Please help me with Language Arts?
What Makes a Hero?
Directions Read the passage below and answer the questions that follow.
Saving the Train
It was evening in the summer of 1881, and a heavy rain soaked the small Wisconsin town. Sarah and her mother looked out the west kitchen window of their farmhouse and could see nothing, except when a lightning bolt lit up the angry sky. When it did, they could see that the rain had created ponds almost everywhere. Broken tree limbs and branches were scattered throughout the yard.
"Mom, I'm worried about the horses," Sarah said nervously. "I'm worried that the wind will topple the barn and trap them."
Well, there's nothing we can do. Your pa isn't here to deal with it now," her mother replied.
"Well, girls aren't frail and helpless like everybody seems to think. I can take care of the horses myself."
So the seventeen-year-old put on her yellow rain slicker and slip-slided through the mud to the barn. Buck, Minnie, and the other horses were obviously rattled from the storm.
"Run now!" she shouted as she shooed them out of their stalls and into the night.
Just then she heard the bell of a locomotive engine as it headed toward the Sugar Creek Bridge. Seconds later she heard a tremendous crashing sound. "Oh no!" she shouted in horror. "The train has gone off the bridge!"
For a moment Sarah froze in front of the barn. Her mind reeled. But then she did the only thing she could do. She lit a lantern and then raced with all the speed she could gather toward the bridge.
The pouring rain, whipped by near-hurricane-force winds, pelted her face as she ran across the meadow and then down the tracks leading to the bridge. The lantern, she soon discovered, was useless in the driving rain. After it went out a second time, she just tossed it aside. The occasional flash of lightning was her only guiding light.
Sarah finally reached the bridge, which had collapsed in the middle from the force of the swelling river. The engine, with its four crew members, had toppled into the water.
"Is anyone down there?" she shouted at the top of her lungs.
Then, as she was about to crawl down the embankment, she heard a voice calling up to her.
"We're injured, but I think we're all right," the engineer yelled. "Don't try to come down here." He then pleaded, "Get to the station as fast as you can and warn the stationmaster. A passenger train will be coming down these tracks in less than five minutes."
So Sarah ran as fast as she could toward the station. Out of breath, her clothes torn and her skin ripped by bushes, she got to the station with only minutes to spare. The stationmaster reacted quickly to her story about the bridge. He grabbed a red warning lamp and stopped the oncoming train just in time. Sarah saved the lives of many people that night.
Comprehension (Unit 6)
The theme of this story is best stated as (1 point)
* thunderstorms can have high winds.
* acts of courage can save lives.
* being able to run fast is important.
* always be prepared for a flood.
Which of the following characteristics best describes Sarah? (1 point)
If the story continued after the last paragraph, what would most likely happen next? (1 point)
* Sarah would be arrested for causing a panic.
* Sarah would take over the stationmaster's job.
* Sarah would be honored by the town as a local hero.
* Sarah would be scolded for going out in the storm.
What prior knowledge might help a reader better understand this story? (1 point)
* knowledge of Wisconsin
* knowledge of storms
* knowledge of train stations
* knowledge of horses
Which of the following characteristics of a typical literary hero applies to Sarah? (1 point)
* being larger than life
* boasting about his or her own strength
* going on a journey to a faraway place
* struggling against a harmful force
Suppose that while you were reading this passage, you did not understand how a red warning lamp would have been enough to stop an oncoming train. It would be most helpful to activate prior knowledge about (1 point)
* railway signals.
* railroad crossings.
Based on what Sarah says, how might most people in the 1880s have thought of girls? (1 point)
* Girls were as strong as boys.
* Girls were not capable of doing hard work.
* Girls could learn how to drive a train.
* Girls did not know how to handle injuries.
Where does this story take place? (1 point)
* in a small town
* in another country
* in a big city
* on an island
Which paragraph would you reread to clarify what happened at the bridge? (1 point)
How are Sarah and the train engineer similar? (