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1 Crosswalk CoachPLUS for the Common Core State Standards English Language Arts Grade 8 Practice Tests Answer Keys

2 Crosswalk Coach PLUS for the Common Core State Standards, English Language Arts, Grade 8, Practice Tests, Answer Keys T303NAK Cover Image: Thinkstock Triumph Learning 136 Madison Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY Triumph Learning, LLC All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without written permission from the publisher. Printed in the United States of America The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers are the sole owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards, Copyright All rights reserved.

3 Contents Lexile Measures Chart... 4 Writing Rubric Practice Test Answer Key... 6 Answer Explanations... 8 Practice Test Answer Key Answer Explanations

4 Lexile Measures Chart Practice Test 1 Passage Title Part 1 Pegasus in Pound Coyote and Eagle Steal the Sun and Moon Space Junk Our Ever-Changing Climate Our Carbon Dioxide Problem Lexile Measure not prose 1030L 1040L 1180L 1110L Part 2 A Seat at the Counter 950L Part 3 The Gray Hare 930L Practice Test 2 Passage Title Part 1 The Miller, His Son, and Their Donkey The Reluctant Guest The Canoe Trip Cyclical Cicadas Harriet Tubman: Civil War Spy Lexile Measure not prose 950L 940L 1040L 1050L Part 2 Another Thanksgiving Dinner 1060L Part 3 The Thylacine The Dodo Bird 1040L 1110L 4

5 Writing Rubric Reading: Comprehension of Key Ideas and Details The response does not analyze or inaccurately analyzes the text, showing little to no comprehension of ideas from the text(s). The response minimally analyzes the text and cites some textual evidence, showing limited comprehension of ideas from the text(s). The response for the most part accurately analyzes the text explicitly or inferentially and cites textual evidence, showing a basic comprehension of ideas from the text(s). The response accurately analyzes the text explicitly and inferentially and cites textual evidence to support the analysis, showing extensive comprehension of ideas from the text(s). The response accurately analyzes the text explicitly and inferentially and cites convincing textual evidence to support the analysis, showing full comprehension of complex ideas from the text(s). Writing: Development of Ideas The response is underdeveloped and therefore inappropriate to the task, purpose, and/or audience. The response is addressed with minimal development of the claim, topic and/ or narrative elements, through limited reasoning, details, text-based evidence and/or description; the development is limited in its appropriateness to the task, purpose, and/or audience. The response is addressed with development of the claim, topic and/or narrative elements through some reasoning, details, text-based evidence, and/or description; the development is somewhat appropriate to the task, purpose, and audience. The response is addressed with effective development of the claim, topic and/or narrative elements through clear reasoning, details, text-based evidence, and/or description; the development is largely appropriate to the task, purpose, and audience. The response is addressed with comprehensive development of the claim, topic and/or narrative elements through clear and convincing reasoning, details, text-based evidence, and/or description; development is consistently appropriate to the task, purpose, and audience. Writing: Organization a lack of coherence, clarity and cohesion. limited coherence, clarity, and/or cohesion, making the progression of ideas somewhat unclear. some coherence, clarity, and/or cohesion, and includes an introduction, conclusion, and logically grouped ideas, making the progression of ideas discernible but not obvious. a great deal of coherence, clarity, and cohesion, and includes an introduction, conclusion, and a logical progression of ideas. purposeful coherence, clarity, and cohesion and includes a strong introduction, conclusion, and a logical, well-executed progression of ideas. Writing: Clarity of Language The response style is inappropriate, with little to no awareness of the norms of the discipline; includes little to no precise language. The response style is limited in its effectiveness, with limited awareness of the norms of the discipline; uses little description, sensory details, linking or transitional words, words to indicate tone, or domain-specific vocabulary. The response establishes and maintains a mostly effective style, attends to the norms and conventions of the discipline; uses some precise language, including descriptive words and phrases, sensory details, linking and transitional words, words to indicate tone and/or domain-specific vocabulary. The response establishes and maintains an effective style; attends to the norms and conventions of the discipline; uses mostly precise language, including descriptive words and phrases, sensory details, linking and transitional words, words to indicate tone, and/or domain-specific vocabulary. The response establishes and maintains an effective style; attends to the norms and conventions of the discipline; uses precise language consistently, including descriptive words and phrases, sensory details, linking and transitional words, words to indicate tone, and/or domain- specific vocabulary. Writing: Knowledge of Language and Conventions little to no command of the conventions of standard English, with frequent and varied errors in grammar and usage that often impede understanding. limited command of the conventions of standard English, with multiple distracting errors in grammar and usage that sometimes impede understanding. inconsistent command of the conventions of standard English. There are a few patterns of errors in grammar and usage that may occasionally impede understanding. command of the conventions of standard English consistent with edited writing. There may be a few distracting errors in grammar and usage, but meaning is clear. command of the conventions of standard English consistent with effectively edited writing, with few minor errors in grammar and usage; meaning is clear throughout. 5

6 Practice Test 1 Answer Key Item Key Common Core State Standard Skill Lesson(s) 1 Part A: C RL.8.1, RL.8.2 Setting 2 2 Part A: C RL.8.1, RL.8.2 Theme 2, 3, 4 3 Part A: D RL.8.1, RL.8.6 Character 3 4 Part A: A Part B: D RL.8.1, RL.8.4, L.8.5.a Figurative Language 6 5 Part A: B Part B: See answer on page 8. RL.8.1, RL.8.2 Theme 2, 3, 4 6 A4, B5, C2 RL.8.4, L.8.4, L.8.6 Context Clues, General Academic Vocabulary 6, 7 Part A: C Part B: A RL.8.1, RL.8.2 Plot 2 8 A1; B5; C6 RL.8.3 Plot 2 9 Part A: D Part B: C RL.8.1 Make Inferences 7 10 Part A: C Part B: D RL.8.1, RL.8.3 Character 3 11 Part A: C Part B: D RL.8.1, RL.8.2 Theme 2, 3, 4 12 A3, B6, C1, D7 RL.8.4, L.8.5.a Figurative Language 6 13 A1, 4; B3; C2, 5 RL.8.3 Character 3 14 Part A: C Part B: E 15 Part A: A Part B: D 16 Part A: B Part B: A 17 Part A: C Part B: A RI.8.1, RI.8.2 RI.8.1, RI.8.3 RI.8.1, RI.8.4, L.8.4 Supporting Details Connections Context Clues 8, 9 8, 12 8, RI.8.1, RI.8.5 Structure 8, 9 6

7 Answer Keys (continued) Item Key Common Core State Standard Skill Lesson(s) 18 Part A: D Part B: D RI.8.1, RI.8.6 Author s Point of View 8, See answer on page 9. RI.8.2 Main Idea 9 20 A1, B7, C5, D4 RI.8.4, L.8.4 Technical Meanings, Context Clues 21 Part A: C RI.8.1, RI.8.9 Compare and Contrast 8, Part A: B RI.8.1, RI.8.6 Author s Point of View 8, Part A: A RI.8.1, RI.8.8, RI.8.9 Conflicting Evidence 8, Part A: D Part B: C RI.8.1, RI.8.8, RI.8.9 Evaluate Claims 8, See answer on page 10. RI.8.2 Main Idea 9 26 A2, B4, C5 RI.8.4, L.8.4 Technical Meanings, Context Clues Part 2 See answer on page 10. W.8.2.a f, W.8.4, W.8.5, W.8.9, L.8.1, L.8.2, L.8.3 Literary Analysis, Use Conventions 17 Part 3 See answer on page 10. W.8.3.a e, W.8.4, W.8.5, L.8.1, L.8.2, L.8.3 Narrative Writing, Use Conventions 19 7

8 Answer Explanations Practice Test 1 1. C The poet describes a gaunt and grim belfry, and he describes the village waking to all its toil and care. The poet describes Pegasus breathing in the odors of dying leaves. These references support the view that the village is a grim place. B Stanza 3 includes the reference to the gaunt and grim belfry. 2. C From his description of Pegasus, the poet is clearly awed by the fabulous beast. The villagers, however, impound the animal and do not even bother to feed it. Such actions suggest that they did not appreciate Pegasus. There is no evidence that the villagers were afraid or proud of Pegasus, nor did they try to trick him. B Stanzas 5 and 8 describe the impounding and neglect of Pegasus, supporting the idea that the villagers did not appreciate him. 3. D The poet s awe of Pegasus contrasts sharply with the villagers workaday attitudes toward the stray. This difference between the way things are (Pegasus s majesty as portrayed by the poet) and the way things seem to be (Pegasus is just a stray horse) is the source of the ironic humor. B When Longfellow refers to the wisdom of the wise men who put Pegasus in pound, he is poking fun at them, using irony to state that they are not wise at all. 4. A A simile is a comparison between two unlike things that uses the word like or as to make the comparison. The simile here is the comparison of apples to burning coals. D The answer choice like living coals, the apples / Burned contains the simile. 5. B From their treatment of Pegasus, it is clear that the villagers did not appreciate the supernatural horse during his brief visit. Afterward, they appreciated the spring left by his hooves, but there is no indication in the poem that they attributed this spring to Pegasus. There is no support in the poem to justify the other conclusions. Circled stanzas should include 5, 8, and A4, B5, C2 Each term has only one correct meaning listed on the right and can be inferred from the context of the sentences. 7. C Coyote is described as half-starved and unable to hunt well. Also, Coyote was always scheming about something. Coyote is looking at Eagle as an easy way to get a lot of food. A Paragraph 1 provides the details that can be used to support the answer in Part A. 8. A1; B5; C6 There are many cause-and-effect relationships in the story. Eagle is able to fly, as a result, Coyote tries to keep up and has to climb mountains. Coyote suggests they find light, and Eagle thinks they can find it by heading west. Coyote wants to carry the box, and in the end, Eagle gives it to him with a warning. 9. D The Kachinas are described as dancers who are asking for another good harvest. People traditionally appeal to gods and spirits for such blessings, so one can infer that the Kachinas are intermediaries between Earth and the world of spirits and gods. C The detail that the Kachinas asked the gods for another good harvest is the one that allows readers to make this inference. 10. C Coyote has been portrayed as sly and suspicious. He clearly has an ulterior motive for asking to carry the box so often. The evidence in the story is that he suspects Eagle of hiding something good for himself in the box. We can infer that Coyote thinks Eagle is trying to trick him. D Paragraph 14 contains the evidence that is most useful for making the inference in Part A. 11. C This myth states that letting the sun and moon escape was a disservice to humanity. So the main idea, or theme, is that natural forces are too powerful for normal creatures to control. The myth does not attempt to justify theft or suggest that Coyote made a great achievement. D The unexpected results of opening the box the onset of winter and cold weather suggest that natural forces are too powerful for ordinary creatures to tamper with. 12. A3, B6, C1, D7 Each idiomatic expression has only one meaning listed on the right and can be inferred from the context of the story events. 8

9 Answer Keys (continued) 13. A1, 4; B3; C2, 5 Each behavior of Coyote s exhibits one of his main traits. His insistence on carrying the box and his willingness to hike over mountains and swim across rivers show persistence. His opening the box to find out what Eagle is hiding shows his suspicious nature. Becoming Eagle s partner and creeping around the village show he is sly. 14. C While all four spacecrafts are mentioned in paragraph 1, the text clearly states a U.S. Iridium communications satellite was destroyed when struck by a long-abandoned Soviet Cosmos spacecraft. E Sentence 6, the last sentence in the paragraph, notes that the communications satellite was destroyed. 15. A Paragraph 2 mainly distinguishes between our ideal view of space, as empty and beautiful, with the reality of an ever-increasing amount of dangerous orbiting space junk. D Sentence 1 presents the common view of space as an unspoiled wilderness while sentence 4 itemizes the contents of our giant cloud of space junk. 16. B The meaning of sanguine is optimistic. A The context clues in the passage suggest that the early sanguine view of space junk was too rosy contrasted with the much bleaker assessment prevalent today. 17. C The article s organization follows a problemand-solution pattern with the first four paragraphs describing the problem of space junk and the three final paragraphs suggesting possible solutions. Paragraph 5 is the pivot point. A The rhetorical question, What can be done about space junk? alerts readers that the article is pivoting from problems to solutions. The other sentences in the paragraph add details that describe one possible solution. 18. D The author makes clear that solving the problem of space junk will never be easy, eliminating choice A, but also suggests possible solutions, so does not view it as an impossible dream, eliminating choice B. The author urges nations to do something about it now, eliminating choice C. So the best answer is D. D Sentence D, which notes that solving the problem will take research and funding, supports the answer in Part A. 19. The final sentence in the paragraph This swirling junkyard poses an ongoing threat to spacecraft, the communication satellites we depend on, and other human endeavors in space states the main idea of the passage. This sentence sums up what the article is mostly about. 20. A1, B7, C5, D4 Each term has only one correct meaning listed on the right and can be inferred from the context of the sentences. 21. C The articles agree on the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the extent of recent increases, and the level generally regarded as safe. They disagree on the source of recent increases. B In paragraph 4 of article 1, the author writes these natural sources (i.e., volcanoes, forest fires, and animals exhaling) are probably the sources of the recent carbon dioxide buildup. Paragraph 3 of article 2 attributes the buildup to the burning of fossil fuels. 22. B The author of article 2 would agree that the Medieval Warming Period was not caused by a greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is only a factor in a global warm-up, and the author notes that the MWP was not a global warm-up. For this reason, choice A is eliminated. There were no fossil fuels in use in medieval times, eliminating choice D. We can assume the author does not agree with choice C as article 2 provides no discussion or evidence for this. B Choice B, the survival of the five thousandyear-old Andean glaciers, is proof that the MWP did not affect South America and so was not global in nature and, therefore, could not have been caused by a greenhouse effect. 23. A The author of article 1 ignores an important finding of the Institute for Astronomy, namely that the recent increases in solar activity are not a cause for global warming. By ignoring this finding, the author implies that solar activity is the cause. B Paragraph 6 of article 2 states this conclusion of the Institute for Astronomy and supports the answer to Part A. 24. D Passage 1 claims there is no consensus among scientists about the cause of global warming while passage 2 claims there is consensus. 9

10 Answer Keys (continued) C In paragraph 5 of passage 1 the author writes, Not all scientists agree that our current warm-up is due to natural causes. Some say it s due to our use of fossil fuels, which give off CO 2. There is no consensus In paragraph 7 of passage 2 the author writes, Scientists today agree that rising carbon dioxide levels cause warmer temperatures, and then provides facts to support this claim. 25. The fourth sentence in the paragraph Most of the CO 2 entering the atmosphere today, however, comes from the burning of fossil fuels oil, coal, and gas states a main idea of article A2, B4, C5 Each term has only one meaning listed on the right and can be inferred from the context of the sentences. Part 2 Answers will vary. Students should write an analysis of Joseph s character as depicted in A Seat at the Counter. Students should include a statement about Joseph s character and traits and text evidence from the passage to support that statement, as well as examples of dialogue or incidents that reveal Joseph s character. Correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation should be used. Part 3 Answers will vary. Students should write a narrative continuing the story of the gray hare and his experiences with his friends when he leaves the lair once more. Students are expected to write in a style similar to the passage, include a sequence of events that unfolds naturally and logically, use descriptive and sensory details, and follow the rules for correct grammar. 10

11 Practice Test 2 Answer Key Item Key Common Core State Standard Skill Lesson(s) 1 Part A: B Part B: C RL.8.1, RL.8.3, RL.8.9 Character 3 2 See answer on page 13. RL.8.2 Theme 3, 4 3 A5, B4, C2, D3 RL.8.1 Plot and Setting 2 4 Part A: D Part B: A RL.8.1, RL.8.3, RL.8.9 Character and Plot 2 5 Part A: B, C, E RL.8.1, RL.8.4, L6 Connotation, 33 6 Part A: B Part B: C RL.8.1, RL.8.4, L.8.4, L.8.6 Word Meaning 7 A3, B4, C6, D2 RL.8.4, L.8.4, L.8.6 Context Clues, General Academic Vocabulary 8 Part A: C Part B: A RL.8.1, RL.8.4, L.8.5 Figurative Language 9 Part A: B Part B: C RL.8.1, RL.8.3 Character 2, 3 10 See answer on page 13. RL.8.5 Structure 1 11 Part A: C RL.8.3 Character, Plot 2, 3 12 See answer on page 13. RL.8.1, RL.8.3 Plot 2 13 A3, B1, C5 RL.8.4, L.8.4, L.8.6 Context Clues, General Academic Vocabulary 14 Part A: B Part B: D 15 Part A: C Part B: C RI.8.1, RI.8.2 RI.8.1, RI.8.2 Main Idea Main Idea/Supporting Details 16 See answer on page 14. RI.8.1 Text Evidence 8 17 Part A: B Part B: D RI.8.1, RI.8.4, L.8.6 Domain- Specific Vocabulary 18 See answer on page 14. RI.8.6 Author s Point of View

12 Answer Keys (continued) Item Key Common Core State Standard Skill Lesson(s) 19 Part A: D RI.8.1 Make Inferences 8 20 Part A: A RI.8.1, RI.8.5 Structure See answer on page 14. RI.8.1, RI.8.8 Claims 8 22 A3, B6, C2 RI.8.4, L.8.4, L.8.6 General Academic Vocabulary 23 3, 5, 4, 1, 7, 6, 2 RI.8.2 Summary Part A: B Part B: C RI.8.1, RI.8.2 Main Idea 9 25 Part A: C RI.8.1, RI.8.6 Author s Purpose Part A: A RI.8.1, RI.8.4, L.8.4, L.8.6 Context Clues Part 2 See answer on page 14. W.8.2.a f, W.8.4, W.8.5, W.8.9, L.8.1, L.8.2, L.8.3 Literary Analysis, Use Conventions 19 Part 3 See answer on page 14. W.8.2.a f, W.8.4, W.8.5, W.8.9, L.8.1, L.8.2, L.8.3 Research Writing, Use Conventions 18 12

13 Answer Explanations Practice Test 2 1. Part A: B The miller tries to please everyone who makes a comment to him. Part B: C The miller tells his son he believes he has to do what the others want him to do. 2. Claim 2 is correct. The miller will probably not try to please everyone again. He realizes that it is impossible since people have different needs and opinions. Trying to do so has cost him his donkey and some of his income. Students should circle the following sentences: I have tried to please everyone! I have pleased no one, including myself! 3. A5, B4, C2, D3 The Maids call them unintelligent geese because they wonder why they walk when they can ride. The Clerks do not question the Mayor s opinion too. The Goodies assume the Miller s son is tired and made to walk. The Old Men believe the Miller's son should show the older generation respect and let his father ride the donkey. 4. Part A: D The donkey fell off the bridge and into the river. Part B: A The miller listened to the mayor and tried to carry the donkey. But the donkey got scared and fell over the bridge into the deep water. 5. Part A: B, C, E Trudges, plodding, and hike are all synonyms for walk. The word pair trudges and plodding have the same connotation of walking slowly and wth difficulty or fatigue. 6. Part A: B Admonitions means warnings. Part B: C The Maids tell the Miller the following adomonishment, or warning, You ll get a teasing at the fair, silly old man! 7. A3, B4, C6, D2 Each term has only one correct meaning listed on the right and can be inferred from the context of the sentences. 8. Part A: C The icing on the cake is an idiom. Part B: A The idiom means that something is already good, like cake tastes good. Icing is something extra that enhances the already good cake. 9. Part A: B. Amanda and Gabe both become more accepting of their older relatives. Part B: C In passage 1, Amanda writes I know I said Aunt Bev is eccentric, but I m beginning to consider that she might be awesome, too. In passage 2, Gabe looked admiringly at his grandfather. That answers the question about your stamina, he said. 10. Statements B and F should appear in the left column and statements C and E in the right column. These statements refer to details that the characters face in the passages that are different. Statements A and D should appear in the center column because they describe both the characters in The Reluctant Guest and in The Canoe Trip. 11. Part A: C The canoe hit the log and Gabe and his grandfather fell out. They were listening to the birds, looking at the water, and getting into the rhythm of the paddling, and became inattentive to what might be in the water. 12. Claim 2 is correct. The other two claims are not supported by sentences in the passage. The sentences that support Claim 2 are: I can hardly believe it, but my aunt talked me into going to a yoga class, and it wasn t a total disaster. Actually, it was kind of awesome ; Yes, board games at a table, not on the computer. And they're not totally horrible like I assumed they would be, and I was not extremely bored. 13. A3, B1, C5 Each term has only one correct meaning listed on the right and can be inferred from the context of the sentences. 14. Part A: B Cicadas have a special type of life cycle. Part B: D Cicadas only come above ground about every seventeen years. After they mate, the adults die. The nymphs burrow into the ground. 15. Part A: C Cicadas emerge in broods for self-protection. Part B: C A brood can have up to a trillion cicadas. There are more cicadas than predators can eat, so some of them will be safe. 13

14 Answer Keys (continued) 16. B, F These two statements are true and describe the life cycle of the cicadas. They are supported by information in the passage that states that the nymphs molt several times and climb trees or stalks when they emerge from underground to molt one final time. 17. Part A: B Molt means to lose an outer layer. Part B: D During those years, the cicada nymphs molt several times, shedding their exoskeletons, or hard outer shells, when they become too small. This sentence provides the definition of molting within it. Answer choices B and C are related to molting, but do not provide the full meaning of the word. 18. The generalization that cicadas are a tasty treat in many parts of the world today is supported by the following sentence in paragraph 8: Now, people in Thailand, Australia, Japan, and the United States enjoy them. 19. Part A: D Cicadas appear during the warm summer months like May, June, July, and August, not in colder months such as February, November, and December. If you live almost anywhere in North America during the warm summer months, you may hear a loud, maybe deafening, racket. 20. Part A: A The paragraph has a problem-andsolution structure. The Union needed to get more information about the region, so they worked with Tubman and the volunteers to map the areas marshes and rivers. 21. Part A: Claim 1 Harriet Tubman had a talent for military strategy. Part B: Answers may vary. Students should underline two of the following: Her regiment became highly competent; Her assistance aided in the defeat and capture of the city of Jacksonville; General Saxton reportedly told Secretary of War Stanton that This is the only military command in American history wherein a woman, black or white, led the raid and under whose inspiration it was originated and conducted. 22. A3, B6, C2 Each term has only one correct meaning listed on the right and can be inferred from the context of the sentences , 5, 4, 1, 7, 6, 2 This order indicates the correct sequence of events in the passage. 24. Part A: B The main idea of the passage is Tubman s work as a spy. Part B: C The passage states that she was a spy, describes the spy network she established, and outlines work she did as a spy. 25. Part A: C The author wrote this passage to give information about the work Harriet Tubman did as a spy. The author cites several examples of Tubman s work as a spy, including setting up a spy network, helping Colonel Montgomery defeat Jacksonville, and participating in the raid on the Combahee River. Although D also provides information about Tubman, it does not address the author s purpose of informing about Tubman s work as a spy. 26. Part A: A Abandoned means the same thing as deserted. The detail rushing to escape indicates that the owners were in a hurry and left the slaves behind. Part 2 Answers will vary. Students should write an analysis of how the author of Another Thanksgiving Dinner uses one or two story elements to make a claim about our relationship to others. Students should include a thesis statement, text evidence from the passage to support that statement, as well as an analysis of the characters, setting, conflict, and/or theme in the passage. Correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation should be used. Part 3 Answers will vary. Students should use both passages to write an analysis of the factors that contributed to the extinction of the thylacine and the dodo, as well as discuss whether any attempt was made to rescue either animal. Students should include a thesis statement and text evidence from the passage to support that statement. Students should synthesize information from both passages to generate and support their ideas. Correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation should be used. 14

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16 Introduce Students to the Common Core State Standards! The NEW Crosswalk Coach PLUS for English Language Arts provides an easy approach to teaching the Common Core State Standards and ensures students will be prepared for these new requirements. Here s how Crosswalk Coach PLUS makes the transition to the new standards easier! Instruction and practice on each of the Common Core State Standards Diagnostic, cumulative, and summative assessments Open-ended questions in every lesson Expanded lesson practice featuring new, rigorous item types Learn more at Phone: Fax: This book is printed on paper containing a minimum of 10% post-consumer waste. T303NAK

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