Assessment 1 of 0

5th Grade Assessment – Unit 2 – L.5.4A, RL.5.1, RL.5.2, RL.5.3, RL.5.4

Justice February 1, 2015

Directions : Read this story. Then answer questions 1 through 7.


Kincaid is visiting her Grandmother Talley during summer vacation.

Excerpt from My Grandma Talley

by Nadine Oduor

1 “You still frettin’ about moving out of state ’cause of your mama’s job?” Grandma Talley asked, swiping again at the fly and missing.

2 “Yes, ma’am. California’s so far away. Going to a new school, making new friends—it’s scary. I can’t imagine not sitting here with you, listening to your stories.”

3 “I know, Kincaid, but things work out, most times better than we expect. You’ve got a lotta memories to take with you. Just remember to keep ’em tucked inside your heart.”

4 “I wish I could stay with you forever,” I said, tears brimming in my eyes. I turned away to stare at a doodlebug digging in the dirt, so Grandma Talley wouldn’t see.

5 “Don’t you worry. You’ll make new friends just fine.”

6 She was right about one thing. I’ve got a lotta memories. Like climbing up the old chinaberry tree in our backyard. Baking teacakes and gingerbread in Grandma Talley’s old wood stove. Sitting on the railroad tracks over Woman Hollering Creek with my best friend Bennie Jewel, fishing with bamboo poles. I’ll cherish those memories forever.

7 I watched Grandma Talley squinting at the sun, making the large crow’s feet lining her face resemble a patchwork quilt. I loved her wrinkles. I’ll remember every crease line and fold in her face, for each one told of her life’s story.

8 A huge collie the color of peanut brittle appeared from the Johnson house next door, yipping and yapping, trying to jump over the picket fence into the yard. Miz Moonlight sprang from my arms and streaked up the trunk of Grandma Talley’s magnolia tree, fragrant with giant pearl blossoms.

9 “Scat, get away from here now, causing trouble,” Grandma Talley scolded the dog. He trotted off down the street, his tail between his legs, haunches low.

10 “Come on, let’s go inside. Got something to show you.” Grandma Talley rose from the chair, holding onto her straw hat with one hand and picking up her wood cane with the other. I followed her through the screen door, stopping for a moment to place the dirty glasses in the kitchen sink, the pitcher of tea in the icebox.

11 She limped toward the hall closet, her cane tapping along the floor, me close on her heels. She opened the closet door and placed her straw hat on the top shelf. She patted down her spit-curled hair that had been mussed by her hat and began searching through stacks of clutter on the closet floor.

12 “Grandmama never wrote much down, except for birthdays and deaths noted in the old family Bible. No, Grandmama told her stories and gave me this.” Grandma Talley smiled warmly, dragging out an old trunk. “A trunk full of precious memories.”

13 Inside the trunk were old clothes, a glittering jewelry box, family pictures, a huge  black Bible, handwritten letters scrawled on paper frayed and yellowed with age, and an ancient quilt.

14 I sifted through the pictures and spotted one of a young woman in a 1920s teal flapper’s dress, white leggings, button down shoes, and a spit-curl hairstyle.

15 “That’s you!” I squealed with delight.

16 “Yes, still wet behind the ears,” Grandma Talley chuckled.

17 “You look beautiful!” I gushed.

18 “Why, thank you. I think so too, I must say.” She grinned, opening the jewelry box. She held up a pair of rose-colored earrings with a matching necklace of rainbow crystal hearts.

19 “These were given to me by Aunt Elnora for my sixteenth birthday,” she said. “I’ve held on to ’em long enough. Here, you take them. They’re your going-away gift.” She placed the jewelry into my hand, and her laughter floated through the house sweet as the taste of jellybeans.

20 I clipped the earrings to my ears and draped the necklace around my neck. My eyes surely sparkled as bright as my rose-colored earrings. “Thank you,” I mumbled. I wasn’t wearing royal robes, only a T-shirt and flowered shorts, but I felt like a beautiful African princess!

21 Grandma Talley gazed admiringly at me. “Our family’s made up of our ancestors— grandfathers, grandmothers, my mother, father, sisters and brothers. You have some of them inside you. Memories are a patchwork quilt of our lives, Kincaid, and it’s up to us to choose which patches we stitch into it. I’ve taught you the way my grandma taught me, like her grandmother before her, passing on our stories to those coming after us.”

22 Grandma Talley carefully lifted out a quilt and laid it on her bed. I sat on one of the oak chairs next to her.

23 “When we tell our stories, we pass them on to the next generation and honor those who came before us. Grandmama gave this to me when I was just about your age,” she said, unfolding the quilt.

24 She held up the quilt that seemed old as time itself. “This was taken from my wedding dress when I married your Grandpa Wilford,” she said touching a patch of satin the color of ecru.

25 “This is from the dress in your photo,” I said, pointing out a teal patch.

26 “Yes. And one day you’ll give this quilt to your daughter, who’ll pass it on to her daughter. Remember, Kincaid, we take our loved ones in our hearts wherever we go. I won’t be more than a heartbeat away.” She smiled, hugging me tightly.

7th Grade ELA – Pre-test Assessment 3