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Learning to Read by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1872)

Quiz by Abigail Padilla

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10 questions
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  • Q1
    Learning to Read Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911) was the child of free African-American parents. She attended the Academy for Negro Youth until she was 13 years old. In her adult life, Harper helped slaves escape through the Underground Railroad (a network of routes and safe houses used by slaves in the 19th century) and wrote for anti-slavery newspapers. As you read, note the obstacles the students face while learning to read. Very soon the Yankee teachers Came down and set up school; But, oh! how the Rebs did hate it,— It was agin’ their rule. Our masters always tried to hide Book learning from our eyes; Knowledge didn’t agree with slavery— ‘Twould make us all too wise. Why did the Rebs hate Yankee teachers coming to the South?
    They were worried that the teachers would not follow their rules.
    They were worried that the education of slaves would threaten their power.
    They were afraid that the teachers did not agree with slavery.
    They were worried that the Yankee teachers would not want to teach any Rebs.
    300s
  • Q2
    But some of us would try to steal A little from the book, And put the words together, And learn by hook or crook. I remember Uncle Caldwell, Who took pot-liquor fat And greased the pages of his book, And hid it in his hat. And had his master ever seen The leaves up on his head, He’d have thought them greasy papers, But nothing to be read. And there was Mr. Turner’s Ben, Who heard the children spell, And picked the words right up by heart, And learned to read ‘em well. Which of the following was NOT a way that slaves learned to read?
    by hiding pages of a book and teaching themselves.
    by memorizing books by heart.
    by listening to other people being taught.
    by stealing a book and teaching themselves.
    300s
  • Q3
    Well, the Northern folks kept sending The Yankee teachers down; And they stood right up and helped us, Though Rebs did sneer and frown. And, I longed to read my Bible, For precious words it said; But when I begun to learn it, Folks just shook their heads, And said there is no use trying, Oh! Chloe, you’re too late; But as I was rising sixty, I had no time to wait. So I got a pair of glasses, And straight to work I went, And never stopped till I could read The hymns and Testament. Which of the following statements BEST characterizes the speaker?
    Indifferent
    Resolute
    Petulant
    Anxious
    300s
  • Q4
    Then I got a little cabin— A place to call my own— And I felt as independent As the queen upon her throne. Which of the following phrases best describes how the speaker feels about being able to read?
    proud and thrilled.
    scared and uncertain.
    shocked and appalled.
    happy but nervous.
    300s
  • Q5
    Context: Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911) was the child of free African-American parents. She attended the Academy for Negro Youth until she was 13 years old. In her adult life, Harper helped slaves escape through the Underground Railroad (a network of routes and safe houses used by slaves in the 19th century) and wrote for anti-slavery newspapers. As you read, note the obstacles students faced while learning to read. Very soon the Yankee teachers Came down and set up school; But, oh! how the Rebs did hate it,— It was agin’ their rule. Our masters always tried to hide Book learning from our eyes; Knowledge didn’t agree with slavery— ‘Twould make us all too wise. But some of us would try to steal A little from the book, And put the words together, And learn by hook or crook. I remember Uncle Caldwell, Who took pot-liquor fat And greased the pages of his book, And hid it in his hat. And had his master ever seen The leaves up on his head, He’d have thought them greasy papers, But nothing to be read. And there was Mr. Turner’s Ben, Who heard the children spell, And picked the words right up by heart, And learned to read ‘em well. Well, the Northern folks kept sending The Yankee teachers down; And they stood right up and helped us, Though Rebs did sneer and frown. And, I longed to read my Bible, For precious words it said; But when I begun to learn it, Folks just shook their heads, And said there is no use trying, Oh! Chloe, you’re too late; But as I was rising sixty, I had no time to wait. So I got a pair of glasses, And straight to work I went, And never stopped till I could read The hymns and Testament. Then I got a little cabin— A place to call my own— And I felt as independent As the queen upon her throne. Which of the following BEST summarizes this poem?
    The speaker, a former slave, describes the extreme brutality she experienced under the hand of Mr. Turner, the slave master.
    A speaker, who was once a slave, describes how she managed to escape so that she could attend school in the North.
    A woman reflects on her childhood when she was denied the right to an education. She describes the great risks that she and other slaves took in order to learn.
    The narrator, a slave holder, describes her childhood growing up on a plantation in the South.
    300s
  • Q6
    Then I got a little cabin— A place to call my own— And I felt as independent As the queen upon her throne. What specific diction reveals the author's attitude on learning to read?
    place
    queen; throne
    little cabin
    my own
    300s
  • Q7
    Context: Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911) was the child of free African-American parents. She attended the Academy for Negro Youth until she was 13 years old. In her adult life, Harper helped slaves escape through the Underground Railroad (a network of routes and safe houses used by slaves in the 19th century) and wrote for anti-slavery newspapers. As you read, note the obstacles students faced while learning to read. Very soon the Yankee teachers Came down and set up school; But, oh! how the Rebs did hate it,— It was agin’ their rule. Our masters always tried to hide Book learning from our eyes; Knowledge didn’t agree with slavery— ‘Twould make us all too wise. But some of us would try to steal A little from the book, And put the words together, And learn by hook or crook. I remember Uncle Caldwell, Who took pot-liquor fat And greased the pages of his book, And hid it in his hat. And had his master ever seen The leaves up on his head, He’d have thought them greasy papers, But nothing to be read. And there was Mr. Turner’s Ben, Who heard the children spell, And picked the words right up by heart, And learned to read ‘em well. Well, the Northern folks kept sending The Yankee teachers down; And they stood right up and helped us, Though Rebs did sneer and frown. And, I longed to read my Bible, For precious words it said; But when I begun to learn it, Folks just shook their heads, And said there is no use trying, Oh! Chloe, you’re too late; But as I was rising sixty, I had no time to wait. So I got a pair of glasses, And straight to work I went, And never stopped till I could read The hymns and Testament. Then I got a little cabin— A place to call my own— And I felt as independent As the queen upon her throne. What is the theme of this poem?
    Learning to read is worth the risk.
    Learning to read is illegal.
    Learning to read would get you into serious trouble in the 1800s.
    People read more back then than they do now.
    300s
  • Q8
    Context: Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911) was the child of free African-American parents. She attended the Academy for Negro Youth until she was 13 years old. In her adult life, Harper helped slaves escape through the Underground Railroad (a network of routes and safe houses used by slaves in the 19th century) and wrote for anti-slavery newspapers. As you read, note the obstacles students faced while learning to read. Very soon the Yankee teachers Came down and set up school; But, oh! how the Rebs did hate it,— It was agin’ their rule. Our masters always tried to hide Book learning from our eyes; Knowledge didn’t agree with slavery— ‘Twould make us all too wise. But some of us would try to steal A little from the book, And put the words together, And learn by hook or crook. I remember Uncle Caldwell, Who took pot-liquor fat And greased the pages of his book, And hid it in his hat. And had his master ever seen The leaves up on his head, He’d have thought them greasy papers, But nothing to be read. And there was Mr. Turner’s Ben, Who heard the children spell, And picked the words right up by heart, And learned to read ‘em well. Well, the Northern folks kept sending The Yankee teachers down; And they stood right up and helped us, Though Rebs did sneer and frown. And, I longed to read my Bible, For precious words it said; But when I begun to learn it, Folks just shook their heads, And said there is no use trying, Oh! Chloe, you’re too late; But as I was rising sixty, I had no time to wait. So I got a pair of glasses, And straight to work I went, And never stopped till I could read The hymns and Testament. Then I got a little cabin— A place to call my own— And I felt as independent As the queen upon her throne. What is the poet's purpose for writing this poem?
    To teach other slaves how to avoid getting caught with papers and books
    To spread awareness about the injustices of slavery and the benefits of education
    To warn other slaves about certain dangerous escape routes
    To incite a rebellion against Mr. Turner and other slave holders
    300s
  • Q9
    Context: Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911) was the child of free African-American parents. She attended the Academy for Negro Youth until she was 13 years old. In her adult life, Harper helped slaves escape through the Underground Railroad (a network of routes and safe houses used by slaves in the 19th century) and wrote for anti-slavery newspapers. As you read, note the obstacles students faced while learning to read. Very soon the Yankee teachers Came down and set up school; But, oh! how the Rebs did hate it,— It was agin’ their rule. Our masters always tried to hide Book learning from our eyes; Knowledge didn’t agree with slavery— ‘Twould make us all too wise. But some of us would try to steal A little from the book, And put the words together, And learn by hook or crook. I remember Uncle Caldwell, Who took pot-liquor fat And greased the pages of his book, And hid it in his hat. And had his master ever seen The leaves up on his head, He’d have thought them greasy papers, But nothing to be read. And there was Mr. Turner’s Ben, Who heard the children spell, And picked the words right up by heart, And learned to read ‘em well. Well, the Northern folks kept sending The Yankee teachers down; And they stood right up and helped us, Though Rebs did sneer and frown. And, I longed to read my Bible, For precious words it said; But when I begun to learn it, Folks just shook their heads, And said there is no use trying, Oh! Chloe, you’re too late; But as I was rising sixty, I had no time to wait. So I got a pair of glasses, And straight to work I went, And never stopped till I could read The hymns and Testament. Then I got a little cabin— A place to call my own— And I felt as independent As the queen upon her throne. The poet's purpose for writing this poem is to spread awareness about the injustices of slavery and the benefits of education. Which of the following cited evidence best supports this claim?
    “He’d have thought them greasy papers, but nothing to be read.”
    None of these.
    “Then I got a little cabin, a place to call my own.”
    “Knowledge didn’t agree with slavery – T’would make us all too wise.”
    300s
  • Q10
    What is the rhythm of this poem?
    upbeat
    silly
    frightened
    mundane
    300s

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