn "Reddish-Orange"; Black Maples turn "Yellow"; and Striped Maples turn "Nearly Colorless." These are not the same color at all, so the correct answer is "No, the mentioned kinds turn different colors."

Example Question #5 : Refer To Details From A Text When Explaining And Making Inferences About The Text: Ccss.Ela Literacy.Ri.4.1

Passage and table adapted from "Why Leaves Change Color" on "Northeastern Area," a website by the USDA Forest Service. <https://www.na.fs.fed.us/fhp/pubs/leaves/leaves.shtm>.

There are two main types of trees: coniferous trees and deciduous trees. Coniferous trees have small, needle-like leaves. They keep these leaves all year. One example of a coniferous tree is a pine tree, which has green needles during all seasons. In contrast, deciduous trees lose their leaves every autumn. Before these leaves drop and blow away, they change from green to colors like red, orange, yellow, and brown.

Have you ever wondered why deciduous leaves change color in the fall? This color change is caused by a chemical process in the cells of tree leaves.

Green leaves are green because they contain a green molecule, chlorophyll. This is a very important molecule in the natural world. Leaves use this molecule to turn carbon dioxide, sunlight, and water into sugar and oxygen in a process called “photosynthesis.” So, chlorophyll lets the plant store energy as sugar, which it can use as food. It also lets the plant provide food for anything that eats it, like a cow, a bird, or even a human! 

So, what does chlorophyll, a green molecule, have to do with autumn leaf colors? Deciduous leaves also contain molecules of other colors, but the chlorophyll in the leaves covers them up in the summer. In the fall, deciduous trees stop making chlorophyll. Eventually there is no more chlorophyll in their leaves. The colors of the other molecules show through. The colors of these other molecules are the colors we see in autumn leaves. The next time you see colorful leaves in the fall, you’ll know more about the chemistry at work!

A living thing that produces its own food in its body is called a “producer.” Based on the passage, which of the following is a producer?

Possible Answers:

A human

A cow

A tree

A bird

Correct answer:

A tree

Explanation:

This question tells you what a "producer" is and then asks you to figure out which of four types of living things mentioned in the passage fits the provided definition. The question says that a "producer" is "a living thing that produces food in its own body." Where in the passage do we learn about how certain types of living things produce food? In the third paragraph, the passage talks about how trees make their own food:

Green leaves are green because they contain a green molecule, chlorophyll. This is a very important molecule in the natural world. Leaves use this molecule to turn carbon dioxide, sunlight, and water into sugar and oxygen in a process called “photosynthesis.” So, chlorophyll lets the plant store energy as sugar, which it can use as food. It also lets the plant provide food for anything that eats it, like a cow, a bird, or even a human! 

In this paragraph, the passage explains how plants perform photosynthesis to generate their own food, sugar, from the sun's energy and other ingredients. Since the passage states that plants make their own food, plants are producers. So, the correct answer is "a plant."

None of the other listed answer choices' living things can produce their own food. At the end of the third paragraph, the passage mentions them as examples of things that eat plants as food.

Example Question #6 : Refer To Details From A Text When Explaining And Making Inferences About The Text: Ccss.Ela Literacy.Ri.4.1

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.

Which of the following does the author state that her blue jay has done in her house?

Possible Answers:

Torn parts of pages out of books

Scattered food all over the floor

Torn the feathers off of fancy hats

Pecked holes in window screens

Correct answer:

Torn parts of pages out of books

Explanation:

In the second paragraph, the author says, "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?" The only answer choice that appears in this list of grievances against the author's blue jay is that he "[tore] bits out of the leaves of books"—that is, he "[tore] parts of pages out of books."

Example Question #7 : Refer To Details From A Text When Explaining And Making Inferences About The Text: Ccss.Ela Literacy.Ri.4.1

Passage and table adapted from "Why Leaves Change Color" on "Northeastern Area," a website by the USDA Forest Service. <https://www.na.fs.fed.us/fhp/pubs/leaves/leaves.shtm>.

There are two main types of trees: coniferous trees and deciduous trees. Coniferous trees have small, needle-like leaves. They keep these leaves all year. One example of a coniferous tree is a pine tree, which has green needles during all seasons. In contrast, deciduous trees lose their leaves every autumn. Before these leaves drop and blow away, they change from green to colors like red, orange, yellow, and brown.

Have you ever wondered why deciduous leaves change color in the fall? This color change is caused by a chemical process in the cells of tree leaves.

Green leaves are green because they contain a green molecule, chlorophyll. This is a very important molecule in the natural world. Leaves use this molecule to turn carbon dioxide, sunlight, and water into sugar and oxygen in a process called “photosynthesis.” So, chlorophyll lets the plant store energy as sugar, which it can use as food. It also lets the plant provide food for anything that eats it, like a cow, a bird, or even a human! 

So, what does chlorophyll, a green molecule, have to do with autumn leaf colors? Deciduous leaves also contain molecules of other colors, but the chlorophyll in the leaves covers them up in the summer. In the fall, deciduous trees stop making chlorophyll. Eventually there is no more chlorophyll in their leaves. The colors of the other molecules show through. The colors of these other molecules are the colors we see in autumn leaves. The next time you see colorful leaves in the fall, you’ll know more about the chemistry at work!

Based on the passage and table, which of the following statements is true?

Possible Answers:

Aspen and Black Maple turn different colors in the fall.

Photosynthesis produces carbon dioxide, sunlight, and water from sugar and oxygen."

Leaves contain molecules of other colors in the summer, but they are not visible.

Sourwood and Black Tupelo turn different colors in the fall.

Correct answer:

Leaves contain molecules of other colors in the summer, but they are not visible.

Explanation:

By examining the table, we can find that both Sourwood and Black Tupelo turn dark red in the fall, and that Aspen and Black Maple turn yellow in the fall. The answer choices that state that these pairs of trees turn different colors in the fall are each incorrect.

The answer choice "Photosynthesis produces carbon dioxide, sunlight, and water from sugar and oxygen" is also incorrect. Paragraph three of the passage states, "Leaves use this molecule to turn carbon dioxide, sunlight, and water into sugar and oxygen in a process called 'photosynthesis.'" The answer choice describing this process mixes up the ingredients and the resulting products, which isn't accurate.

The accurately stated answer choice is "Leaves contain molecules of other colors in the summer, but they are not visible." This is supported by what the passage states in the fourth paragraph: "Deciduous leaves also contain molecules of other colors, but the chlorophyll in the leaves covers them up in the summer."

All Common Core: 4th Grade English Language Arts Resources

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