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Determine Theme Practice 2

Quiz by Abigail Padilla

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15 questions
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  • Q1
    The Lead Role Travaris had always loved singing, but he was still stunned when he landed the lead role in the school musical. He could barely wait to tell his parents the news. But when he made his announcement over dinner, they looked at each other and frowned. "You said the performance was the week of May 13?" his dad asked. Travaris's heart sank. Of course. His older sister was getting married in Hawaii that week. "I'm sorry, but you'll just have to tell them that you can't do it," his mom said. The next day at school, Travaris planned to tell Ms. Phelps, the theater director, that she should give his part to someone else because he wouldn't be in town during the performance. But all day he was bombarded with congratulations from his classmates for getting the lead role. He didn't have the heart to tell them that it was all for nothing because he couldn't even be in the play. Travaris told his mom that he was staying after school to help out with set design, but really he was reading his lines, singing the songs, learning the dance numbers, and even getting fitted for costumes. It couldn't hurt to enjoy being the star of the play for a little bit, could it? But as the weeks went by, Travaris started to feel guiltier and guiltier. He knew that the longer he put off dropping out of the play, the more he would hurt the rest of the cast and crew. Finally, Travaris told Ms. Phelps how he couldn't be in the musical. Ms. Phelps thanked him for letting her know. "But don't forget to audition again next year," she added with a wink. Which of the following best describes the main theme or lesson of the story?
    It is often necessary to be cruel to be kind.
    It is important to follow your heart.
    Not everyone is meant to be a star.
    Be honest, even when it doesn't benefit you.
    300s
  • Q2
    The Lead Role Travaris had always loved singing, but he was still stunned when he landed the lead role in the school musical. He could barely wait to tell his parents the news. But when he made his announcement over dinner, they looked at each other and frowned. "You said the performance was the week of May 13?" his dad asked. Travaris's heart sank. Of course. His older sister was getting married in Hawaii that week. "I'm sorry, but you'll just have to tell them that you can't do it," his mom said. The next day at school, Travaris planned to tell Ms. Phelps, the theater director, that she should give his part to someone else because he wouldn't be in town during the performance. But all day he was bombarded with congratulations from his classmates for getting the lead role. He didn't have the heart to tell them that it was all for nothing because he couldn't even be in the play. Travaris told his mom that he was staying after school to help out with set design, but really he was reading his lines, singing the songs, learning the dance numbers, and even getting fitted for costumes. It couldn't hurt to enjoy being the star of the play for a little bit, could it? But as the weeks went by, Travaris started to feel guiltier and guiltier. He knew that the longer he put off dropping out of the play, the more he would hurt the rest of the cast and crew. Finally, Travaris told Ms. Phelps how he couldn't be in the musical. Ms. Phelps thanked him for letting her know. "But don't forget to audition again next year," she added with a wink. Select the quotation from the story that most strongly suggests that the theme is Be honest, even when it doesn't benefit you.
    "But don't forget to audition again next year," she added with a wink.
    He knew that the longer he put off dropping out of the play, the more he would hurt the rest of the cast and crew.
    "You said the performance was the week of May 13?" his dad asked.
    He didn't have the heart to tell them that it was all for nothing because he couldn't even be in the play.
    300s
  • Q3
    Going the Distance Riya spent the first week of high school trying to keep her head above water. She was overwhelmed by the huge building. She decided that she would memorize where her classes were and then pretend that the rest of the place didn't exist. All the different hallways and wings were too much to think about, let alone commit to memory. In P.E., Coach Wallace sent her reeling when he announced that everyone had to run one mile around the track outside. Riya searched the faces of her classmates for signs of panic. There was nothing she dreaded more than having to run a whole mile. To Riya, a mile was used to describe long distances. It was ten miles to her grandfather's house, and that always seemed like a long way, even in a car! When Coach Wallace blew his whistle, Riya figured she would be left in the dust. However, while some of her classmates edged ahead, others actually lagged behind. It's just the beginning, she thought. I'll come in last for sure. Riya started using a mind trick on herself. She stopped thinking about the word mile. Instead, she focused on reaching the shadow cast on the track by an oak tree up ahead. Then she concentrated on jogging to the spot where the track curved. After that, she tried to see if she could complete her first lap. One lap turned into two, then three, then four. When Coach Wallace gave her a high five and said, "Nice work," Riya was shocked. She never would have guessed that she had just run a whole mile. As Riya walked back to the school building after P.E., she noticed that she felt less overwhelmed by its size. Maybe she would come to know the place, one lap at a time. Which of the following best describes the main theme or lesson of the story?
    Choose your time wisely
    Goals are easier to achieve in small steps
    Try not to measure yourself to other people
    Love yourself
    300s
  • Q4
    Going the Distance Riya spent the first week of high school trying to keep her head above water. She was overwhelmed by the huge building. She decided that she would memorize where her classes were and then pretend that the rest of the place didn't exist. All the different hallways and wings were too much to think about, let alone commit to memory. In P.E., Coach Wallace sent her reeling when he announced that everyone had to run one mile around the track outside. Riya searched the faces of her classmates for signs of panic. There was nothing she dreaded more than having to run a whole mile. To Riya, a mile was used to describe long distances. It was ten miles to her grandfather's house, and that always seemed like a long way, even in a car! When Coach Wallace blew his whistle, Riya figured she would be left in the dust. However, while some of her classmates edged ahead, others actually lagged behind. It's just the beginning, she thought. I'll come in last for sure. Riya started using a mind trick on herself. She stopped thinking about the word mile. Instead, she focused on reaching the shadow cast on the track by an oak tree up ahead. Then she concentrated on jogging to the spot where the track curved. After that, she tried to see if she could complete her first lap. One lap turned into two, then three, then four. When Coach Wallace gave her a high five and said, "Nice work," Riya was shocked. She never would have guessed that she had just run a whole mile. As Riya walked back to the school building after P.E., she noticed that she felt less overwhelmed by its size. Maybe she would come to know the place, one lap at a time. Select the quotation from the story that most strongly suggests that the theme is Goals are easier to achieve in small steps.
    As Riya walked back to the school building after P.E., she noticed that she felt less overwhelmed by its size.
    Riya spent the first week of high school trying to keep her head above water.
    Going the Distance
    She stopped thinking about the word mile. Instead, she focused on reaching the shadow cast on the track by an oak tree up ahead.
    300s
  • Q5
    Usually, works of literature don't openly state their themes. To find the theme or lesson of a story, look at the main events, the characters, and the characters' goals. Use these story elements to make inferences. Why did the characters act the way they did? How did they grow or change? Then, think about how your inferences apply to the wider world. The story might suggest an observation about people in general. Or, it might give a lesson you can use in your own life. These ideas and morals are themes of the story. When you identify a theme or lesson, you should be able to support it with details from the story. Can this be a helpful strategy to help us determine theme?
    --
    --
    Yes
    No
    300s
  • Q6
    Callie's Gift Callie opened a letter she got in the mail. It was an invitation from the parents of her friend Michael. They were throwing him a surprise birthday party in a banquet hall at the Helmsley, the most expensive hotel in town. Callie wanted to get Michael the perfect gift. At first, her plan was to make him homemade magnets using cut-outs from the superhero comics they both loved. But that wouldn't work anymore. Obviously, a fancy party called for a fancy present. One day in class, she saw him checking the time, which gave her an idea. A watch! There were lots of expensive watches. It would be the ideal gift. Callie went to a jewelry store to pick one out. She swallowed hard when she paid for it. The watch cost nearly all the money she'd saved from her part-time job. Even the glossy paper she wrapped it in cost more than regular paper. However, she was relieved that she had gotten an appropriate gift. The night of the party, Callie invited some of the other guests to hang out at her house beforehand. It was fun to see everyone in formal attire. But something unexpected happened when people started comparing birthday gifts. Richard had gotten Michael a squirt gun, the kind they had played with as kids. Molly had made Michael a big card. And Jasmine had baked a batch of Michael's favorite cookies. Suddenly, Callie imagined Michael as he opened the presents. She could picture his warm smile as he unwrapped the squirt gun, the card, the cookies. Then she pictured the confused look on his face when he saw the expensive watch. Callie recalled the price she had paid, and she blushed. Luckily, she still had the receipt. She put the wrapped box in her room before leaving with her friends. Her gift would be late, but at least it would be special. Which of the following best describes the main theme or lesson of the story?
    The most meaningful gifts do not have to cost a lot.
    Good manners will reveal a lot about a person.
    Knowledge is power that can lead to positive outcomes.
    Diamonds are a girl's best friend.
    300s
  • Q7
    Callie's Gift Callie opened a letter she got in the mail. It was an invitation from the parents of her friend Michael. They were throwing him a surprise birthday party in a banquet hall at the Helmsley, the most expensive hotel in town. Callie wanted to get Michael the perfect gift. At first, her plan was to make him homemade magnets using cut-outs from the superhero comics they both loved. But that wouldn't work anymore. Obviously, a fancy party called for a fancy present. One day in class, she saw him checking the time, which gave her an idea. A watch! There were lots of expensive watches. It would be the ideal gift. Callie went to a jewelry store to pick one out. She swallowed hard when she paid for it. The watch cost nearly all the money she'd saved from her part-time job. Even the glossy paper she wrapped it in cost more than regular paper. However, she was relieved that she had gotten an appropriate gift. The night of the party, Callie invited some of the other guests to hang out at her house beforehand. It was fun to see everyone in formal attire. But something unexpected happened when people started comparing birthday gifts. Richard had gotten Michael a squirt gun, the kind they had played with as kids. Molly had made Michael a big card. And Jasmine had baked a batch of Michael's favorite cookies. Suddenly, Callie imagined Michael as he opened the presents. She could picture his warm smile as he unwrapped the squirt gun, the card, the cookies. Then she pictured the confused look on his face when he saw the expensive watch. Callie recalled the price she had paid, and she blushed. Luckily, she still had the receipt. She put the wrapped box in her room before leaving with her friends. Her gift would be late, but at least it would be special. Select the quotation from the story that most strongly suggests that the theme is The most meaningful gifts don't have to cost a lot.
    Callie recalled the price she had paid, and she blushed.
    At first, her plan was to make him homemade magnets using cut-outs from the superhero comics they both loved. But that wouldn't work anymore.
    However, she was relieved that she had gotten an appropriate gift.
    A watch! There were lots of expensive watches. It would be the ideal gift.
    300s
  • Q8
    The Presentation "For the final exam, instead of a written test, everyone will be required to give a ten-minute presentation on one of the science topics we covered this year," Mr. Marx announced. Angela felt her stomach twist into anxious knots. When Mr. Marx passed around a sign-up sheet, Angela chose the topic of tadpoles, but also made sure she picked the very last time slot for presentation days. She wanted to put as much distance as possible between now and the moment she would have to speak in front of the class. Angela began having trouble sleeping at night. She dreamed of failing the final exam not because she didn't know the material, but because she froze and forgot her speech. Every classmate's presentation she watched meant she was one step closer to having to present herself. When the day arrived, Angela couldn't eat breakfast, and she had to get through math and history before science. She couldn't concentrate at all. Her heart pounded as Mr. Marx called her name. She gathered her notecards with shaking hands and slowly walked to the front of the room. "Tadpoles," she began, "are frogs or toads at the beginning of their life cycle." Whew, she thought. The first sentence came out. Then, something happened that she did not expect at all. She relaxed. Once she began, the words flowed out. She could see Mr. Marx start to smile and nod encouragingly. After weeks of dreading this moment, she couldn't believe how quickly the presentation passed. "So," she said brightly, after her presentation concluded. "Does anyone have any questions about tadpoles?" Which of the following best describes the main theme or lesson of the story?
    Waiting to do something can be worse than actually doing it.
    We are alone in the universe.
    There is more than one form of intelligence.
    Knowing the truth about something can be freeing.
    300s
  • Q9
    The Presentation "For the final exam, instead of a written test, everyone will be required to give a ten-minute presentation on one of the science topics we covered this year," Mr. Marx announced. Angela felt her stomach twist into anxious knots. When Mr. Marx passed around a sign-up sheet, Angela chose the topic of tadpoles, but also made sure she picked the very last time slot for presentation days. She wanted to put as much distance as possible between now and the moment she would have to speak in front of the class. Angela began having trouble sleeping at night. She dreamed of failing the final exam not because she didn't know the material, but because she froze and forgot her speech. Every classmate's presentation she watched meant she was one step closer to having to present herself. When the day arrived, Angela couldn't eat breakfast, and she had to get through math and history before science. She couldn't concentrate at all. Her heart pounded as Mr. Marx called her name. She gathered her notecards with shaking hands and slowly walked to the front of the room. "Tadpoles," she began, "are frogs or toads at the beginning of their life cycle." Whew, she thought. The first sentence came out. Then, something happened that she did not expect at all. She relaxed. Once she began, the words flowed out. She could see Mr. Marx start to smile and nod encouragingly. After weeks of dreading this moment, she couldn't believe how quickly the presentation passed. "So," she said brightly, after her presentation concluded. "Does anyone have any questions about tadpoles?" Select the quotation from the story that most strongly suggests that the theme is Waiting to do something can be worse than actually doing it.
    When the day arrived, Angela couldn't eat breakfast, and she had to get through math and history before science.
    "For the final exam, instead of a written test, everyone will be required to give a ten-minute presentation on one of the science topics we covered this year," Mr. Marx announced.
    After weeks of dreading this moment, she couldn't believe how quickly the presentation passed.
    Mr. Marx called her name.
    300s
  • Q10
    Self-Portrait Alia was dismayed to find herself in the drawing studio. She had been sick with the flu during the week when everyone else got to pick their classes. She had hoped for Astronomy or Marine Biology, but they were full by the time she got to choose. She loved everything about science, from the way it used facts and formulas to how it revealed the basic nature of things. But art was so . . .un-scientific. The first class project was self-portraits. Some students were drawing self-portraits using mirrors. Others were working from photographs. Alia glanced at the incomplete sketches, feeling like a cat in a dog show. The teacher came up to Alia's easel and sat next to her. "Every portrait begins with a circle," he said. "Then you create a series of lines." To demonstrate, he drew a group of small, quick portraits. He began each one with a circle, some straight lines, and a triangle to determine where the eyes, nose, and chin should go. Alia had never thought about it, but the features of everyone's face were in the same spots. Hesitantly, Alia began her own self-portrait. She drew the basic form of a head, the way she had been shown. From there, she used lines to plot the features of her face. The process took patience and precision. She had to take note of each detail. One wrong measurement could throw off the whole portrait. Alia was surprised by the structure and discipline involved in drawing a portrait. Measuring, studying details, revealing the basic nature of something—it reminded her of what she loved about science. Which of the following best describes the main theme or lesson of the story?
    It is essential to understand the laws of physics.
    It's important to know what your strengths are.
    Life is a box of chocolates; you never know what you're going to get.
    Don't assume you won't like something until you try it.
    300s
  • Q11
    Self-Portrait Alia was dismayed to find herself in the drawing studio. She had been sick with the flu during the week when everyone else got to pick their classes. She had hoped for Astronomy or Marine Biology, but they were full by the time she got to choose. She loved everything about science, from the way it used facts and formulas to how it revealed the basic nature of things. But art was so . . .un-scientific. The first class project was self-portraits. Some students were drawing self-portraits using mirrors. Others were working from photographs. Alia glanced at the incomplete sketches, feeling like a cat in a dog show. The teacher came up to Alia's easel and sat next to her. "Every portrait begins with a circle," he said. "Then you create a series of lines." To demonstrate, he drew a group of small, quick portraits. He began each one with a circle, some straight lines, and a triangle to determine where the eyes, nose, and chin should go. Alia had never thought about it, but the features of everyone's face were in the same spots. Hesitantly, Alia began her own self-portrait. She drew the basic form of a head, the way she had been shown. From there, she used lines to plot the features of her face. The process took patience and precision. She had to take note of each detail. One wrong measurement could throw off the whole portrait. Alia was surprised by the structure and discipline involved in drawing a portrait. Measuring, studying details, revealing the basic nature of something—it reminded her of what she loved about science. Select the quotation from the story that most strongly suggests that the theme is Don't assume you won't like something until you try it.
    "Every portrait begins with a circle," he said. "Then you create a series of lines."
    "...and a triangle to determine where the eyes..."
    The teacher came up to Alia's easel and sat next to her.
    Alia was surprised by the structure and discipline involved in drawing a portrait.
    300s
  • Q12
    When Can You Start? Carolyn and Tina were hired to organize and paint their neighbor's shed. A great deal of stuff had accumulated in Mrs. Bosco's shed over the years. While Tina talked to Mrs. Bosco, Carolyn began sorting items into two piles: things that worked and things that were garbage. "Mrs. Bosco, you're going to love what we're going to do with the shed," Tina was saying. "You won't even recognize it when we're done." "I'm sure it will turn out very nicely, Tina," Mrs. Bosco said.​​​​​​​ "I'm thinking of installing a tool rack. What do you think?" "Thanks, but that's not necessary." "Have you ever thought about adding a window box?" Tina asked. As they were talking, Carolyn hauled bags of trash to the curb. She took it upon herself to clear out rotten firewood, rusted gadgets, leaves, and dirt. "Hey, Carolyn," Tina said. "I'm going to pick up some extra supplies at the hardware store. I'll be back soon." While she was gone, Carolyn found a couple gallons of blue paint and some brushes on a back shelf. The inside of the shed was now clean and organized. Carolyn went to work painting the outside—a peaceful, quiet task. An hour later, she heard Mrs. Bosco in the yard on her cell phone, talking to Tina. "Like I said, Tina, we don't need more shelves in the shed. Why don't you come back now?" Sighing, Mrs. Bosco approached Carolyn. "Thank you. You seem to understand that I hired you to get a job done, not come up with add-ons I didn't ask for," she said. "Your sister is nice, but without you, it doesn't seem like anything would ever get done." She paid Carolyn a generous amount, and the painting was nearly finished by the time Tina returned in the afternoon. Which of the following best describes the main theme or lesson of the story?
    Laziness can have serious consequences.
    Citing evidence to support an argument in underrated.
    Never underestimate the importance of a good person.
    Actions are more valuable than talk.
    300s
  • Q13
    When Can You Start? Carolyn and Tina were hired to organize and paint their neighbor's shed. A great deal of stuff had accumulated in Mrs. Bosco's shed over the years. While Tina talked to Mrs. Bosco, Carolyn began sorting items into two piles: things that worked and things that were garbage. "Mrs. Bosco, you're going to love what we're going to do with the shed," Tina was saying. "You won't even recognize it when we're done." "I'm sure it will turn out very nicely, Tina," Mrs. Bosco said.​​​​​​​ "I'm thinking of installing a tool rack. What do you think?" "Thanks, but that's not necessary." "Have you ever thought about adding a window box?" Tina asked. As they were talking, Carolyn hauled bags of trash to the curb. She took it upon herself to clear out rotten firewood, rusted gadgets, leaves, and dirt. "Hey, Carolyn," Tina said. "I'm going to pick up some extra supplies at the hardware store. I'll be back soon." While she was gone, Carolyn found a couple gallons of blue paint and some brushes on a back shelf. The inside of the shed was now clean and organized. Carolyn went to work painting the outside—a peaceful, quiet task. An hour later, she heard Mrs. Bosco in the yard on her cell phone, talking to Tina. "Like I said, Tina, we don't need more shelves in the shed. Why don't you come back now?" Sighing, Mrs. Bosco approached Carolyn. "Thank you. You seem to understand that I hired you to get a job done, not come up with add-ons I didn't ask for," she said. "Your sister is nice, but without you, it doesn't seem like anything would ever get done." She paid Carolyn a generous amount, and the painting was nearly finished by the time Tina returned in the afternoon. Select the quotation from the story that most strongly suggests that the theme is Actions are more valuable than talk.
    The inside of the shed was now clean and organized.
    "Your sister is nice, but without you, it doesn't seem like anything would ever get done."
    Sighing, Mrs. Bosco approached Carolyn.
    Tina returned in the afternoon.
    300s
  • Q14
    Diving In It was a hot day at the beach, so why did the ocean feel like ice? Carol wanted to cool off, but she had only managed to wade in up to her ankles. Her feet were nearly numb from the cold water. "Wow, it's freezing today," said her sister, Pauline. They stood side by side, half-shivering in the water and half-baking in the sun. Carol noticed the windsurfers in the distance. Of course, she thought. They're wearing wetsuits. But then she saw an old man swimming nearby, wearing only his trunks and a swim cap. A few more courageous heads bobbed up and down in the chilly sea. "Okay, that's it," Pauline said. "I'm doing it." She took a deep breath, ran into the surf, and dived into a large, breaking wave. She emerged farther out, a big grin on her face. Carol inched forward. As she did, her shins, then her knees, and then her thighs stung from the cold. She noticed that her feet felt okay now, but when the water touched her stomach, she shrieked. The breakers now splashed water across her back and shoulders. "It's too cold!" Carol shouted. "I'm going back!" Then she froze. She saw a big wave approaching. There was no time to turn back; she was in too deep. She watched with dread as the crest swelled above her head. She closed her eyes and dunked beneath the wave. A freezing sensation enveloped her for an instant, but then she felt fine. Refreshed, even. Finally, she swam out to her sister. Which of the following best describes the main theme or lesson of the story?
    Sometimes it's better when unpleasant experiences don't happen quickly.
    Sometimes it's better when unpleasant experiences happen quickly.
    It is better to wait than be impulsive.
    Not everybody can be brave.
    300s
  • Q15
    Diving In It was a hot day at the beach, so why did the ocean feel like ice? Carol wanted to cool off, but she had only managed to wade in up to her ankles. Her feet were nearly numb from the cold water. "Wow, it's freezing today," said her sister, Pauline. They stood side by side, half-shivering in the water and half-baking in the sun. Carol noticed the windsurfers in the distance. Of course, she thought. They're wearing wetsuits. But then she saw an old man swimming nearby, wearing only his trunks and a swim cap. A few more courageous heads bobbed up and down in the chilly sea. "Okay, that's it," Pauline said. "I'm doing it." She took a deep breath, ran into the surf, and dived into a large, breaking wave. She emerged farther out, a big grin on her face. Carol inched forward. As she did, her shins, then her knees, and then her thighs stung from the cold. She noticed that her feet felt okay now, but when the water touched her stomach, she shrieked. The breakers now splashed water across her back and shoulders. "It's too cold!" Carol shouted. "I'm going back!" Then she froze. She saw a big wave approaching. There was no time to turn back; she was in too deep. She watched with dread as the crest swelled above her head. She closed her eyes and dunked beneath the wave. A freezing sensation enveloped her for an instant, but then she felt fine. Refreshed, even. Finally, she swam out to her sister. Select the quotation from the story that most strongly suggests that the theme is Sometimes it's better when unpleasant experiences happen quickly.
    "That's not right!" She screamed. "Stop that!"
    "It's too cold!" Carol shouted. "I'm going back!"
    A freezing sensation enveloped her for an instant, but then she felt fine.
    But then she saw an old man swimming nearby, wearing only his trunks and a swim cap.
    300s

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