6th Grade Reading - 2010 Released Test


Directions: Read the flier and answer questions 1-10.


It is time for the Smithdale Student Activity Club’s yearly talent show. In the past, the club has had performers sing, dance, perform skits, juggle, and play violin, guitar, or piano. This year the show will be called “Talent on Parade,” and we are looking for performers with great new ideas. In addition, we have planned two important changes for this year’s show.

First, “Talent on Parade” will be held on two nights. Performers in the Wednesday night show will include students in Grades K–5. Performers in the Friday night show will include students in Grades 6–12.

Smithdale High School Auditorium
Wednesday, May 11, 6:30 P.M.
Friday, May 13, 7:30 P.M.

The second change is that this year’s performers will be chosen in a new way. No tryouts will be held. The first twenty acts to sign up for each show will be accepted. Others will be put on a waiting list in case someone drops out or has an act that is not allowed. You will be notified by telephone or e-mail if your act is included.

If you do not wish to perform but would enjoy helping backstage with lights or sound, print “stagehand” in large letters at the top of the permission slip.

1. Each student chosen to perform must turn in a permission slip signed by a parent or guardian.
2. All performers must be at the school one hour before showtime.
3. Performers must provide their own transportation to and from the school.
4. Each act is limited to three minutes.
5. No act may have more than five people in it.
6. Performers who are singing must also turn in a typewritten sheet with the lyrics. Acts that use songs that are inappropriate for a school audience will not be allowed.
7. Performers must provide their own music (tapes, CDs, or instruments) and costumes.
8. Singers may sing with or without musical accompaniment, but they may not sing along with a recorded voice on a CD or tape.
9. Costumes will be approved at the dress rehearsals on May 5 and 9.

Rehearsals will be held in the Smithdale High School Auditorium.
• Grades K–5—Thursday, May 5, 6:00 P.M.–7:00 P.M.
• Grades 6–12—Monday, May 9, 7:00 P.M.–8:00 P.M.
You may have to perform your act a second time, so be prepared to stay an extra hour.
Directions: Read the story and answer questions 11-21.


1 For the third Tuesday in a row, I walked to the park after school and found a shady spot under a yellow poplar tree. I pulled my sketchbook and a package of colored pencils from my backpack and scanned the park looking for ideas. Two girls were playing catch by the baseball diamond, a few small groups of mothers and toddlers were gathered at the picnic tables, and about a dozen children were playing on the jungle gym. After weighing my options, I turned my attention to the girls playing catch and began sketching. After I had drawn the rough outline of a girl with her glove raised, a shadow fell across my sketchbook.

2 “That’s not a bad start,” said the shadow. “Do you have any finished drawings?” I looked up to see a boy about my age surveying my sketchbook over my shoulder.

3 I was both annoyed at the interruption and embarrassed that someone was looking at my drawing. “Not bad?” I asked.

4 “No need to be offended,” the boy laughed, pulling a sketchbook out of his own backpack and handing it to me. “Want to look at my drawings?”

5 While deciding what to do, the curiosity bug bit me, and I traded sketchbooks with him. His sketches of people were okay, but I was really impressed by his drawings of nature. There were charcoal drawings of trees, leaves, rocks, and rivers, all done with great thoroughness and detail.

6 “Wow! You just might have some talent,” I said. “What’s your name?”

7 The boy reached to take back his sketchbook and answered, “Kenyi Thompson. My family just moved here from Alexandria.”

8 I smiled widely as a thought dawned on me. “I thought you looked familiar!” I exclaimed. “I’m Vanessa Ruiz. We’re in the same math class.”

9 Kenyi sat down next to me, and we talked about how school here compared to his former school. Having lived in the same place my whole life, I never thought about how hard leaving one school and starting over at another must be.

10 “Why aren’t you in my art class?” I asked. “Anyone who can do charcoal drawings like these should be taking art.”

11 Kenyi replied, “The sixth-grade art class is full, so I have to wait until next semester. Besides, you’re the talented one. I really struggle at drawing people, but you make it look easy.”

12 “I have a great idea!” I declared. “Let’s make drawings together! You can draw the nature scenes on one sheet of paper while I draw the people on another. Then we’ll switch and finish each other’s drawings. That way, both drawings would show off both of our talents!”

13 “That’s not a bad idea, Vanessa,” Kenyi agreed. “What should we draw first?”

14 I noticed that the girls playing catch had left and most of the other children had abandoned the jungle gym. I looked around the rest of the park until my eyes landed on the perfect subject. Pointing to a cluster of trees about ten feet away, I said, “We should draw those kids climbing trees!”

15 About an hour later, Kenyi and I had completed our masterpieces. On one sheet of paper I had drawn a boy in a bright green shirt, positioned as though he were wrapped around the trunk of a tree. Kenyi had added a red maple tree afterward, drawing the leaves in stunning shades of crimson and orange. On the other sketch, Kenyi had drawn a beautiful hickory tree with extended branches, and I had added a girl swinging by her legs from the lowest branch.

16 “This was a fun idea,” I said, returning my colored pencils and sketchbook to my backpack.

17 “Not bad at all,” Kenyi replied as he also put away his supplies. “Hey, Vanessa, would you want to meet me here again to draw together?”

18 “See you next Tuesday, Kenyi,” I said with a smile.
Directions: Read the passage and answer questions 22-31.


1 What do a ball-tossing rhinoceros, a backflipping monkey, and a somersaulting badger have in common? Just like children, animals enjoy playing. Lion cubs love to wrestle. They take turns playing the predator and the prey. Young mountain goats run, leap, and twist in the air. Youthful zebras skip, kicking their hind legs for no obvious reason. Baby animals spend countless hours and large amounts of energy at play.

Understanding Animal Play
2 Scientists have studied animal play for many years. Two leaders in this field of research are John Byers of the University of Idaho and Marc Bekoff of the University of Colorado. They describe animal play as actions that have a purpose but do not seem meaningful. For example, kittens at play may use the same movements as adult cats use when they are hunting, but the kittens are not really stalking prey. Much research has been done on young animal play and adult activities. Since the 1800s, scientists have recognized that young animal play is practice for adult behavior. Today this play is roughly divided into four different groups. In the article “Jungle Gyms: The Evolution of Animal Play,” Alex Hawes discusses these four groups. They are locomotor play (which refers to the movements animals carry out in their play), predatory play, object play, and social play.

Locomotor Play
3 Running, leaping, turning, and heel kicking are some of the most common examples of animal play. These movements resemble similar actions of adult animals. However, when carried out by a young animal, the actions do not have the same purpose or goal as they would for an adult animal. An adult deer may run, leap, and twist to escape its attackers. Young deer run, leap, and twist just for fun, without being chased. Play movements like these train young animals to be alert and fast. Someday these skills might help save their lives.

Predatory Play
4 Stalking, pouncing, and biting are examples of animal play that help young predators prepare for a life of chasing and catching prey. Wild cats, wolves, and bears are predators. Seeing young cats, pups, and cubs engage in this type of play with their peers is common. This hunting play sharpens the animals’ skills and teaches them about their strengths and limitations.

Object Play
5 For children, playing with toys is both fun and educational. Toys help children learn in new ways. Playing with toys can improve a child’s hand and eye movements as well as develop hand skills to accomplish tasks. For many young animals, playing with toys or objects accomplishes the same goals. Young chimpanzees improve their hand skills while playing with sticks. Birds also play with objects in ways that teach. Swallows drop and recover feathers in midair. Swooping down to catch the feathers is good practice for catching flying insects, one of the birds’ favorite snacks.

animalplay.pngSocial Play
6 Playing helps animals learn how to behave when they encounter other animals. Wrestling or playing a game of tag may seem very innocent among young animals. In fact, this play can help prepare the animals for unfriendly situations they will meet as adults. Social play also teaches animals about communication. An animal gives signals to let another animal know it wants to play. Many animals give signals by showing a “play face.” In some ways this face is like a human smile; the animal holds its mouth in a relaxed and open manner. During play-fights, some animals may crouch or bow to signal that they are playing and not acting seriously. Bold but relaxed paw movements are another signal of animal play.

7 Many young animals engage in playful acts that help prepare them for serious adult situations. The numbers of playful species and examples of animal play are vast. The purpose of animal play may have meanings scientists have not yet discovered. As researchers continue to study this fascinating field, we are just beginning to understand what might be behind the playfulness of young animals.
Directions: Read the story and answer questions 32-42.


1 Abigail, knowing that she was in for a rough afternoon, sighed as the door shut behind her mother. She thought back to when her mother asked her to watch her younger brother, Harry, for a few hours while she went to a meeting at work.

2 “What will Harry and I do together for an entire afternoon?” she moaned. Her brother had a reputation for causing mischief.

3 “You can play outside,” her mother replied. “You both love to play basketball and run around, and I will be back from my meeting before you know it.”

4 “I guess that would be okay,” Abigail answered.

5 Now Abigail looked out the window at the pouring rain and frowned. There went her plan of spending the afternoon playing basketball. She looked at Harry nervously and said, “It’s raining too hard to go outside, so what would you like to do instead?”

6 Harry shrugged his shoulders.

7 “Do you want to color with crayons or markers? We could play a board game.”

8 “Those are all boring,” Harry whined.

9 Abigail sighed. This was exactly what she had worried about. “Come on, Harry, we can’t just sit here all afternoon. Please think of something you want to do.”

10 Harry’s face lit up as he asked, “Can we play hide-and-seek?”

11 Abigail had stopped playing hide-and-seek years ago, but she was willing to do almost anything to keep Harry happy and out of trouble until their mother came home. She covered her eyes with her hands and started counting as the sound of Harry’s footsteps told her that he was already racing to find a hiding spot. When she reached fifty, she called out, “Ready or not, here I come!”

12 Abigail started by looking in the family room and then made her way into the kitchen, checking under the table and in the pantry. As she wondered where Harry was hiding, the perfect place popped into her head. She raced to the garage and climbed the stairs to the attic used for storage. The floor was so dusty that she easily followed Harry’s footprints to where he was crouching behind a pile of boxes. “I found you!” she laughingly yelled.

13 “Now it’s your turn to hide,” Harry squealed with delight. As he hopped up to run away, he knocked over several boxes, tipping them to the floor. Abigail was about to scold him for being so careless when the contents of the spilled boxes caught her eye. Beautiful beads of all shapes, colors, and sizes were now rolling around the attic floor.

14 “Cool beads!” said Harry, bending down to pick them up.

15 “These would make awesome bracelets and necklaces,” agreed Abigail, examining a blue crystal bead.

16 “Do you think Mom would mind if we used them?” asked Harry.

17 “I don’t see why when they are just sitting up here gathering dust,” Abigail replied with a grin. “Besides, how could she mind if we used them to make jewelry for her?”

18 Harry returned Abigail’s grin as they collected the beads, excited by the thought of having something fun to do on a rainy afternoon.

19 When their mother came home, Abigail and Harry presented her with the beaded necklaces and bracelets they had made. Abigail’s jewelry had been carefully designed and planned; each bracelet had its own intricate pattern. Swirls and stripes, circles and squares were combined in a variety of bright colors. Harry had not planned, but had strung his beads in a very haphazard way, picking whatever bead was nearest and adding it to the others. The end results, however, were still interesting and beautiful.

20 “What a wonderful welcoming!” exclaimed their mother. “I had forgotten all about my grandmother’s collection of beads. Where did you find them?”

21 “In the attic,” replied Harry. “They were playing hide-and-seek!”