4th Grade Assessment – Unit 3: RL.4.1, RL.4.3, RL.4.4, RL.4.7
Directions : Read this story. Then answer questions 1 through 6.
Excerpt from Lawn Boy
by Gary Paulsen
1 Okay. Since I was twelve, I didn’t have much experience with motors. I’ve never even had a dirt bike or four-wheeler. I’m just not machine oriented.
2 My birthday present sat there. I tried pushing it toward our garage, but it didn’t seem to want to move. Even turning around to put my back against it and push with my legs—which I thought might give me better leverage—didn’t help; it still sat there.
3 So I studied it. On the left side of the motor was a small gas tank, and I unscrewed the top and looked in. Yep, gas. On top of the tank were two levers; the first was next to pictures of a rabbit and a turtle. Even though I’m not good with machines, I figured out that was the throttle and the pictures meant fast and slow. The other lever said ON-OFF. I pushed ON.
4 Nothing happened, of course. On the very top of the motor was a starting pull-rope. What the heck, why not? I gave it a jerk and the motor sputtered a little, popped once, then died. I pulled the rope again and the motor hesitated, popped, and then roared to life. I jumped back. No muffler.
5 Once when I was little, my grandmother, in her usual logic-defying fashion, answered my request for another cookie by saying that my grandfather had been a tinkerer. “He was always puttering with things, taking them apart, putting them back together. When he was around nothing ever broke. Nothing ever dared to break.”
6 Loud as the mower was, it still wasn’t moving and the blade wasn’t going around. I stood looking down at it.
7 This strange thing happened.
8 It spoke to me.
9 Well, not really. I’m not one of those woo-woo people or a wack job. At least I don’t think I was. Maybe I am now. 10 Anyway, there was some message that came from the mower through the air and into my brain. A kind of warm, or maybe settled feeling. Like I was supposed to be there and so was the mower. The two of us.
11 Like it was a friend. So all right, I know how that sounds too: We’ll sit under a tree and talk to each other. Read poems about mowing. Totally wack.
12 But the feeling was there.
13 Next I found myself sitting on the mower, my feet on the pedals. I moved the throttle to the rabbit position—it had been on turtle—and pushed the left pedal down, and the blade started whirring. The mower seemed to give a happy leap forward off the sidewalk and I was mowing the lawn.
14 Or dirt. As I said, we didn’t really have much of a lawn. Dust and bits of dead grass flew everywhere and until I figured out the steering, the mailbox, my mother’s flowers near the front step and a small bush were in danger.
15 But in a few minutes I got control of the thing and I sheared off what little grass there was.
16 The front lawn didn’t take long, but before I was done the next-door neighbor came to the fence, attracted by the dust cloud. He waved me over.
17 I stopped in front of him, pulled the throttle back and killed the engine. The sudden silence was almost deafening. I stood up away from the mower, my ears humming, so I could hear him.
18 “You mow lawns?” he asked. “How much?”
19 And that was how it started.
9th Grade ELA – Pre-test Assessment 4
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Select the two most relevant details that support the theme.CorrectIncorrect
Which circumstance most surprises the narrator in the excerpt?CorrectIncorrect
Which quotation best supports the answer to Part A?CorrectIncorrect
What impact does Mr. Skimpole’s remark in paragraph 15 that he wishes to “‘develop generosity in a new soil and in a new form of flower’” have on the passage?CorrectIncorrect
Which quotation from the passage has a similar impact as the answer to Part A?CorrectIncorrect
Which statement describes a way in which Mr. Skimpole attempts to obtain the money he needs?CorrectIncorrect
Which quotation from the paragraph provides evidence for the answer to Part A?CorrectIncorrect
What is Mr. Skimpole trying to do when he questions the stranger at the end of the passage?CorrectIncorrect
Which phrase provides the best evidence for the answer to Part A?CorrectIncorrect
Select a central theme of the passage.CorrectIncorrect