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ACT Reading Test - 7

Reading Questions

DIRECTIONS: The passage in this test is followed by several questions. After reading the passage, choose the best answer to each question. You may refer to the passage as often as necessary.

Bold Plans, Big Dreams, City Progress

2009 is a very important year in Chicago. Barack Obama became President. He brought a bold plan to the Presidency. He proposed major changes. Barack Obama started his career in Chicago as a community organizer. Community organizers work with people to make progress as a group. Barack Obama has brought a new vision to government, emphasizing the importance of each person working together to bring about change. He is asking communities to work together to change the nation. Now some people are calling him the "national organizer".

2009 is important to Chicago for another reason, too. It is the 100th anniversary of a change that led to great Chicago progress. That was the Burnham Plan, which is named for an architect, Daniel Burnham. Usually architects plan buildings. He planned cities. Daniel Burnham worked with other leaders. They planned to improve Chicago's transportation, parks, health, water, and housing. Burnham's plan would help solve Chicago problems.

Burnham saw big problems. When he saw crowded streets, he didn't just think of making the road wider. He thought "out of the box"-he thought of ways to solve the problems that would change the city. For example, he said Chicago should have two levels of its main streets downtown so that trucks could travel on the lower level. He thought of solutions that changed the systems of the city.

Burnham made drawings to show his ideas to people. He needed to get their support. He talked with other leaders about the problems and plans. He made speeches. He was persuasive. He was persistent. He never gave up on his plans. A friend of his named Charles Wacker helped. He put together a book called the Wacker Manual. It told about the Burnham plan. Every 8th grade student read that book. It was their social studies textbook.

Plans don't make progress. People do. Leaders and citizens make the changes. In 1909, city leaders adopted Burnham's big plan. Then they had to get money to pay for the changes he wanted. It took years, and some of the plans didn't work out, but many of Burnham's ideas are part of Chicago today. One person did not make that progress. Leaders worked to support it. Citizens voted to fund it. It takes a lot of work to make big changes. It takes leadership. It takes collaboration. It takes determination.

Center for Urban Education at DePaul University 2008 ref:

1. Based on information in the passage, the theme of the passage is most likely
A) 2009 is a good year for Chicago.
B) Daniel Burnham made Chicago progress.
C) Progress requires planning and collaboration.
D) Persistence and determination bring progress.

2. The overall goal of Burnham's plan was
A) To write a book about how Chicago needed to change.
B) To make Chicago a better place to live by thinking outside the box.
C) To build two highways to cut down on traffic.
D) To make drawings for children to understand architecture.

3. According to the passage, what does it take to make progress?
A) A. Money
B) Education
C) Collaboration
D) Success

4. What genre of writing is this essay?
A) Poetry
B) Historical Nonfiction
C) Historical Fiction
D) Science Fiction

5. Why did the passage begin by discussing Barack Obama?
A) To highlight the progress that Chicago has made.
B) To highlight the fact that Obama is the first black U.S. president.
C) To discuss the progress of politics in Chicago.
D) To show an example of someone who helps people make progress by collaboration.

Potawatomi Prairie Historical Fiction

The Potawatomi tribe came to this area several hundred years ago and established a home here for many decades. In summer, the families all relocated to one large village, while, in winter, they set up separate, smaller camps. The following paragraphs describe a typical year for a Potawatomi family in this area a couple hundred years ago.

In the summer, we live in a big village where we use large poles to build our new house. Even though we cook outside, we build the roof so that it is a shelter over the cooking area as well. Therefore, the roof covers more than just the floor space, where we sleep. In the big village, my mother and I use a shoulder bone from a deer to plow our fields and plant our seeds. It is very difficult work; though, because of our hard work, we will have an abundant amount of food in the fall and can even share with other families if they do not have enough. We get to see our friends and the entire extended family, and there are so many exciting things to see and do in the summer. All of that makes summer my sister's favorite season, and it really is a fun time for all of us. My siblings and I get to roam and explore and go swimming. My mother also likes it because being with our big family means there are people to assist with the work and other people to talk with; she also gets to see her own brothers and sisters. My father gets to sit with the other men and he doesn't have to worry about us having enough food for a while. There is plenty of work to do, but everyone helps and there is company.

In the fall, we have a great amount of food: big squashes and pumpkins and corn, as well. Every day, I am able to harvest even more beans. We dry the big gourds to eat in the winter, when we will have less food and when it will be too cold to want to search for more. My father found salt from a salt spring, which we are using to dry the meat. This is so exciting because we sometimes run out of meat before the winter ends, or often times it spoils before we have a chance to eat it. I search for nuts and berries from the forest. Occasionally, I eat them when I find them, but I try to bring most of them home and we dry those too. Soon we will move to our winter site.

It is now winter and when we started looking for a place for our winter camp, we saw deer and raccoons. Therefore, we knew this would be a good place for hunting, and that we will even be able to have fresh meat this year. We set up a wigwam, which will be our house for the winter months. We stuck one end of tree branches in the ground and then tied them together in the middle. In the winter, we cook inside and we had to remember to leave a gap for the smoke from the fire to get out. In order for the wigwam to stay warm on the inside, we had to paste bark on the outside to insulate it and to help trap the heat inside. Today, it is cold and it just snowed. My father says that he will be able to see the tracks of elk in the snow and can more easily hunt them now. He will soon go to hunt and my mother says that afterwards we will have plenty of food, but also plenty of work as well; we will have to cut the meat from the animal and separate the skin to make blankets and rugs. If we don't have enough food in this place, we may move our camp to another location, with more animals. We will look for a place with even more animal tracks.

It is starting to get warmer, which means the spring is coming! In the spring, we can always find my favorite food: maple syrup. We make a hole in a tree and then the sweet juice comes out of the tree. My father made a fishing net from deer sinew and will go out to fish soon. He tied shells to the bottom of the net and when they fill with water, it sinks to the bottom of the stream. This summer, my brother will get to fish, as well. He has a line and a hook, which he uses to fish in the lake. Since we get fish in the winter only when we go out and cut through the ice, fishing is primarily a spring and summer job. I like fish and like to watch my father and my brother standing by the lake or the stream. My father likes the spring best. He says it is a time of hope because we start to see all the things that went to sleep in the winter waking up again. He hears the birds sing and sees the plants start to grow again. I like spring, too because soon we will see the flowers.

Center for Urban Education at DePaul University 2008 ref:

6. Which of the following best describes the purpose of the passage?
A) To illustrate the many changes that technology has provided.
B) To tell what Potawatomi liked and disliked.
C) To describe what life was like for the Potawatomi.
D) To describe what the Potawatomi ate.

7. According to the passage, what were bones commonly used for?
A) Cooking stews
B) Dog toys
C) Plowing fields
D) Hanging gourds

8. According to the passage, why did the narrator's father tie shells to the bottom of the fishing net?

A) So it would sink
B) For decoration
C) Because it was tradition
D) To attract the fish

9. Why is the genre of this essay considered to be historical fiction?
A) It is a made up story
B) It has rhythm and rhyme
C) It is a story based on historical facts
D) It contains elements of fiction

10. What season is the narrator's favorite?
A) Winter
B) Spring
C) Summer
D) Fall

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