Excerpt from An American Childhood by Annie Dillard Reading Comprehension Test

This 39-question multiple-choice reading comprehension and analysis test on an excerpt from the autobiographical book An American Childhood by Annie Dillard has questions from different levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy (revised). The 15-paragraph excerpt covers Dillard’s observations about the shadows in her room as she lies in her bed at night while her younger sister Amy sleeps in the bed next to hers. She also wonders about the world outside her bedroom and finally realizes the shadows on her wall come from a car passing by her window. The excerpt begins with the line: “When I was five, growing up in Pittsburgh in 1950…” and concludes with the final line: “It raced over the wall, lighting it blue wherever it ran…”. This exam will test students’ literal and interpretive understanding of the selection including: plot development, characterization, author’s purpose, point of view, making inferences, vocabulary, literary devices, figurative language, fact & opinion, analogies, and other elements of literature. Questions are modeled after standardized tests (SAT, ACT, and state tests) to familiarize students with the structure and vocabulary of standardized test questions. Questions are spaced 1.5 lines apart for comfortable reading. The questions also encourage students to go back and re-read key parts of the selection, a crucial skill for comprehension and improving reading stamina. Teachers are encouraged to remove/add questions as they see fit for their students. Answer key included. Editable MS Word Doc. You can use this product for years and years! Feedback is always welcomed and appreciated!​

Objectives/US Standards (SUGGESTED) (From Corestandards.com):

Students are expected to:

Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.

Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.

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Created: Mar 4, 2019


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