Grade 4 Reading -- 2010 Released Test

Peter and the Dragon

1 “Do I have to go, Mom?” Peter asked the question for the fourth time.

2 “Peter,” his mother said quietly. “We have planned this for weeks. I thought you were looking forward to it.”

3 “But fish are boring, Mom!” Peter was complaining about the family’s trip to a nearby
aquarium. “Why can’t I just stay home and watch Sam swim?” He pointed to his pet goldfish swimming lazily in a glass bowl.

4 “Peter, Sam is just one goldfish. You will see much more than that at the aquarium.” Peter could tell his mother was becoming impatient. He sighed loudly and joined his sister Sarah in the back seat of the car.

5 A short time later, the family pulled into the busy parking lot around the aquarium. Peter tried to look bored as they approached the main building, but he was starting to feel the excitement of the crowd around him. As they reached the building, he noticed a banner hanging over the entrance. He looked closely and read the words “Dragons of the Deep.”

6 “Dragons!” Sarah exclaimed. “Do you think they will be scary?”

7 “Of course not,” said her father. “Wait until you see what they really look like.”

8 Peter and Sarah followed their parents into the building. The air inside was cool, and the only light seemed to come from the blue water in the huge fish tanks. Peter looked in the first tank. At first glance, it appeared to be filled with leafy seaweed. Suddenly a long piece broke off from the rest and floated upward. Peter moved closer and noticed a dark eye and a horse-shaped head.

9 “It isn’t seaweed at all!” he said. “It’s an animal!”

10 Peter and Sarah were amazed as they watched more of the interesting creatures move about the tank. Their bodies were covered with leaf-like parts that floated outward, often making them difficult to see among the plants in the tank. “They are called sea dragons,” his mother explained. “They live in the ocean near Australia.” The family watched the strange fish a little longer, and then Peter tugged at his father’s hand.

11 “Come on, Dad,” he pleaded. “Let’s see the rest of the fish!”

12 “Wait a minute,” laughed his mother. “I thought fish were boring!”

13 Peter felt ashamed when his mother repeated his earlier words. “I’m sorry, Mom,” he
apologized. “I was wrong. This place is really great!”


Macaroni and Cheese, Please!

Macaroni and cheese has been enjoyed in the United States for at least 200 years. Some people believe that Thomas Jefferson created the dish. However, history shows that macaroni and cheese dates back even further and is not from North America. Wherever the recipe came from, it is delicious and fun to prepare.

The following recipe is just one of many ways to make macaroni and cheese.

• 1 1/2 cups of macaroni noodles
• 3 teaspoons of salt
• 3 large eggs
• 1 1/2 cups of milk
• 3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
• 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
• Water
• 1 large pot
• 1 large baking dish
• 2 mixing bowls, 1 large and 1 small
• A fork
• A strainer
For safety, remember to have an adult help you when using the stove and oven.

1. Fill the large pot with water and 2 teaspoons of salt. Boil the noodles in the water until they are tender, about 8–10 minutes.
2. Rinse the noodles in cold water, and use a strainer to drain the water.
3. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Cover the bottom and sides of the baking dish with cooking oil so the noodles will not stick to the dish.
4. Mix the noodles and 1 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese in a large bowl. Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Add 1 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese on top.
5. Put the eggs, milk, and 1 teaspoon of salt in the small bowl. With a fork, mix these ingredients until they are blended.
6. Pour the milk and egg mixture over the top of the noodles and cheese.
7. Place the dish in the oven. Bake the macaroni and cheese dish for approximately 45 minutes.
8. When the cheese is brown, remove the macaroni and cheese from the oven. Let it cool before serving.

You are finished! Enjoy your delicious dish!


Callie’s Choice

1 Callie heard a soft knock and pulled open the front door. Her favorite neighbor, Mrs. Baker, stood on the porch.

2 “I need your help, Callie,” Mrs. Baker said. “Do you know the empty lot down the street?” Callie nodded. “The place is a mess, covered with trash. The city is letting us use the lot for a community garden,” she explained. “We need help cleaning up the lot on Saturday.”

3 “Sure, Mrs. Baker!” Callie said cheerfully. “I will be happy to help!”

4 Mrs. Baker looked pleased. “Thanks, Callie. We want to get the garden planted before summer.”

5 At school the next morning, Callie’s friend Tamara was waiting for her by their classroom. Tamara had a surprise for her best friend. “Tamara!” Callie called. “Have you heard about Saturday?”

6 Tamara looked confused. “How did you find out about Saturday?” she asked.

7 “My neighbor Mrs. Baker told me,” Callie explained. “She needs help cleaning up the empty lot.”

8 “Oh, that’s not what I am talking about,” Tamara said. “My mom bought tickets to go to Fun World this Saturday. She has an extra one for you!” The girls had been waiting for months for the new amusement park to open.

9 Callie’s heart dropped. “But Mrs. Baker is counting on me to help,” she said.

10 Tamara looked impatient. “Can’t someone else do it? I want you to go to Fun World with me! We’ve been waiting a long time to go.”

11 Callie sighed and worried about her problem for the rest of the day. Her mother noticed her mood when she arrived home.

12 “Did something go wrong at school?” her mother asked.

13 Callie explained her problem. “What should I do, Mom?” Callie asked when she was finished.

14 “I know you want to go with Tamara and also help Mrs. Baker. Think carefully about your choices. You need to make your own decisions, but I know you will do what is best,” her mother answered.

15 Callie spent the rest of the evening thinking about her decision. She wanted to go to Fun World, but in the end, she decided her promise to her neighbor was more important.

16 The next day at school, Callie told Tamara that she would not be able to go to Fun World. Tamara tried to understand, but Callie could tell she was disappointed. The girls hardly spoke for the rest of the week.

17 On Saturday, Callie met Mrs. Baker at the vacant lot. “Hi, Callie,” her neighbor said. “Your mother said you made a tough choice. Thank you for helping us today.”

18 “You’re welcome,” Callie said. Callie smiled as she walked across the lot with a large trash bag.

19 “Do you need any help?” a voice behind her asked. Callie turned, surprised to see Tamara. She smiled at her friend.

20 “I know you made a promise to clean up the lot, and I wanted to come help you. My mom said she can take us to Fun World next weekend.”


A Warm Welcome in the Arctic

1 Hotels can make a person’s stay away from home as restful as possible. Hotels provide warm beds to allow guests a peaceful night’s rest. In addition, some hotels offer guests special services such as newspapers to read in the morning, fresh coffee, and even breakfast. Hotel workers want their guests to feel warm and welcome when they stay in their hotel.

2 One hotel near the Arctic Circle, however, is different. This hotel gives its guests a cold welcome. The Ice Hotel, in Sweden, is made entirely of ice. The Ice Hotel might sound strange, but in some ways it is a typical hotel. It has a front lobby where guests check into the hotel, plenty of rooms to sleep in, and even room service, which guests can use to have food delivered to their rooms. The Ice Hotel is different, though, because most of the items are made from ice.

3 It takes more than 30 tons of ice and snow to build the Ice Hotel. It melts in the summer and is rebuilt each winter. Different builders and artists create the Ice Hotel, so each winter this famous hotel has a new shape and design.
4 The effort of building the Ice Hotel is worth it, however. Walking into the Ice Hotel is like walking into a diamond. The walls reflect even the smallest bits of light. The inside of the hotel gleams a bluish color. Ice pillars support the roof. The floor below shines like glass. Almost every inch of this hotel sparkles inside. Visiting the Ice Hotel is truly an unusual experience.

5 Guests also find that sleeping in this hotel is an adventure they will never forget. Instead of sleeping on a regular bed, guests are given an insulated sleeping bag to keep them warm. The sleeping bag is laid on top of a layer of ice and snow. Although this sounds chilly, guests feel quite comfortable.

6 Temperatures inside the Ice Hotel are usually below freezing. Guests wear warm jackets, hats, gloves, and thick boots. Even the owners of the Ice Hotel know that staying in a building with walls of ice four feet thick can be a bit cold. They have a solution though. The Ice Hotel has a sauna for its guests. A sauna is a room filled with steam, where guests can warm themselves. While a sauna is warm enough to heat a chilly person, it will not melt through the walls of ice. Guests can use the sauna to store heat for a night’s stay or to thaw from the previous night. In a way, then, one could say that the Ice Hotel does give their guests a warm welcome after all.