Common Core: 3rd Grade English Language Arts : Craft and Structure

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for Common Core: 3rd Grade English Language Arts

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All Common Core: 3rd Grade English Language Arts Resources

1 Diagnostic Test 77 Practice Tests Question of the Day Flashcards Learn by Concept

Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Literal And Nonliteral Vocabulary

"Honest Abe” 

Abraham Lincoln is not just the face on the penny. Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States and he was known as “Honest Abe." This nickname started when he was a young boy working in a store. If he gave someone the wrong change back, then he would follow them home and give them their left over money. “Honest Abe” is remembered as an honest boy and a great president. 

Abraham Lincoln was born in 1809 in a one-room home in Kentucky, and then later moved to Indiana and later Illinois. He grew up very poor and after his mother passed away, his older sister took care of him. Abraham Lincoln did not have an easy time growing up, but he was very smart. Most of what he knew he learned on his own by reading books, he was self-taught.

Lincoln became president in 1861. Lincoln wanted to end the use of slavery in the United States, which upset many people. Because of this, some states did not want to be apart of the United States and tried to have their own laws and rules. A war started and lasted for 4 years. This became known as the Civil War. After it ended, all of the states of the United States stayed together, and President Lincoln said that all slaves needed to be set free. 

Abraham Lincoln’s life was too short. He died at age 56, but he will always be remembered. 

What does "self-taught" mean? 

Possible Answers:

Not learning 

Learning at school

Learning on your own

Going to school

Correct answer:

Learning on your own

Explanation:

We can use context clues to help us answer this question. Let's look at where "self-taught" is found in the passage. 

"Abraham Lincoln was born in 1809 in a one-room home in Kentucky, and then later moved to Indiana and later Illinois. He grew up very poor and after his mother passed away, his older sister took care of him. Abraham Lincoln did not have an easy time growing up, but he was very smart. Most of what he knew he learned on his own by reading books, he was self-taught."

The last sentence of this paragraph gives us a clue of what "self-taught" means. We are told that Lincoln learned on his own, which is what "self-taught" means. "Learning on your own" is the correct answer. 

Example Question #2 : Literal And Nonliteral Vocabulary

Text 1: Where to see African Animals

Animals that are from Africa are some of the most fascinating animals to see. If you’ve ever dreamed of seeing the animals that live in Africa, there are two ways to make this happen. The first is to visit a local zoo. Most zoos have an African section, which have many of the animals that you would find in Africa. The other, and probably the more exciting option, would be to take a trip to Africa and go on an African safari!

Visiting a Zoo

If you go to a zoo to see African animals, you can usually follow signs straight to the African section. There you will see an area that is modeled off of what an African habitat, or area where animals live, would look like. There will be tall trees for the giraffes and lots of grass and small plants for the elephants. The neat thing about seeing animals in a zoo is that you can see tons of different animals from all over the world.You can see Polar Bears found in Alaska or Kangaroos found in Australia, just to name a few!

African Safari

An African safari is a trip that is very popular in Africa. People sign up for tours and ride around Africa to see many African animals in their homes in the wild. During an African safari, the driver is also the tour guide. He, or she, will know many facts and details about the area and the animals. During the safari, you might go by giraffes eating from tall trees, elephants spraying water from their noses, and lions laying in the sun. 

 

Text 2: African Animals

Africa is home to many amazing and different animals! The weather in Africa is generally very warm, but depending on where in Africa you are, you will see different habits and animals. The top half of Africa, or the northern part, is mainly made up of deserts. The bottom half of Africa, or the southern part, is made up of plains and jungles. 

Desert

African deserts are home to animals that can live in very hot temperatures, with very little water. If you were to visit an African desert you might see animals such as camels, foxes, or sheep. Reptiles also live in African deserts. Reptiles that you might see include snakes or lizards. 

Plains

African plains are flat areas with a lot of grass. You might see some tall trees spread out, but the majority of this area is covered in grass. If you visit this area of Africa, you might run into some dangerous animals. The plains are where lions and chetahs call home. However, many other animal call the plaines their home. If you want to see elephants, giraffes, or zebras, the plains are where you will find them. 

Jungles

The jungles in Africa are rainforest. They are filled with tall trees, plants, and many animals. If you were in an African rainforest, you might see monkeys hanging from branches, or big snakes wrapped around trees. Also, bright colored parrots can be seeing flying from tree to tree. Much bigger animals, such as gorillas and jaguars also live within all of the trees of the rainforest. 

What does the word "habitat" mean? 

Possible Answers:

A tour guide

An area where animals live

An African animal

An animal at the zoo

Correct answer:

An area where animals live

Explanation:

We can use text clues to help us answer this question. 

"If you go to a zoo to see African animals, you can usually follow signs straight to the African section. There you will see an area that is modeled off of what an African habitat, or area where animals live, would look like. There will be tall trees for the giraffes and lots of grass and small plants for the elephants. The neat thing about seeing animals in a zoo is that you can see tons of different animals from all over the world.You can see Polar Bears found in Alaska or Kangaroos found in Australia, just to name a few!"

A habitat is an area where animals live. 

Example Question #3 : Literal And Nonliteral Vocabulary

Adapted from “How the Camel Got His Hump” in Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling (1902) 

Now this is the next tale, and it tells how the Camel got his big hump.

Presently the Horse came to him on Monday morning, with a saddle on his back and a bit in his mouth, and said, “Camel, O Camel, come out and trot like the rest of us.”

“Humph!” said the Camel; and the Horse went away and told the Man.

Presently the Dog came to him, with a stick in his mouth, and said, “Camel, O Camel, come and fetch and carry like the rest of us.”

“Humph!” said the Camel; and the Dog went away and told the Man.

Presently the Ox came to him, with the yoke on his neck and said, “Camel, O Camel, come and plough like the rest of us.”

“Humph!” said the Camel; and the Ox went away and told the Man.

At the end of the day the Man called the Horse and the Dog and the Ox together, and said, “Three, O Three, I’m very sorry for you (with the world so new‐and‐all); but that Humph‐thing in the Desert can’t work, or he would have been here by now, so I am going to leave him alone, and you must work double‐ time to make up for it.”

That made the Three very angry (with the world so new‐and‐all), and they held a palaver, and an indaba, and a punchayet, and a pow‐wow on the edge of the Desert; and the Camel came chewing milkweed most ’scruciating idle, and laughed at them. Then he said “Humph!” and went away again.

Presently there came along the Djinn in charge of All Deserts, rolling in a cloud of dust (Djinns always travel that way because it is Magic), and he stopped to palaver and pow‐wow with the Three.

“Djinn of All Deserts,” said the Horse, “is it right for any one to be idle, with the world so new‐and‐all?”

“Certainly not,” said the Djinn.

“Well,” said the Horse, “there’s a thing in the middle of your Howling Desert (and he’s a Howler himself) with a long neck and long legs, and he hasn’t done a stroke of work since Monday morning. He won’t trot.”

“Whew!” said the Djinn, whistling, “that’s my Camel, for all the gold in Arabia! What does he say about it?”

“He says ‘Humph!’” said the Dog; “and he won’t fetch and carry.”

“Does he say anything else?”

“Only ‘Humph!’; and he won’t plough,” said the Ox.

“Very good,” said the Djinn. “I’ll humph him if you will kindly wait a minute.” 

"Camel my friend, what's this is hear of your doing no work, the world so new-and-all?", and the Djinn

"Humph!"

"Camel, you've given the Three extra work ever since Monday morning, all on account of your 'scruciating idleness." 

"Humph!"

"I shouldn't say that again if I were you. You might say it once too often. Camel, I want you to work."

"Humph!"

No sooner has Camel said it than he sees his back, that he is so proud of, puffing up and puffing up into a great big lolloping human

"Do you see that hump? That's your very own humph that you've brought upon your very own self by not working. Today is Thursday, and you've done no work since Monday, when the work began. Now you are going to work," said Djinn. 

"How can I with this humph on my back?" asked Camel.

"That's made a-purpose all because you missed those three days. You will be able to work now for three days without eating, because you can live on your humph; and don't you ever say I never did anything for you. Stay with the Three, and behave."

"Humph! Humph!"

From that day to this the Camel always wears a humph. Now we call is "hump" so that we will not hurt his feelings. However, he has never yet caught up with the three days that he missed at the beginning of the world, and he has never yet learned how to behave. 

 

According to the passage, what is a "Djinn"?

Possible Answers:

Someone who is in charge of all the land

Someone who is in charge of all the Deserts

Someone who is in charge of the work

Someone who is in charge of all the animals 

Correct answer:

Someone who is in charge of all the Deserts

Explanation:

The answer to this question can be found in the middle of the passage. 

Presently there came along the Djinn in charge of All Deserts,rolling in a cloud of dust (Djinns always travel that way because it is Magic), and he stopped to palaver and pow‐wow with the Three.

The Djinn is in charge of "All Deserts". 

Example Question #4 : Literal And Nonliteral Vocabulary

The Farm and the Magical Rainstorms

Since the time he was a little boy, Farmer Bo had always wanted to have a farm filled with lots of different kinds of animals. One day, as he was casually strolling down a country road, he saw a big sign in the middle of a field that reads “For Sale.” From what he could see, there wasn’t much to the land. Just a lot of open space and a small shack. The shack looked pretty old and beat-up from the outside. However, Farmer Bo never was the type to need nice things. He lived a simple life. He decided he would buy the land, live in the shack, and begin building a barn.

During the first night he spent in the shack, it began raining cats and dogs outside. Farmer Bo couldn’t sleep that night because he was worried that there might be too much flooding to start building his barn the next day. All night long he heard cracks of lighting and heavy drops of rain beating down on his tin roof. When morning came, he looked outside and couldn’t believe his eyes! There, in the middle of his field, was the start to his barn. It wasn’t completed yet, but there was a frame to the barn. Farmer Bo was baffled. He had no clue how this structure had just appeared. Instead of getting to work to complete his barn, he decided to see what would happen the next night.

That night no rain came. The ground was as dry as a bone when Farm Bo woke up from his slumber. To his disappointment, the barn still stood in the field just as it had the previous day- still not complete. Night after night he waited, but each day no more progress had been made when he woke up the next morning. After two weeks he decided he would get to work himself. He spent all day out in the hot sun working to build sides to his barn. When the sky got dark, and he was forced to quit working, he had half of the barn finished.

That night, the rain came again. To Farm Bo’s delight, the sides of the barn were all finished when he woke up the next morning. He decided not to sit back and keep waiting for the rain. So he quickly got to work on the barn’s roof. He nailed hundreds of shingles in one single day, but again night came before the roof was complete. That night, he went to bed tired, sore, and hoping for rain.

As used in the first paragraph, what does the word “strolling” mean?

Possible Answers:

Walking in a leisurely way

Singing loudly

Running at great speed

Singing softly

Correct answer:

Walking in a leisurely way

Explanation:

The word “strolling” means to walk in a leisurely way.

Example Question #5 : Literal And Nonliteral Vocabulary

The Farm and the Magical Rainstorms

Since the time he was a little boy, Farmer Bo had always wanted to have a farm filled with lots of different kinds of animals. One day, as he was casually strolling down a country road, he saw a big sign in the middle of a field that reads “For Sale.” From what he could see, there wasn’t much to the land. Just a lot of open space and a small shack. The shack looked pretty old and beat-up from the outside. However, Farmer Bo never was the type to need nice things. He lived a simple life. He decided he would buy the land, live in the shack, and begin building a barn.

During the first night he spent in the shack, it began raining cats and dogs outside. Farmer Bo couldn’t sleep that night because he was worried that there might be too much flooding to start building his barn the next day. All night long he heard cracks of lighting and heavy drops of rain beating down on his tin roof. When morning came, he looked outside and couldn’t believe his eyes! There, in the middle of his field, was the start to his barn. It wasn’t completed yet, but there was a frame to the barn. Farmer Bo was baffled. He had no clue how this structure had just appeared. Instead of getting to work to complete his barn, he decided to see what would happen the next night.

That night no rain came. The ground was as dry as a bone when Farm Bo woke up from his slumber. To his disappointment, the barn still stood in the field just as it had the previous day- still not complete. Night after night he waited, but each day no more progress had been made when he woke up the next morning. After two weeks he decided he would get to work himself. He spent all day out in the hot sun working to build sides to his barn. When the sky got dark, and he was forced to quit working, he had half of the barn finished.

That night, the rain came again. To Farm Bo’s delight, the sides of the barn were all finished when he woke up the next morning. He decided not to sit back and keep waiting for the rain. So he quickly got to work on the barn’s roof. He nailed hundreds of shingles in one single day, but again night came before the roof was complete. That night, he went to bed tired, sore, and hoping for rain.

Based on the passage, what does “raining cats and dogs mean?”

Possible Answers:

Dogs and cats are falling out of the sky

Snowstorm

Heavy rain

Light rain

Correct answer:

Heavy rain

Explanation:

“Raining cats and dogs” is an example of a nonliteral phrase. A nonliteral phrase uses language that goes beyond the dictionary meaning of words – Non-literal language does not use words in their usual or most basic sense. “Raining cats and dogs” does not mean it was actually raining cats and dogs outside, as that is impossible. However, it means that there was heavy rain. If we keep reading after this phrase, we are told that Farmer Bo was worried there might be flooding because of all of the rain. This gives us a clue that there was a lot of rain since flooding is caused by a lot of rain.

Example Question #6 : Literal And Nonliteral Vocabulary

The Farm and the Magical Rainstorms

Since the time he was a little boy, Farmer Bo had always wanted to have a farm filled with lots of different kinds of animals. One day, as he was casually strolling down a country road, he saw a big sign in the middle of a field that reads “For Sale.” From what he could see, there wasn’t much to the land. Just a lot of open space and a small shack. The shack looked pretty old and beat-up from the outside. However, Farmer Bo never was the type to need nice things. He lived a simple life. He decided he would buy the land, live in the shack, and begin building a barn.

During the first night he spent in the shack, it began raining cats and dogs outside. Farmer Bo couldn’t sleep that night because he was worried that there might be too much flooding to start building his barn the next day. All night long he heard cracks of lighting and heavy drops of rain beating down on his tin roof. When morning came, he looked outside and couldn’t believe his eyes! There, in the middle of his field, was the start to his barn. It wasn’t completed yet, but there was a frame to the barn. Farmer Bo was baffled. He had no clue how this structure had just appeared. Instead of getting to work to complete his barn, he decided to see what would happen the next night.

That night no rain came. The ground was as dry as a bone when Farm Bo woke up from his slumber. To his disappointment, the barn still stood in the field just as it had the previous day- still not complete. Night after night he waited, but each day no more progress had been made when he woke up the next morning. After two weeks he decided he would get to work himself. He spent all day out in the hot sun working to build sides to his barn. When the sky got dark, and he was forced to quit working, he had half of the barn finished.

That night, the rain came again. To Farm Bo’s delight, the sides of the barn were all finished when he woke up the next morning. He decided not to sit back and keep waiting for the rain. So he quickly got to work on the barn’s roof. He nailed hundreds of shingles in one single day, but again night came before the roof was complete. That night, he went to bed tired, sore, and hoping for rain.

As used in the second paragraph, what does the word “baffled” mean?

Possible Answers:

Withdrawn

Expected

Confused

Happy

Correct answer:

Confused

Explanation:

The story reads “Farmer Bo was baffled. He had no clue how this structure had just appeared”. The sentence after the word “baffled” helps us to determine its meaning. When you have “no clue” how something has happened, you are confused. “Confused” is the correct answer.

Example Question #7 : Literal And Nonliteral Vocabulary

The Farm and the Magical Rainstorms

Since the time he was a little boy, Farmer Bo had always wanted to have a farm filled with lots of different kinds of animals. One day, as he was casually strolling down a country road, he saw a big sign in the middle of a field that reads “For Sale.” From what he could see, there wasn’t much to the land. Just a lot of open space and a small shack. The shack looked pretty old and beat-up from the outside. However, Farmer Bo never was the type to need nice things. He lived a simple life. He decided he would buy the land, live in the shack, and begin building a barn.

During the first night he spent in the shack, it began raining cats and dogs outside. Farmer Bo couldn’t sleep that night because he was worried that there might be too much flooding to start building his barn the next day. All night long he heard cracks of lighting and heavy drops of rain beating down on his tin roof. When morning came, he looked outside and couldn’t believe his eyes! There, in the middle of his field, was the start to his barn. It wasn’t completed yet, but there was a frame to the barn. Farmer Bo was baffled. He had no clue how this structure had just appeared. Instead of getting to work to complete his barn, he decided to see what would happen the next night.

That night no rain came. The ground was as dry as a bone when Farm Bo woke up from his slumber. To his disappointment, the barn still stood in the field just as it had the previous day- still not complete. Night after night he waited, but each day no more progress had been made when he woke up the next morning. After two weeks he decided he would get to work himself. He spent all day out in the hot sun working to build sides to his barn. When the sky got dark, and he was forced to quit working, he had half of the barn finished.

That night, the rain came again. To Farm Bo’s delight, the sides of the barn were all finished when he woke up the next morning. He decided not to sit back and keep waiting for the rain. So he quickly got to work on the barn’s roof. He nailed hundreds of shingles in one single day, but again night came before the roof was complete. That night, he went to bed tired, sore, and hoping for rain.

Based on the passage, what does “dry as a bone” mean?

Possible Answers:

A dog toy

A dried-out bone

A white bone

Not wet

Correct answer:

Not wet

Explanation:

“Dry as a bone” is an example of a nonliteral phrase. A nonliteral phrase uses language that goes beyond the dictionary meaning of words – Non-literal language does not use words in their usual or most basic sense. In this case, “dry as a bone” means the ground wasn’t wet.

Example Question #8 : Literal And Nonliteral Vocabulary

The Farm and the Magical Rainstorms

Since the time he was a little boy, Farmer Bo had always wanted to have a farm filled with lots of different kinds of animals. One day, as he was casually strolling down a country road, he saw a big sign in the middle of a field that reads “For Sale.” From what he could see, there wasn’t much to the land. Just a lot of open space and a small shack. The shack looked pretty old and beat-up from the outside. However, Farmer Bo never was the type to need nice things. He lived a simple life. He decided he would buy the land, live in the shack, and begin building a barn.

During the first night he spent in the shack, it began raining cats and dogs outside. Farmer Bo couldn’t sleep that night because he was worried that there might be too much flooding to start building his barn the next day. All night long he heard cracks of lighting and heavy drops of rain beating down on his tin roof. When morning came, he looked outside and couldn’t believe his eyes! There, in the middle of his field, was the start to his barn. It wasn’t completed yet, but there was a frame to the barn. Farmer Bo was baffled. He had no clue how this structure had just appeared. Instead of getting to work to complete his barn, he decided to see what would happen the next night.

That night no rain came. The ground was as dry as a bone when Farm Bo woke up from his slumber. To his disappointment, the barn still stood in the field just as it had the previous day- still not complete. Night after night he waited, but each day no more progress had been made when he woke up the next morning. After two weeks he decided he would get to work himself. He spent all day out in the hot sun working to build sides to his barn. When the sky got dark, and he was forced to quit working, he had half of the barn finished.

That night, the rain came again. To Farm Bo’s delight, the sides of the barn were all finished when he woke up the next morning. He decided not to sit back and keep waiting for the rain. So he quickly got to work on the barn’s roof. He nailed hundreds of shingles in one single day, but again night came before the roof was complete. That night, he went to bed tired, sore, and hoping for rain.

As used in the third paragraph, what does the word “slumber” mean?

Possible Answers:

Sleep

Bed

Excited

Awake

Correct answer:

Sleep

Explanation:

We can use context clues in the sentence from the passage to help us answer this question. The sentence says, “.... when Farm Bo woke from his slumber.” Woke is the past tense of wake. When we wake up from something, we were previously sleeping. So “slumber’ means sleep.

Example Question #9 : Literal And Nonliteral Vocabulary

Adley Joins the Soccer Team

The day started off like any other day. Adley woke up, got dressed, ate breakfast, and began running to school. Her mother joked that it was like “pulling teeth” to get Adley out of bed in the morning, but today was different. She leaped out of bed right on time. Her dad had pulled strings to get her on the soccer team- a year earlier than most girls were allowed to start playing at her school. Today was the first day of practice, and she couldn’t wait! Today was not going to be like any other day.

All-day she was distracted. She couldn’t focus on what the teachers were teaching in class. She just kept thinking about soccer practice after school, and her nerves were growing bigger and bigger. By the time practice was about to start, Adley was so nervous she kept dropping her cleats. She began to wonder if she really should join the team.

Suddenly, Adley heard a whisper, “Put the cleats on, that’s all you need to do”. She looked around but saw no one close to her that could have spoken to her. All of the other girls were already on the soccer field stretching before practice began. She did as she heard, and put the cleats on. Before she ran onto the field to join the other girls, she noticed a golden glow around her soccer cleats. She thought her eyes were playing tricks on her, but she was too embarrassed to ask anyone else if they saw the glow too.

During practice, Adley ran faster than she’s ever run before, and she scored 4 goals during the 1-hour practice. Her teammates huddled around her after each goal and praised her talents. After each goal that she scored, she looked down and saw the golden glow around her cleats- she figured they must be magic! As long as Adley was wearing her cleats, her confidence grew and her nerves disappeared.

As used in the first paragraph, what does “pulling teeth” mean?

Possible Answers:

Getting a tooth taken out

Very difficult

Very easy

Very nervous

Correct answer:

Very difficult

Explanation:

“Pulling teeth” is an example of a nonliteral phrase. A nonliteral phrase uses language that goes beyond the dictionary meaning of words – Non-literal language does not use words in their usual or most basic sense. Let’s look at the context of this phrase.  Her mother joked that it was like “pulling teeth” to get Adley out of bed in the morning, but today was different. She leaped out of bed right on time. We are told that today was different than most days, as Adley leaped out of bed right on time. This would mean normally she doesn’t leap out of bed. So we can assume that it’s hard for Adley to get out of bed on time. Therefore, “pulling teeth” means very difficult.

Example Question #10 : Literal And Nonliteral Vocabulary

Adley Joins the Soccer Team

The day started off like any other day. Adley woke up, got dressed, ate breakfast, and began running to school. Her mother joked that it was like “pulling teeth” to get Adley out of bed in the morning, but today was different. She leaped out of bed right on time. Her dad had pulled strings to get her on the soccer team- a year earlier than most girls were allowed to start playing at her school. Today was the first day of practice, and she couldn’t wait! Today was not going to be like any other day.

All-day she was distracted. She couldn’t focus on what the teachers were teaching in class. She just kept thinking about soccer practice after school, and her nerves were growing bigger and bigger. By the time practice was about to start, Adley was so nervous she kept dropping her cleats. She began to wonder if she really should join the team.

Suddenly, Adley heard a whisper, “Put the cleats on, that’s all you need to do”. She looked around but saw no one close to her that could have spoken to her. All of the other girls were already on the soccer field stretching before practice began. She did as she heard, and put the cleats on. Before she ran onto the field to join the other girls, she noticed a golden glow around her soccer cleats. She thought her eyes were playing tricks on her, but she was too embarrassed to ask anyone else if they saw the glow too.

During practice, Adley ran faster than she’s ever run before, and she scored 4 goals during the 1-hour practice. Her teammates huddled around her after each goal and praised her talents. After each goal that she scored, she looked down and saw the golden glow around her cleats- she figured they must be magic! As long as Adley was wearing her cleats, her confidence grew and her nerves disappeared.

Based on the passage, what does the word “distracted” mean?

Possible Answers:

Unable to focus

A difficult time

To be far apart

In deep concentration

Correct answer:

Unable to focus

Explanation:

We can use context clues from the story to help us answer this question. “All day she was distracted. She couldn’t focus on what the teachers were teaching in class.” We were told that she was distracted. And then the next sentence explains that Adley couldn’t focus on what the teachers were teaching in class. So, “distracted” means unable to focus.

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