Overview of New ELA Sample Items Grade 6

Advances in the
August 2013
Grade 6 Sample Items Overview
Grade 6
• The following slides will provide the reader an overview of
both the new sample items and the previously released
prototype items.
• Together, they form a complete narrative writing task
Understanding the Narrative Writing Task
• Students read one brief text and answer a few questions to
help clarify their understanding of the text(s).
• Students then write a narrative story.
Texts Worth Reading:
Grade 6
• Julie of the Wolves was a winner of the Newbery Medal in
• This text, about a young Eskimo girl surviving on her own
in the tundra by communicating with wolves, offers a story
rich with characterization and imagery that will appeal to a
diverse student population.
Grade 6, Item #1—Part A
Which statement best describes the central idea of the text?
a) Miyax is far from home and in need of help. *
b) Miyax misses her father and has forgotten the lessons he
taught her.
c) Miyax is cold and lacks appropriate clothing.
d) Miyax is surrounded by a pack of unfriendly wolves.
Grade 6, Item # 1—Part B
Which sentence best helps develop the central idea?
a) “Miyax pushed back the hood of her sealskin parka and
looked at the Arctic sun.”
b) “Somewhere in this cosmos was Miyax; and the very life in
her body, its spark and warmth, depended upon these
wolves for survival.”*
c) “The next night the wolf called him from far away and her
father went to him and found a freshly killed caribou.”
d) He had ignored her since she first came upon them, two
sleeps ago.”
Grade 6, Item #2—Part A
What is the purpose of this sentence in paragraph 1: “No roads
cross it; ponds and lakes freckle its immensity”?
a) It illustrates the theme that human beings should keep the
natural would pure and unpolluted.
b) It shows how beautiful the setting seems to Miyax.
c) It helps develop the theme that nature connects all living
things together.
d) It emphasizes how the setting of the story creates great
challenges for Miyax.*
Grade 6, Item #2—Part B
Which other sentence from the story serves a similar purpose?
a) “Quietly she put down her cooking pot and crept to the top
of a dome-shaped frost heave, one of the many earth
buckles that rise and fall in the crackling cold of the Arctic
b) “They were wagging their tails as they awoke and saw each
c) “Winds scream across it, and the view in every direction is
exactly the same.”*
d) “Unfortunately, Miyax’s father never explained to her how
he had told the wolf of his needs.”
Grade 6, Item #3—Part A
What does the word regal mean as it is used in the passage?
Grade 6, Item #3—Part B
Which of the phrases from the passage best helps the reader
understand the meaning of regal?
“wagging their tails as they awoke”
“the wolves, who were shy”
“their sounds and movements expressed goodwill”
“with his head high and his chest out”*
Grade 6, Item #4—Part A
Based on the passage from Julie of the Wolves, how does Miyax
feel about her father?
She is angry that he left her alone.
She blames him for her difficult childhood.
She appreciates his thorough knowledge of nature.*
She is grateful that he planned out her future.
Grade 6, Item #4—Part B
Which sentence from the passage best shows Miyax’s feelings
for her father?”
a) “She had been lost without food for many sleeps on the
North Slope of Alaska.”
b) “This could be done she knew, for her father, an Eskimo
hunter, had done so.”*
c) “Unfortunately, Miyax’s father never explained to her how
he had told the wolf of his needs.”
d) “And not long afterward he paddled his kayak into the Bering
Sea to hunt for seal, and he never returned.”
Grade 6, Item #5—Part A
Choose one word that describes Miyax based on evidence from
the text. There is more than one correct choice listed below.
Grade 6, Item #5—Part B
(Prototype revised to create sample item)
Drag and drop two details from the passage that support your
response to Part A into the box labeled “Supporting Details.”
Supporting Details
Grade 6, Item #6
In the passage, the author developed a strong character named
Miyax. Think about Miyax and the details the author used to
create that character. The passage ends with Miyax waiting for
the black wolf to look at her.
Write an original story to continue where the passage ended. In
your story, be sure to use what you have learned about the
character Miyax as you tell what happens to her next.

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