Common Core: 7th Grade English Language Arts : Determine Multiple Main Ideas, Analyze Their Development, and Objectively Summarize a Text: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.7.2

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All Common Core: 7th Grade English Language Arts Resources

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Determine Multiple Main Ideas, Analyze Their Development, And Objectively Summarize A Text: Ccss.Ela Literacy.Ri.7.2

“The Petrified Forest of Arizona” by E.A. J. Seddon, Associate Editor, Southern Division in The Mountain States Monitor, September 1918.

The Petrified Forest of Arizona is an area covered with the fossil remains of prehistoric trees. The name “Petrified Forest” is somewhat of a misnomer: the word “forest” suggests standing trees, but these trees fell over long ago and have been preserved in stone. At one time, they formed part of a forest of gigantic trees. They proudly reared their heads above the surrounding country, but they were conquered and laid low by some force of nature.

Then began the process of embalming and preserving these fallen monarchs. They were buried thousands of feet beneath the bottom of an inland sea. This was a vast pickling vat where the wood was slowly converted into living gems. We can tell this because volcanic cones and mineral springs still exist in the area. 

Water containing minerals slowly forced its way into the trunks and limbs and roots of the fallen monarchs under a terrific pressure. Eventually, the woody material was gradually replaced by silica, a type of rock. Iron oxides were present in the silica. These oxides created brilliant and beautiful brown, yellow, and red colors in the rock. 

Eventually, the sediment containing the petrified trees was thrown up from nature’s subterranean chemical laboratory. The wrappings of the dead monarchs were slowly washed away by erosion and corrosion. Then the glorious sun shone upon the trees once again. They were no longer rulers of the kingdom of flora, but preserved for all time as agate, jasper, opal, and other forms of silica.

The author uses personification in the passage to develop a comparison of the petrified trees to human monarchs. Which of the following sentences does NOT use personification to characterize the trees as if they were people?

Possible Answers:

"This was a vast pickling vat where the wood was slowly converted into living gems."

"Then began the process of embalming and preserving these fallen monarchs."

"They proudly reared their heads above the surrounding country, but they were conquered and laid low by some force of nature."

"Water containing minerals slowly forced its way into the trunks and limbs and roots of the fallen monarchs under a terrific pressure."

"They were no longer rulers of the kingdom of flora, but preserved for all time as agate, jasper, opal, and other forms of silica."

Correct answer:

"This was a vast pickling vat where the wood was slowly converted into living gems."

Explanation:

Personification is the act of describing a non-living thing as if it were human. Authors might describe non-sentient things as feeling a certain way or as performing human actions or having human traits. The author does this quite frequently in this passage in order to develop an extended metaphor in which he describes the petrified trees as monarchs. Let's look at each of the sentences given as answer choices to pick out the one in which the author does NOT do this.

"Then began the process of embalming and preserving these fallen monarchs." - The word "embalming" and the reference to the trees as "fallen monarchs" compares them with royalty in this sentence, so this isn't the correct answer.

"Water containing minerals slowly forced its way into the trunks and limbs and roots of the fallen monarchs under a terrific pressure." - In this sentence, the author again refers to the trees undergoing the petrification process as "fallen monarchs." This sentence isn't correct either.

"They proudly reared their heads above the surrounding country, but they were conquered and laid low by some force of nature." - 

"They were no longer rulers of the kingdom of flora, but preserved for all time as agate, jasper, opal, and other forms of silica."

"This was a vast pickling vat where the wood was slowly converted into living gems." - This sentence uses not one but two metaphors, calling the underground environment in which petrification takes place "a vast pickling vat" and the petrified wood that results from the process "living gems." Neither of these metaphors involve describing the trees as if they are people, though, so this is the correct answer!

All Common Core: 7th Grade English Language Arts Resources

1 Diagnostic Test 27 Practice Tests Question of the Day Flashcards Learn by Concept
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