Grade 4 Reading - 2011 Released Test

Directions: Read the story and answer the questions 1 - 9.

Captain of the Carrots

1 My younger brother Daniel likes to work in our garden. Last summer he grew carrots to enter in the county fair. He won first prize and received a blue ribbon. There is more to the story, however. To win, Daniel needed the sun, the rain, and a little help from a scarecrow we named “Captain of the Carrots.”

2 One morning Daniel and I walked outside to the garden. The feathery, green tops of ten carrots had been chewed to the ground. We looked around the garden trying to discover what had happened to the carrots.

3 “Jason, who did this?” Daniel asked, frowning.

4 “Not me,” I said. “I’m pretty sure rabbits are eating your carrots. You’ll just have to scare them off.”

5 “Well, I’ve read books about farmers building scarecrows to put in their fields. Should we build one?”

6 “Why not?” I said. “If it works for crows, why not for rabbits?”

7 Our scarecrow was a bit unusual. We dressed it in an old band uniform Grandpa gave us. Daniel had a pretend policeman’s hat that we placed on top of the head. At last the scarecrow was complete. We placed it in the garden.

8 “He looks like a guard,” Daniel said.

9 “Of course,” I said. “He’s the Captain of the Carrots.” The silly name stuck. The rest of the day Daniel kept saying that the Captain of the Carrots would scare those rabbits away.

10 The next morning, however, more carrots had been nibbled. Daniel was upset. The rabbits must have discovered that the scarecrow was not a real person after all. We stood looking at the carrots.

11 “Can’t you enter them in the fair without the green tops?” I asked.

12 “No, Jason,” Daniel snapped. “It’s against the rules.”

13 “Well, part of the row is still here. You need only a couple of carrots to enter.”

14 “True,” Daniel said. “Let’s ask Dad if we can stay up tonight and watch over the carrots. Maybe he will want to camp with us too.”

15 Dad thought Daniel had a clever idea. He believed Daniel’s carrots were worth guarding and could win the big prize at the fair. So we packed a blanket and some snacks and headed to the garden after dark.

16 Not long after we had settled in, my brother fell asleep. All of a sudden, Dad and I could hear munching sounds. The rabbits were back to finish eating my brother’s carrots, so I told Dad that I would take care of the situation. I stood up, walked to the useless scarecrow, and took the hat. If my brother was going to win that blue ribbon, someone had to take control. Protecting the carrots was all up to me, the new Captain of the Carrots.

Directions: Read the flier and answer the questions 10 - 17.


Sand is not just for the beach! Sand can be used to make interesting cards for friends and family. Make one for a friend just to say “hello,” or make many cards to send as party invitations. These fun cards will surely brighten anyone’s day!

    Supplies that are needed:
  • A sheet of newspaper
  • A small container of sand
  • A piece of construction paper
  • A marker
  • A pencil
  • A bottle of glue
  • One paper plate

Sand can be bought from a craft store or collected on the beach. If you gather sand from the beach, remove any pebbles or shells.

Before beginning, prepare the work area by spreading out a sheet of newspaper on a table. By doing this, the cleanup will be much easier.

    Follow these steps to make a sand card:
  1. Fold the piece of construction paper in half to make the card.
  2. Using the marker, write a special message on the inside.
  3. sand2.png
  4. When you are finished, use the pencil to draw a design, or shape, on the front of the card. This design should be a simple outline of a shape, such as a heart, a star, or a moon.
  5. Fill in the pencil outline with glue. Use enough glue to fill in the design—do not forget the edges! Try to spread the glue evenly inside the design.
  6. Sprinkle sand on top of the glue. Scatter the sand so that the glue is covered completely. Once the glue is covered, gently tap the edge of the card over the paper plate so that any loose sand will fall off the card.
  7. Set the card aside until the glue is completely dry.
  8. Once the glue dries, the card is finished.

Another Great Tip:

Sand can also be dyed to make even more colorful pictures. First, place a small amount of sand into a plastic cup. Next, pour just enough water in the cup so that the sand is covered. Then add a few drops of food coloring. Stir the mixture. Let the sand sit until it soaks up the food coloring. Drain the water out of the cup and scatter the sand onto a paper towel so it can dry completely. Use the colorful sand to make beautiful pictures!

Sand art does not always have to be given away to someone. Use sand art to make a sign for your bedroom door or a work of art to hang on the wall. Use your imagination and see how many ways you can use this fun idea!

Directions: Read the story and answer the questions 18 - 25.

Hidden Talents

1 The raindrops danced across the roof of the Oak Camp art room like a million tapping feet. The campers inside didn’t mind, though, because they were busy making kites.

2 “Look,” Nina told the other girls from Bear Cabin. “I added feathers to my kite.”

3 “Wow! It looks like a peacock’s tail,” said Claudia.

4 “Let me fix yours,” offered Nina, and she glued feathers to Claudia’s kite. Then she changed Sara’s and Gaby’s kites too.

5 Their kites look so much better now, Nina thought.

6 Not all the girls were happy, though. “I wanted to make my kite different. It was supposed to look like a dragon,” Gaby whispered to Sara.

7 “I’ll help you fix it later,” Sara responded.

8 Just then, the sun started to poke through the clouds, and the campers walked outside.

9 “Everyone, gather around,” Mrs. Henderson, the camp director, called. “We’re going to play a game called clothespin tag,” she said. “You each get two clothespins to clip on your shirt. Then everyone runs around and tries to capture one another’s clothespins. The girls from the cabin with the highest number of clothespins are declared the winners.”

10 Squeals and shouts filled the air as the campers raced around and chased one another. Everyone had sweaty faces when Mrs. Henderson blew her whistle.

11 “Okay, it’s time to count your clothespins,” she announced. The girls from Bear Cabin reported their total numbers.

12 “I have one,” sighed Claudia.

13 “I captured six,” laughed Gaby.

14 “I have nine,” Nina bragged. “I can teach you how to dodge the other players so you can capture more next time,” she added. Gaby’s smile quickly turned into a frown.

15 “The Bears won,” said Mrs. Henderson a moment later, “and the Eagles came in second place.”

16 “Yes!” cheered Nina as they went inside to eat dinner. The Bears are lucky to have me on their team, she thought. With my help, we’ll get first place in the talent show tonight!

17 However, after dinner, disaster struck! Nina twisted her ankle on her way to the cabin. Even though Nina insisted her ankle was fine, the nurse called her father so he could take her to the doctor.

18 “You still have time to watch the talent show before he arrives,” the nurse said.

19 “Great,” grumbled Nina as the nurse helped her limp into the dining hall. What will the Bears do without me? she thought.

20 The lights in the hall dimmed, and Nina watched the stage. First the Eagles performed a play about an exciting hiking adventure. Then the Foxes told lots of silly jokes. At last it was the Bears’ turn.

21 Nina listened as Sara started to sing in a strong voice. Gaby and Claudia stood next to her and danced a funny jig. Everyone loved their show! Suddenly Nina realized she was always so busy showing the Bears what she could do that she had never given them a chance to be the stars.

22 “You were great,” Nina told the Bears after they won blue ribbons. “I hope we’re in the same cabin next year.”

23 “Sure,” said Sara, but she didn’t sound excited.

24 “Then you can teach me some songs,” Nina quickly added, “and Gaby and Claudia can teach me to dance. There’s a lot I’d like to learn from the three of you.”

25 “Sure,” said Sara again, but this time she was grinning. A moment later, all the Bears gave Nina a big high-five.

Directions: Read the article and answer the questions 26 - 35.

Life in the Wolf Pack

1 Deep in a den, some wolf pups huddle against their mother. They cannot stay warm without her body heat. The helpless pups cannot see or hear either, but the newest members of the pack do not need to worry. Their whole family will help take care of them.

2 The leaders of the pack are a male and female wolf. They are usually the strongest and oldest wolves too. When they walk, they hold their tails high like flags because this shows that they are in charge. In contrast, the other members of the wolf pack hold their tails low to show respect to the leaders. Being wolf pack leaders is an important job. They often decide when it is time to hunt. They also decide when the pups should leave the den.


3 When the time has arrived, the pack moves to a place close to new hunting grounds. This place also becomes a nursery area for the pups. It often contains big rocks or bushes to hide the pups, and it is located near a river or a lake so the wolves have fresh water to drink. Sometimes the wolf pack uses several different nursery areas during one summer.

4 The nursery grounds give the pups a safe place to grow and play. The pups wrestle one another and roll in the grass. Their games prove who will be a strong leader one day. They also chase small animals, such as mice and rabbits. The pups are beginning to learn important hunting skills.

5 The young pups are never left alone. When the pack goes off to hunt, one wolf stays behind to baby-sit. It watches over the pups and protects them. The other wolves help too. They bring back food for the pups and spend time playing with them.

6 As the pups grow, they begin to follow the pack when it leaves to hunt. At first, the young wolves tag along only for a short distance before they give up and return to the nursery. By the end of the summer, however, they are exploring areas two or three miles away.

7 The young wolves must grow fast. Winter will arrive soon. As the snow falls, it becomes more difficult to find food, and the pack may travel 30 miles each day in its search! Now the once-helpless pups are ready to join the hunt. With the care of their family, they have become working members of the pack.