Common Core: 5th Grade English Language Arts : Quote Accurately from a Text When Explaining and When Drawing Inferences from a Text: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.1

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Example Question #1 : Quote Accurately From A Text When Explaining And When Drawing Inferences From A Text: Ccss.Ela Literacy.Ri.5.1

Passage 1: Rabbits, Stoats, and Kiwis: The Ecology of New Zealand (2016)

The island nation of New Zealand is unique. Many of its animals and plants are found nowhere else. The kiwi is one of the most famous of these animals. This small, flightless bird dwells on the ground. It has tiny wings with which it is unable to fly. Kiwis belong to the same biological family as ostriches and emus, but they are much smaller than their relatives. Kiwis have round bodies and long beaks, and their brown feathers are very long and thin. Because of this, at first glance, someone who has never seen a kiwi before might think it has fur! 

New Zealand is particularly fond of the kiwi. It is the country’s national bird. New Zealanders are even sometimes referred to as “kiwis.” Unfortunately, the kiwi is in danger due to changes humans made to New Zealand’s environment.

Hundreds of years ago, European colonists decided to bring rabbits from Europe to New Zealand. They wanted to hunt them for food and for sport. Unfortunately, their plan succeeded too well. In Europe, other animals in the food chain eat rabbits. This keeps their population in check. In New Zealand, though, no animals ate rabbits. So, their population grew to an enormous size. There were way too many rabbits! 

The colonists tried to fix the problem by bringing another animal to New Zealand. Since none of New Zealand’s animals ate rabbits, the colonists imported one from Europe that did: the stoat. Stoats are small, carnivorous mammals similar to weasels. They eat rabbits, as well as birds and their eggs. Bird scientists warned the colonists to reconsider their plan, but the plan went forward—to the kiwi’s detriment.

New Zealand’s islands historically lacked predatory mammals. Because of this, kiwis’ flightlessness never put them at a huge risk of being hunted and eaten. This was the case until the stoats were released. The stoats began to eat the kiwis and their eggs in huge numbers. The kiwis had no way of protecting themselves from the stoats. As a result, their population plummeted. 

To this day, stoats threaten the kiwi population in New Zealand. To protect native wildlife, residents have to tried to use various methods of trapping and hunting to limit the size of the stoat population. Certain areas have also been fenced in to keep stoats away from native birds like the kiwi.

To function, environments maintain a careful equilibrium between predators and prey. Altering this balance purposely or accidentally can have serious consequences.

Which of the following accurately quotes from the text and supports the inference that trying to keep stoats from getting to kiwis is at least a partially successful way of protecting kiwis? 

Possible Answers:

“To protect kiwis, residents have to tried to use various methods of trapping and hunting to limit the size of the stoat population.”

“To protect native wildlife, residents have to tried to use various methods of trapping and hunting to limit the size of the stoat population.”

“Certain areas have also been fenced in to keep stoats away from native birds like the kiwi.”

“To this day, stoats threaten the kiwi population in New Zealand.”

“Most areas in New Zealand have also been fenced in to keep stoats away from native birds like the kiwi.”

Correct answer:

“Certain areas have also been fenced in to keep stoats away from native birds like the kiwi.”

Explanation:

An inference is a conclusion that a story or passage helps you reach indirectly. If a story says that a character brings an umbrella with her when she goes to school, but doesn't tell you anything about the weather forecast directly, you can still infer that the character thinks it is going to rain because she brought her umbrella.

This question is asking you to identify an answer choice that does two things:

1.) It accurately quotes from the text, emphasis on "accurately"

What does this mean? To accurately quote text, you have to repeat it exactly as it appears in the original source. This is similar to quoting a person: you can't just summarize what they said—you have to provide their exact words in a quotation. So, the correct answer choice will be text that can be found in the passage, with no variations.

2.) It supports the inference that trying to keep stoats from getting to kiwis is at least a partially successful way of protecting kiwis.

Remember the umbrella-weather example? This part of the question is the inference—like "it might rain, since the character brought an umbrella." We need to identify the sentence in the passage that supports this inference. What is acting like the umbrella? What part of the passage lets us figure out that keeping stoats away from kiwis is one method of protecting the birds?

There are five answer choices presented. One of them states, "To this day, stoats threaten the kiwi population in New Zealand.” This is too general of a statement; reading it doesn't suggest that keeping stoats from getting to kiwis is or is not a good way of protecting them. Two of the answer choices concern New Zealanders hunting and trapping the stoats. One does not quote the passage correctly (it starts with "To protect kiwis" instead of "To protect native wildlife"). The other, while an accurate quotation, does not support the inference. It talks about trapping and hunting the stoats, not separating the stoats from the kiwis.

The last two remaining answer choices are these:

“Most areas in New Zealand have also been fenced in to keep stoats away from native birds like the kiwi.”

“Certain areas have also been fenced in to keep stoats away from native birds like the kiwi.”

These statements support our inference. If areas are being fenced in to keep stoats away from birds, it must be a somewhat successful way of protecting the birds.

Now we just need to identify which answer choice quotes the text accurately. Where do the sentences differ? One starts with "Most areas in New Zealand," and the other starts with "Certain areas." What does the passage say? The sentence in the passage begins with "Certain areas," so the correct answer is "Certain areas have also been fenced in to keep stoats away from native birds like the kiwi.”

All Common Core: 5th Grade English Language Arts Resources

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