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TEST NAME: First Quarter Review

TEST ID: 1337572


GRADE: 06 - Sixth Grade
SUBJECT: English Language and Literature
TEST CATEGORY: My Classroom

First Quarter Review

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Student:
Class:
Date:
Read the passage - 'Excerpt from Old Indian Legends: ?Dance in a Buffalo Skull?' - and answer the question
below:

Excerpt from Old Indian Legends: ?Dance in a Buffalo Skull?

Excerpt from Old Indian Legends:


Dance in a Buffalo Skull
By Zitkala-Sa
It was night upon the prairie. Overhead the stars were twinkling bright their red and yellow lights. The moon was
young. A silvery thread among the stars, it soon drifted low beneath the horizon.
Upon the ground the land was pitchy black. There are night people on the plain who love the dark. Amid
the black level land they meet to frolic1 under the stars. Then when their sharp ears hear any strange footfalls2
nigh3 they scamper away into the deep shadows of night. There they are safely hid from all dangers, they
think.
Thus it was that one very black night, afar off from the edge of the level land, out of the wooded river
bottom glided forth two balls of fire. They came farther and farther into the level land. They grew larger and
brighter. The dark hid the body of the creature with those fiery eyes. They came on and on, just over the tops of
the prairie grass. It might have been a wildcat prowling low on soft, stealthy feet. Slowly but surely the terrible
eyes drew nearer and nearer to the heart of the level land.
There in a huge old buffalo skull was a great feast and dance! Tiny little field mice were singing and
dancing in a circle to the boom-boom of a wee, wee drum. They were laughing and talking among themselves
while their chosen singers sang loud a merry tune.
They built a small open fire within the center of their dance house. The light streamed out of the buffalo skull
through all the curious sockets and holes.
A light on the plain in the middle of the night was an unusual thing. But so merry were the mice they did
not hear the king, king of sleepy birds, disturbed by the unaccustomed fire.
A pack of wolves, fearing to come nigh this night fire, stood together a little distance away, and, turning
their pointed noses to the stars, howled and yelped most dismally. Even the cry of the wolves was
unheeded by the mice within the lighted buffalo skull.
They were feasting and dancing they were singing and laughingthose funny little furry fellows.
All the while across the dark from out the low river bottom came that pair of fiery eyes.
Now closer and more swift, now fiercer and glaring, the eyes moved toward the buffalo skull. All
unconscious of those fearful eyes, the happy mice nibbled at dried roots and venison. The singers had started
another song. The drummers beat the time, turning their heads from side to side in rhythm. In a ring around the

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fire hopped the mice, each bouncing hard on his two hind feet. Some carried their tails over their arms, while
others trailed them proudly along.
Ah, very near are those round yellow eyes! Very low to the ground they seem to creepcreep toward the
buffalo skull. All of a sudden they slide into the eye-sockets of the old skull.
Spirit of the buffalo! squeaked a frightened mouse as he jumped out from a hole in the back part of the skull.
A cat! a cat! cried other mice as they scrambled out of holes both large and snug. Noiseless they ran away
into the dark.
1

frolic: to play

footfalls: footsteps

3 nigh:

near in space

Old Indian Legends: Dance in a Buffalo Skull retold by Zitkala-Sa. Project Gutenberg,
2001. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/338/338-h/338-h.htm#2H_4_0012 (06/15/2012).
1.

In paragraph 10, what does it mean when the author says the mice were
all unconscious of those fearful eyes?
A.

The mice had no idea that they were being watched.

B.

The mice were asleep after all of their dancing and feasting.

C.

The mice were tired and ready for bed while the others sang.

D.

The mice were starting another song at the feast around the fire.

Read the passage - 'Excerpt from Old Indian Legends: ?Dance in a Buffalo Skull?' - and answer the question
below:
2.

In paragraph 10, what does it mean when the author says the mice were
all unconscious of those fearful eyes?
A.

The mice had no idea that they were being watched.

B.

The mice were asleep after all of their dancing and feasting.

C.

The mice were tired and ready for bed while the others sang.

D.

The mice were starting another song at the feast around the fire.

Read the passage - 'Excerpt from Old Indian Legends: ?Dance in a Buffalo Skull?' - and answer the question
below:

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3.

In paragraph 10, what does it mean when the author says the mice were
all unconscious of those fearful eyes?
A.

The mice had no idea that they were being watched.

B.

The mice were asleep after all of their dancing and feasting.

C.

The mice were tired and ready for bed while the others sang.

D.

The mice were starting another song at the feast around the fire.

Read the passage - 'Excerpt from Old Indian Legends: ?Dance in a Buffalo Skull?' - and answer the question
below:
4.

Which sentence from the selection shows the mice were having fun in the
dark?
A.

Overhead the stars were twinkling bright their red and yellow lights.

B.

There in a huge old buffalo skull was a great feast and dance!

C.

All the while across the dark from out the low river bottom came that
pair of fiery eyes.

D.

Spirit of the buffalo! squeaked a frightened mouse as he jumped


out from a hole in the back part of the skull.

Read the passage - 'Excerpt from Old Indian Legends: ?Dance in a Buffalo Skull?' - and answer the question
below:
5.

In paragraph 3, how does the phrase out of the wooded river bottom
glided forth two balls of fire affect the tone?
A.

It creates a feeling of suspense.

B.

It creates a sense of happiness.

C.

It creates a feeling of bitterness.

D.

It creates a sense of encouragement.

Read the passage - 'Excerpt from Old Indian Legends: ?Dance in a Buffalo Skull?' - and answer the question
below:

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6.

In paragraph 3, which statement from the selection explains why the cat
was not readily visible?
A.

They came farther and farther into the level land.

B.

They grew larger and brighter.

C.

The dark hid the body of the creature with those fiery eyes.

D.

They came on and on, just over the tops of the prairie grass.

Read the passage - 'Adapted from Soils and Organisms' - and answer the question below:

Adapted from Soils and Organisms

Adapted from Soils and


Organisms
Soil is made from rocks that break apart or wear away over many years. This is referred to as
weathering. It may take 100 to 1,000 years for 1 cm of soil to form through weathering. Soil
can actually be separated into five main parts. They are:
Humus: A dark, moist soil composed of bits of dead, rotting insects, animals, leaves, roots,
sticks, and food. Humus adds nutrients to the soil which plants need to grow and live.
Clay: A soil that holds water. When wet, clay feels slippery and slimy. It is made of particles
that are smaller than 0.004 millimeters.
Silt: Soil that looks like fine grains or tiny pieces of rock. Particles classified as silt measure
from 0.004 millimeters to 0.006 millimeters.
Sand: Soil that is coarse and drains quickly. Sand particles measure from about 0.006
millimeters to 2.00 millimeters.
Gravel: Visible rock particles, sometimes referred to as pebbles.
The vast majority of all organisms living in the soil are good guys, helping to:
Decompose organic matter
Release nutrients
Create waterways
Aid plant growth
Aggregate1 soil
Provide us with life-saving antibiotics
Because nature does not always provide the best type of soil for the crops farmers want to
grow, they plow, add fertilizers, and irrigate to help the good micro-organisms create a
healthier growing environment. Scientists are using Global Positioning Systems technology to
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map and analyze soil in the field so that farmers apply just the right amount of water and
fertilizer.
While most organisms in the soil are good, a few are bad and can hurt crops.
One bad guy is a fungus called Cercospora Beticola that attacks sugar beets. At the
Northern Plains research lab in Sidney, Montana, scientists are studying ways to fight C.
beticola using friendly fungi that lives in the soil. These friendly fungicalled Laetisaria
arvalisrelease an enzyme that prevents C. beticola from getting the food it needs,
essentially starving the bad fungi and preventing the disease from occuring.
Sidney scientists are also studying ways to increase the number of another beneficial fungi
found in the ground that helps to aggregate the soil and may also aid in weed control.
Soil! Without it we would be naked, homeless and starving. Although we rarely notice the
soils around us, we rely on them to produce our food, clothing, and shelter to clean our water
to play on and in, and as a solid base for our buildings.
Soil is our greatest resource, yet every year soil that could be growing crops or pastures is
lost or damaged by erosion, contamination and overuse or misuse.
Scientists at the Northern Plains research lab in Sidney, Montana, are studying ways to
improve, maintain and save our agricultural soil through both biological and mechanical
methods. Some of those methods include no-till, minimum till, and conventional tillage2 with
different crop rotations to preserve nutrients in the soil.
1aggregate:
2till/tillage:

gather from separate parts into a whole


plow or work the soil

Soils and Organisms. http://www.ars.usda.gov/main/docs.htm?


docid=13916&pf=1&cg_id=0 (02/27/2013).
7.

Which is suggested by the phrase maintain and save our agricultural soil
through both biological and mechanical methods?
A.

B.
C.

D.

Scientists use machines and biology to study how soil works and
grows crops.
Scientists are using farming and agriculture to save soil and make it better.

Scientists use fertilizers and enzymes to enrich soil for healthier


crops.
Scientists use man-made and natural ways to take care of our soil.

Read the passage - 'Adapted from Soils and Organisms' - and answer the question below:

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Based on the first paragraph, how is soil different from rock?

8.

A.

Soil makes up rock through a process known as weathering.

B.

Soil is made of several parts, while rock is made of only one.

C.

Rock breaks down into soil through a process known as weathering.

D.

Rock takes hundreds of years to break down, while soil breaks down
quickly.

Read the passage - 'Adapted from Soils and Organisms' - and answer the question below:

In paragraph 9, what is the meaning of friendly fungi?

9.

A.

fungi that have a positive effect on soil or crops

B.

fungi that combine with other fungi to help soil

C.

fungi that cause disease in sugar beets

D.

fungi that increase the water in soil

Read the passage - 'Adapted from Soils and Organisms' - and answer the question below:
10.

Which explains the concern of scientists and farmers about the loss of soil?
A.

It may take 100 to 1,000 years for 1 cm of soil to form through


weathering.

B.

The vast majority of all organisms living in the soil are good guys.

C.

Nature does not always provide the best type of soil for the crops
farmers want to grow.

D.

While most organisms in the soil are good, a few are bad and can
hurt crops.

Read the passage - 'Adapted from Soils and Organisms' - and answer the question below:

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11.

Which is a goal of scientists and farmers in regard to soil?


A.

applying fertilizer to help supply needed nutrients

B.

increasing the health and number of crops it can grow

C.

preventing unnecessary erosion due to wind and water

D.

increasing the number of organisms that live in the soil

Read the passage - 'Adapted from Soils and Organisms' - and answer the question below:
12.

Which phrase suggests the United States government is interested in


creating fertile soil?
A.

provide us with life-saving antibiotics

B.

Northern Plains research lab in Sidney, Montana

C.

we rely on them to produce our food, clothing, and shelter

D.

from the United States Department of Agriculture

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