Reading Passage 5 – Short-term Memory ANSWERS

Keywords: Year 8+, 15 questions, 12 MCQs, 3 short-answer questions, science, non-fiction, National Geographic.

(“Limited Capacity Storage: Short-term memory”. Memory: What It Is, How It Works, and Ways You Can Improve It, National Geographic, Tula Karras.)

Dory from ‘Finding Nemo’ has short-term memory loss.

Limited capacity storage: Short-term memory

Our limited capacity storage systems aren’t meant to retain information for very long. Similar to a Snapchat message or an Instagram story, information that enters our brain through our senses fade rather quickly unless we have a reason to retain it or unless we practice it. While this sounds inefficient — why can’t we hold every bit of information for a long while? — it’s actually a good thing. Like a hoarder with objects they will never use, our brain would become so crowded remembering everything we experienced that we wouldn’t be able to find and retrieve the things we truly need and want to remember. Although experts generally divide our limited capacity storage systems into short-term memory and working memory, many experts consider short-term memory a component within working memory. Science is still trying to distinguish their many features.

Short-term memory

Short-term (or immediate) memory is the ability to remember a short list of things within a short span of time — usually no longer than 30 seconds and sometimes less. Short-term memories are not stored permanently, but rather stay on our radar briefly in the present moment. We often use short-term memory when we don’t have things in our environment to cue us — so we might engage short-term memory to hold a list of grocery items in our mind by repeating it over and over if we can’t write it down, or when remembering someone’s phone number, or when holding figures in our head while doing an arithmetic problem.

Answers

  1. What best summarises the primary aim of this passage?

a) To inform the reader on the attributes of short-term memory

b) To persuade the reader of short-term memory’s flaws

c) To illuminate upon the positive attributes of short-term memory

d) To detail short-term memory and its relationship to working memory

2. Which of these quotes is an example of a simile?

a) “Science is still trying to distinguish their many features.”

b) “…we might engage short-term memory to hold a list of grocery items in our mind…”

c) “…why can’t we hold every bit of information for a long while?”

d) “Like a hoarder with objects they will never use…”

3. Look for any parentheses in the passage. What is their purpose?

a) They include extra, irrelevant information

b) They give a synonym for a previously described term

c) They provide an example to illustrate a point further

d) There are no parentheses in this passage

4. According to the passage, why is short-term memory a positive thing?

a) If it didn’t exist, our memory would become too cluttered with too much information

b) It allows us to consciously forget things

c) If it didn’t exist, we would forget every memory we came across

d) It helps us to study and encode information, like phone numbers

5. “Similar to a Snapchat message or an Instagram story, information that enters our brain through our senses fade rather quickly…” This comparison most likely aims to:

a) Make the article more appealing to the younger generations

b) Illustrate the idea in a way that is understandable to the average reader

c) Make money for the author through Snapchat/Instagram sponsorship

d) Describe the longevity of memory

6. What is the purpose of using sub-sections in this passage?

a) To divide diametrical pieces of information into different areas

b) To make the passage seem less wordy and prolix

c) To categorise pieces of information that focus on different yet related ideas

d) To extend the amount of information that is contained in the passage

7. Look for the em-dashes. In this passage, what are they not used for?

a) To interject with an example that expands upon an idea

b) To clarify an otherwise ambiguous piece of information

c) To divide sentences, making them more efficient

d) To replace a punctuation mark

8. According to the passage, short-term memory is:

a) A well-known and clearly defined concept

b) A definite sub-section within working memory

c) A widely-accepted yet somewhat underdeveloped idea

d) A detailed concept that has remained unchanged from its conception

9. Which of these statements is false?

a) Short-term memory and working memory are two separate concepts

b) Short-term memory holds information for around 30 seconds

c) It’s impossible to remember information held in short-term memory

d) It’s possible that short-term memory is a part of working memory

10. Which of the following would be the best alternate title for this passage?

a) The Disadvantages of Short-term Memory

b) Defining and Explaining Short-term Memory

c) An Analysis of Limited Capacity Storage Systems

d) The Relationship Between Short-term Memory and Working Memory

11. What is this passage’s tone?

a) Direct and avuncular

b) Formal and apoplectic

c) Informative and partial

d) Objective and sagacious

12. Based on this passage, what is a limited-capacity storage system?

a) A kind of memory that only remembers lists for a short time

b) Unlimited storage that contains permanent memories

c) A mental network that creates short-term memories

d) A category of memories that hold information briefly

13. Write down a quote from the passage that uses inclusive language.

Any quote the includes ‘we’, ‘our’ or any other inclusive words would be an acceptable answer.

14. “While this sounds inefficient…“. What is the word ‘this’ referring to?

‘This’ refers to the concept that “information that enters our brain through our senses fade rather quickly unless we have a reason to retain it or unless we practice it.” You can use that quote if you want, but most of your answer should be in your own words.

15. List two things the passage has taught you about short-term memory.

Anything from the duration of short-term memory to its relationship with working memory is acceptable.

The original passage and questions are here!

🧠🧠🧠

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Note: this passage is from the November 2020 Memory issue of National Geographic Magazine. To my knowledge, utilising this passage as a free educational exercise falls under fair use. If not, please let me know. I want to make sure that everything on this website is fair and right. The questions are of my own creation.

Review – Quirkology (Richard Wiseman)

Listen to this narration while you read!

Keywords: non-fiction, science, quirky, light-hearted, research, funny, reasonably strong vocabulary, scientific terms, stand-alone book.

The front cover

This is quite possibly one of the most interesting books I’ve reviewed on this blog. You see, I’m not usually one for non-fiction – especially ‘sciency’ stuff. It generally comes across as needlessly complex and dull to me. Richard Wiseman’s Quirkology, though, completely destroys the ‘science is boring’ stereotype! It’s genuinely fun and interesting to read. However, the most important thing is how it speaks to the reader. Unlike most scientific texts, it doesn’t talk to the reader like they’re dumb and the author is oh so smart. Do you know what I mean? Like, when you can just tell that the writer is only using fancy words to say, “Oh, look to me, I am so intelligent! My writing is only for people who are at my level of fanciness!” Blergh.

Richard Wiseman is nothing like that. On the contrary, he is a scientist for everyone – particularly those who like the quirkier side of life. He writes scientifically, yes, but never in a patronizing way. His stories are engaging as well as educational. Honestly, just the summaries of each experiment are interesting enough on their own! For example, one of Wiseman’s experiments tries to figure out – once and for all – what is the world’s funniest joke? Wiseman’s experiment was this huge worldwide thing that involved online surveys, polls, and chicken costumes. No, I will not elaborate further. Go read it for yourself! 🙂

Professor Wiseman

Every chapter is categorized by a quirky aspect of human nature. One section is all about superstitions and how they develop. Another is all about horoscopes and personality tests. The best thing about this book is that you don’t need to read the chapters in order; just look at the sections and see which ones interest you most! My personal favourite section is the one about personality tests and their viability. It’s amazing what people will choose to believe about themselves (and how those beliefs actually change who they are!).

Profesor Wiseman and an esteemed colleague

This is a great book to study or to simply enjoy. I have used this book as study material for my private English students and they generally like it! Finding books that are both educational but in a quirky and non-patronizing way is surprisingly uncommon. I’m glad people like Richard Wiseman exist. The world would be much more duller without them!

Quirkology is filled to the brim with research. Naturally, Sakura the research-loving cat adores this book beyond words. Scientific Louise also loves this book and recommends it heartily!

Psst! Fun fact: Richard Wiseman has his own YouTube channel named Quirkology! You might have even seem some of his videos (he has been popular on YouTube for a decade now). Definitely check out his videos! This is one of my favourites.

Reading Passage 4 – The Human Seasons

Keywords: Year 7-8, poetry, the Romantic period, poetic techniques, literary devices, human nature, 8 MCQs, 2 short-answer questions.

The following is a complete poem by John Keats. It’s titled ‘The Human Seasons’.

Four Seasons fill the measure of the year;
     There are four seasons in the mind of man:
He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear
     Takes in all beauty with an easy span:
He has his Summer, when luxuriously
     Spring’s honied cud of youthful thought he loves
To ruminate, and by such dreaming high
     Is nearest unto heaven: quiet coves
His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings
     He furleth close; contented so to look
On mists in idleness—to let fair things
     Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook.
He has his Winter too of pale misfeature,
Or else he would forego his mortal nature.

Questions

  1. This poem’s tone would best be described as:

a) Pessimistic and sarcastic

b) Apoplectic and lyrical

c) Acerbic and bellicose

d) Observant and explanatory

2. In this poem, Man is described as being like two animals (a bird and a cow). This is an example of:

a) A metaphor and a zoomorphism

b) A simile and alliteration

c) A triptych and a zoomorphism

d) A simile and consonance

3. What is this poem’s structure?

a) ABAB ABAB ABAB CC

b) ABBB ABBB ABBB CC

c) ABAB CDCD EFEF GG

d) AABB CCDD EEFF GG

4. Which of these is a literary device that is used in the poem?

a) Imagery

b) Alliteration

c) Anecdote

d) Triptych

5. As established, Man is associated with cows in the poem. Which line does this?

a) “his Winter too of pale misfeature”

b) “Spring’s honied cud of youthful thought”

c) “when his wings / He furleth close”

d) “when fancy clear / Takes in all beauty with an easy span”

6. Autumn has the highest number of lines and the most description. What is a possible reason behind this choice?

a) Autumn represents the slowest stage of a life; a high number of lines reflects that longevity.

b) Autumn is John Keats’ favourite season, as evidenced by his detailed description of it.

c) Autumn is the longest season of the year, so it is only logical for it to have the highest number of lines.

d) Autumn is a time of play and pleasure. A high number of lines reinforces those themes.

7. Which of these line best demonstrate the use of contrast?

a) “when his wings / He furleth close” and “he would forego his mortal nature

b) “He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear / Takes in all beauty with an easy span” and “There are four seasons in the mind of man

c) “Four Seasons fill the measure of the year” and “There are four seasons in the mind of man

d) “He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear / Takes in all beauty with an easy span” and “His soul has in its Autumn…contented so to look / On mists in idleness

8. Winter is spoken about _____________. This is most likely to illustrate ___________.

a) Sporadically, winter’s longevity

b) A lot, winter’s brevity

c) Briefly, winter’s brevity

d) Briefly, winter’s longevity

9. Is this poem about actual seasons or something else? How can you tell? Provide two pieces of evidence from the text to support your answer (adjectives, the title, dialogue etc.).

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

10. Choose one season. What kind of personality does this season show in the poem? Provide three adjectives/lines from the text to support your answer.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Check your answers here!

Note: To my knowledge, utilising this passage as a free educational exercise falls under fair use. If not, please let me know. I want to make sure that everything on this website is fair and right. The questions are of my own creation.

Reading Passage 4 – The Human Seasons ANSWERS

Keywords: Year 7-8, poetry, the Romantic period, poetic techniques, literary devices, human nature, 8 MCQs, 2 short-answer questions.

The correct answers are highlighted in yellow!

The following is a complete poem by John Keats. It’s titled ‘The Human Seasons’.

Four Seasons fill the measure of the year;
     There are four seasons in the mind of man:
He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear
     Takes in all beauty with an easy span:
He has his Summer, when luxuriously
     Spring’s honied cud of youthful thought he loves
To ruminate, and by such dreaming high
     Is nearest unto heaven: quiet coves
His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings
     He furleth close; contented so to look
On mists in idleness—to let fair things
     Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook.
He has his Winter too of pale misfeature,
Or else he would forego his mortal nature.

Questions

  1. This poem’s tone would best be described as:

a) Pessimistic and sarcastic

b) Apoplectic and lyrical

c) Acerbic and bellicose

d) Observant and explanatory

2. In this poem, Man is described as being like two animals (a bird and a cow). This is an example of:

a) A metaphor and a zoomorphism

b) A simile and alliteration

c) A triptych and a zoomorphism

d) A simile and consonance

3. What is this poem’s structure?

a) ABAB ABAB ABAB CC

b) ABBB ABBB ABBB CC

c) ABAB CDCD EFEF GG

d) AABB CCDD EEFF GG

4. Which of these is a literary device that is used in the poem?

a) Imagery

b) Alliteration

c) Anecdote

d) Triptych

5. As established, Man is associated with cows in the poem. Which line does this?

a) “his Winter too of pale misfeature”

b) “Spring’s honied cud of youthful thought”

c) “when his wings / He furleth close”

d) “when fancy clear / Takes in all beauty with an easy span”

6. Autumn has the highest number of lines and the most description. What is a possible reason behind this choice?

a) Autumn represents the slowest stage of a life; a high number of lines reflects that longevity.

b) Autumn is John Keats’ favourite season, as evidenced by his detailed description of it.

c) Autumn is the longest season of the year, so it is only logical for it to have the highest number of lines.

d) Autumn is a time of play and pleasure. A high number of lines reinforces those themes.

7. Which of these line best demonstrate the use of contrast?

a) “when his wings / He furleth close” and “he would forego his mortal nature

b) “He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear / Takes in all beauty with an easy span” and “There are four seasons in the mind of man

c) “Four Seasons fill the measure of the year” and “There are four seasons in the mind of man

d) “He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear / Takes in all beauty with an easy span” and “His soul has in its Autumn…contented so to look / On mists in idleness

8. Winter is spoken about _____________. This is most likely to illustrate ___________.

a) Sporadically, winter’s longetivity

b) A lot, winter’s brevity

c) Briefly, winter’s brevity

d) Briefly, winter’s longevity

9. Is this poem about actual seasons or something else? How can you tell? Provide two pieces of evidence from the text to support your answer (adjectives, the title, dialogue etc.).

Keats is using the seasons to represent stages of a human’s life. We know this because of the second line: “There are four seasons in the mind of man”. Any answer that pointed out adjectives relating to seasons and/or lines directly linking seasons to a life stage (e.g. “quiet coves / His soul has in its Autumn”) is accepted. The poem’s title (“The Human Seasons”) also counts as acceptable evidence.

10. Choose one season. What kind of personality does this season show in the poem? Provide three adjectives/lines from the text to support your answer.

Spring = anything relating to “lusty”, “beauty” or “easy”.

Summer = anything related to “dreaming”, “ruminating” or “luxury”.

Autumn = anything related to “quiet”, “idleness” or “closed”.

Winter = anything related to “pale”, “misfeature” or “mortal”.

The original passage and questions are here!

Have any questions? Feel free to message or comment! I’m always happy to help. 🙂

Note: To my knowledge, utilising this passage as a free educational exercise falls under fair use. If not, please let me know. I want to make sure that everything on this website is fair and right. The questions are of my own creation.

Review – Nevermoor (Jessica Townsend)

Listen to this narration while you read!

Keywords: fantasy, clever, witty dialogue, imaginative, magic, dramatic, a cat is in it and she’s amazing, first in a series.

Leaf 🙂

I’m not exaggerating when I say that this has been on my ‘to-read’ list for years. The only reason I didn’t read it earlier was because of all the glowing praise it was receiving. I know it’s very cynical of me, but whenever I hear that a book is popular and flawless, I’m afraid that actually reading it will disappoint me. Thus, it takes me a while to get around to reading it! It was only when my particularly well-read friend Leaf recommended this that I finally bought a copy of Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow.

The front cover

Dear readers, I severely regret not reading this book earlier. It wasn’t the type of book where everything seems unoriginal. The world of Nevermoor is entirely its own. Before reading it, I was afraid that it would be copying Harry Potter. Other than magic playing a part in the story, the Harry Potter and Nevermoor worlds are completely different!

Can I just say how much I would love to live in Nevermoor? It’s a hidden world where you travel via umbrella (a bit like Mary Poppins) and meet fantasy creatures every day. The world is run on a sort of magic called ‘Wunder’, which makes things even more interesting. You see, the only person who knows how to use Wunder is a guy called the Wundersmith. Spoiler: he is not a good guy. You’ll see what I mean.

The one and only Morrigan Crow (I kinda want to be her best friend, honestly)

As for the main character, Morrigan Crow is an interesting protagonist to root for! She has been treated as a ‘cursed child’ for her entire 11-year-old life. Every time someone in the town has something bad happen to them, they blame Morrigan! It’s ridiculous, I know, yet it happens so often that an official literally has to come to her house every month. This worker then gives a list of all the bad things that happened in the town along with a bill. Yup, a bill. Morrigan’s father has to pay fees for misfortunes that Morrigan supposedly caused! Poor girl. Her ‘curse’ pervades her daily life. Her family doesn’t help. In fact, they loathe her and often pretend as if she doesn’t exist. Imagine that! Morrigan’s father is particularly heartless. I’d like to give him a curse or two and see how he likes it. 😡

As a cursed child, Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on Eventide (which is this world’s version of New Year’s Eve). She has been preparing herself for her inevitable death since she was an infant. I hope you don’t mind me giving you a tiny spoiler: she doesn’t die. How did she escape death? Read and find out! (It involves a mechanical spider and time travel.)

Fenestra in her grumpy glory

There are many fascinating characters in this book, especially in the secret world of Nevermoor. For example, there’s a giant grey cat who works at a hotel. Fenestra the giant Magnificat is…how do I put this…flawless? I actually love her?? I might be biased due to being a humongous cat person, but there are other reasons for my admiration too! Fen is courageous and hard-working. She comes off as grumpy at first, but once you become closer to her, she reveals her softer side and loves you fiercely. In other words, she is a cat! Hm. Maybe my love for cats is influencing me a bit. Oh well.

This is the type of rollercoaster I was desperately trying to describe haha

This book was a roller-coaster of emotions. It’s a cliché to call something a ‘roller-coaster of emotions’, I know, but that’s what it was! I honestly couldn’t stop gobbling up Morrigan’s adventures in Nevermoor. Things that seemed unlikely or unexpected kept happening at an exhilarating pace. Reading this book was like one of those ‘drop-fall’ rollercoasters (the one where you go up and down on a tower thingy and you never know when you’re going to fall next)! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am going off to buy the sequel: Wundersmith. 🙂

It’s a gorgeous fantasy book, so of course Felipe recommends this! Also, there are elements of mystery in the plot (what is Morrigan’s talent? Why was she rescued?), so Millie encourages you to read Nevermoor as well.

Review – The Iliad (Homer, translated by Kathleen Olmstead)

Listen to this narration while you read!

Keywords: classic, Greek, historical fiction, Greek mythology, Greek gods and goddesses like Zeus and Aphrodite, abridged, war, politics, revenge.

My flawless drawing of how the Trojan war started 😂

I know what some of you must be thinking: “But Miss, The Iliad is one of those boring classics that we’re forced to learn about. It’s not fun. Why are you reviewing it?”

I understand. Honestly, I was the same when I was a younger student. Classic books that I heard about from adults and TV (The Iliad, The Odyssey, Oedipus Rex etc.) sounded too difficult for me to read. To be honest, some of them are — especially in their original old-fashioned format! But this book is different.

This version of The Iliad has been translated and rewritten by Kathleen Olmstead. Homer – the original author – wrote the book in an ancient Greek (Homeric Greek). It’s a mixture of different Greek dialects. For most of us (including myself), that’d be very difficult to read. Plus, the original book was actually an epic poem (‘epic’ as in the type of poem, although it is very epic and awesome as well!). It was 15,693 lines long. Imagine how long it must’ve taken Homer to write it and Kathleen Olmstead to translate it! To understand just how tricky it would have been to write and translate Homeric Greek, here are the first seven lines of the original version:

Zeus showing off how cool he is (he does this a LOT)

Μῆνιν ἄειδε, θεά, Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος
οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί’ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε’ ἔθηκε,
πολλὰς δ’ ἰφθίμους ψυχὰς Ἄϊδι προΐαψεν
ἡρώων, αὐτοὺς δὲ ἑλώρια τεῦχε κύνεσσιν
οἰωνοῖσί τε δαῖτα· Διὸς δ’ ἐτελείετο βουλή·
ἐξ οὗ δὴ τὰ πρῶτα διαστήτην ἐρίσαντε
Ἀτρεΐδης τε ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν καὶ δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς.

(Listen to how these Homeric Greek lines are spoken here! Skip to 34 seconds.)

This language is so beautiful! As it’s a dead language, not many people learn it anymore (or even want to). That’s a shame. Sure, it’s a complex language, but its history and alphabet are just too cool to be ignored! Having said that, you’ll probably want to start with a translated one first. Don’t worry: the Classic Starts version of The Iliad is far more readable than Homer’s original. You get to learn more about Greek mythology and how the gods and goddesses made decisions. The book is about the Trojan war, a 10-year battle between the city of Troy and the Achaeans (AKA the Greeks). You’ll hear a lot of famous names in this book, like Achilles, Zeus and Odysseus. It’s fun to see what kind of people these famous characters are! (Apparently, Achilles is the kind of person who throws temper tantrums. You also find out how stubborn Zeus really is.)

Helen of Troy (looking very annoyed for some reason)

Basically, the whole reason for the Trojan war is because of a fight between three goddesses: Hera, Athena and Aphrodite. They fight over an apple that’s meant for the ‘fairest’ goddess. In this case, ‘fairest’ means ‘most beautiful’. The goddesses decide to ask Paris, prince of the city of Troy, to state who is the most beautiful. He chooses Aphrodite as the winner. As a reward, she gives prince Paris the most beautiful mortal woman in the world: Helen. Unfortunately, Helen was already married to Menelaus, king of Sparta. So, Aphrodite basically stole the king’s wife and gave her to another city’s ruler.

That’s how the Trojan war began. It was fought for ten years. That’s right: ten years. The soldiers must have been exhausted! I bet their distress and tiredness is even stronger in the original version. All the more reason to study Homeric Greek!

Let’s just say that The Iliad is a classic for a reason. It’s filled with drama, godly powers and fighting. Even though he doesn’t read many books, Gus is a fan of The Iliad. It’s a great story to read through slowly just before you go to sleep! Since he’s a historian, Dmitri, of course, is a huge Homer fan. He has read every version of The Iliad, even the original Greek one! Both Gus and Dmitri recommend the Classic Starts version of The Iliad.

Reading Passage 3 – Trapped in the Dark

Keywords: Fiction, first-person POV, Year 7-ish, 10 questions, 8 MCQs, 2 short-answer questions.

(The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (review here!), Alan Bradley, pg. 1)

It was as black in the old closet as old blood. They had shoved me in and locked the door. I breathed heavily through my nose, fighting desperately to remain calm. I tried counting to ten on every intake of breath, and to eight as I released each one slowly into the darkness. Luckily for me, they had pulled the gag so tightly into my open mouth that my nostrils were left unobstructed, and I was able to draw in one slow lungful after another of the stale, musty air.

I tried hooking my fingernails under the silk scarf that bound my hands behind me but, since I always bit to the quick, there was nothing to catch. Jolly good luck then that I’d remembered to put my fingertips together, using them as ten firm little bases to press my palms apart as they had pulled the knots tight.

Now I rotated my wrists, squeezing them together until I felt a bit of slack, using my thumbs to work the silk down until the knots were between my palms – then between my fingers. If they had been bright enough to think of tying my thumbs together, I should never have escaped. What utter morons they were.

Questions

  1. Was the narrator able to breathe through her nose? Why/why not?

a) Yes, because the gag in her mouth was slack

b) Yes, because the silk scarf was too tight

c) Only a little, because the air was too stale and musty

d) Yes, because her nostrils weren’t blocked

2. What does the main character try to do first?

a) Unbind herself and call for help

b) Slacken the scarf binding her body

c) Breathe in and out in a slow and calming way

d) Undoing all of her fingers from the scarf

3. “Bit to the quick”, as used in the passage, is a phrase that means:

a) Jumping to conclusions

b) Going a bit too quickly

c) Biting to the bottom of your fingernails

d) Biting something quickly

4. In the third paragraph, ‘slack’ is used to mean:

a) Loose

b) Lazy

c) Tight

d) Large

5. How did the narrator undo the scarf tied around her hands?

a) She rotated her wrists and pressed her palms apart with her fingertips

b) She hooked her fingernails under the scarf and edged the knot towards her fingers

c) She pressed her fingertips together so the scarf wouldn’t be too tight

d) She used her thumbs to move the scarf down so the knot was within her fingers

6. Based on this passage, what would best describe the narrator?

a) Avuncular and condescending

b) Amiable and patient

c) Sagacious and level-headed

d) Knowledgeable and anxious

7. Which of these quotes is an example of a colloquialism?

a) “It was as black in the old closet as old blood.”

b) “Jolly good luck…”

c) “What utter morons…”

d) There are no colloquialisms in this passage

8. The passage is from a novel. The novel’s genre is most likely to be:

a) A slice of life comedy

b) Mystery

c) Fantasy

d) Biography

9. What is the main character’s opinion of her captors? Use one piece of evidence from the text to support your answer.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

10. What do you think will happen directly after this passage?

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Check your answers here!

Note: this passage is from The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. To my knowledge, utilising this passage as a free educational exercise falls under fair use. If not, please let me know. I want to make sure that everything on this website is fair and right. The questions are of my own creation.

Reading Passage 3 – Trapped in the Dark ANSWERS

The correct answers are highlighted in yellow!

It was as black in the old closet as old blood. They had shoved me in and locked the door. I breathed heavily through my nose, fighting desperately to remain calm. I tried counting to ten on every intake of breath, and to eight as I released each one slowly into the darkness. Luckily for me, they had pulled the gag so tightly into my open mouth that my nostrils were left unobstructed, and I was able to draw in one slow lungful after another of the stale, musty air.

I tried hooking my fingernails under the silk scarf that bound my hands behind me but, since I always bit to the quick, there was nothing to catch. Jolly good luck then that I’d remembered to put my fingertips together, using them as ten firm little bases to press my palms apart as they had pulled the knots tight.

Now I rotated my wrists, squeezing them together until I felt a bit of slack, using my thumbs to work the silk down until the knots were between my palms – then between my fingers. If they had been bright enough to think of tying my thumbs together, I should never have escaped. What utter morons they were.

Answers

  1. Was the narrator able to breathe through her nose? Why/why not?

a) Yes, because the gag in her mouth was slack

b) Yes, because the silk scarf was too tight

c) Only a little, because the air was too stale and musty

d) Yes, because her nostrils weren’t blocked

2. What does the main character try to do first?

a) Unbind herself and call for help

b) Slacken the scarf binding her body

c) Breathe in and out in a slow and calming way

d) Undoing all of her fingers from the scarf

3. “Bit to the quick”, as used in the passage, is a phrase that means:

a) Jumping to conclusions

b) Going a bit too quickly

c) Biting to the bottom of your fingernails

d) Biting something quickly

4. In the third paragraph, ‘slack’ is used to mean:

a) Loose

b) Lazy

c) Tight

d) Large

5. How did the narrator undo the scarf tied around her hands?

a) She rotated her wrists and pressed her palms apart with her fingertips

b) She hooked her fingernails under the scarf and edged the knot towards her fingers

c) She pressed her fingertips together so the scarf wouldn’t be too tight

d) She used her thumbs to move the scarf down so the knot was within her fingers

6. Based on this passage, what would best describe the narrator?

a) Avuncular and condescending

b) Amiable and patient

c) Sagacious and level-headed

d) Knowledgeable and anxious

7. Which of these quotes is an example of a colloquialism?

a) “It was as black in the old closet as old blood.”

b) “Jolly good luck…”

c) “What utter morons…”

d) There are no colloquialisms in this passage

8. The passage is from a novel. The novel’s genre is most likely to be:

a) A slice of life comedy

b) Mystery

c) Fantasy

d) Biography

9. What is the main character’s opinion of her captors? Use one piece of evidence from the text to support your answer.

The main character doesn’t think very highly of the people who have tied her up and trapped her. She thinks that they are not very smart. Some pieces of evidence from the text include: “If they had been bright enough to think…” and “What utter morons they were”.

10. What do you think will happen directly after this passage?

Any answer regarding the main character escaping the closet would be acceptable. Any details about how the main character would take revenge on her captors would also be accepted.

The original passage and questions are here!

Read the review for The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie here!

Have any questions? Feel free to message or comment! I’m always happy to help. 🙂

Listening Exercise 1 – Chloe & Jake ANSWERS

The correct answers are highlighted in yellow!

Answers

  1. Fill in this sentence: Chloe won _____ dollars from _____ Tatts-lotto scratchies.

a) 4 dollars, 20

b) 19 dollars, 4

c) 4 dollars, 20

d) 19 dollars, 20

2. When was this podcast episode released?

a) Early December 2020

b) 1st January 2020

c) New Year’s Eve 2021

d) New Year’s Day 2021

3. What is Jake’s opinion of the audience’s answers to the first question?

a) Agreement and amusement

b) Disagreement and disappointment

c) Agreement and disappointment

d) Disagreement and amusement

4. Choose the example that best represents Chloe’s idea of an effective resolution.

a) “This year, I’m going to lose weight.”

b) “This year, I’m going to follow an exercise regimen.”

c) “This year, I’m going to improve my life.”

d) “This year, I’m going to become a better person.”

5. Jake talks about a particular answer that used a literary device. What was it?

a) Alliteration, SMART

b) Acrostic, SMART

c) Acrostic, SAMRT

d) Acquisition, SMART

6. Choose the example that best represents Jake’s idea of an effective resolution.

a) Write a story once per week for the whole year

b) Don’t have a resolution at all because they’re too stressful

c) Do various activities that relate to sport (training, joining a sport club etc.)

d) Make a monthly deadline for losing weight (e.g. lose 5 kilos by the end of each month)

7. Chloe states her opinions on resolutions throughout the episode. In which of these statements does she use hyperbole to illustrate a point?

a) “I don’t have the willpower to continue something for a full year and, like, not let it overwhelm me, I suppose.”

b) “As soon as it hits, like, January 1st ’til about February 2nd, the gyms are full. You can’t, like, you cannot get any equipment, the gyms are completely full of people.”

c) “I won nineteen dollars. Nineteen dollars! Tell me anyone who has ever won that much money on a scratchie!”

d) “I almost had an aneurysm saying that.”

8. What is most similar to Chloe and Jake’s dynamic?

a) Employees casually gossiping

b) Friends discussing something they find interesting

c) Strangers having an intense conversation

d) A teacher lecturing a student

9. How would you describe Chloe’s speaking style? Use three adjectives and include one or more piece/s of evidence from the audio (e.g. words she uses, her tone of voice etc.).

Generally, Chloe speaks informally throughout the audio. She continuously uses slang and filler words such as ‘like’. Any adjectives the relate to her informality, modernity or cheeriness would be accepted as a correct answer. Evidence from the audio can range from particular words she uses (e.g. ‘like’) and her intonation (e.g. intonation often rises and falls in a typically ‘Valley Girl teenager’ way).

10. How would you describe Jake’s speaking style? Use three adjectives and include one or more piece/s of evidence from the audio (e.g. words he uses, his tone of voice etc.).

Jake speaks more formally than Chloe but still uses the occasional slang term for a comedic effect. Any adjectives that relate to his formality, seriousness or sarcasm would be accepted as a correct answer. Evidence from the audio can range from particular words he uses (e.g. ‘aneurysm’) and his intonation (e.g. intonation is generally steady and much like an interviewer).

The original passage and questions are here!

Have any questions? Feel free to message or comment! I’m always happy to help. 🙂

Listening Exercise 1 – Chloe & Jake

Thank you to @chloejakepod (Instagram) for allowing me to use this episode! And thank you to Jake himself for kindly editing the 30-minute episode down to 5 minutes for this post.

Listen to the entire thing before answering questions. Feel free to listen to it again while you answer.

Questions

  1. Fill in this sentence: Chloe won _____ dollars from _____ Tatts-lotto scratchies.

a) 4 dollars, 20

b) 19 dollars, 4

c) 4 dollars, 20

d) 19 dollars, 20

2. When was this podcast episode released?

a) Early December 2020

b) 1st January 2020

c) New Year’s Eve 2021

d) New Year’s Day 2021

3. What is Jake’s opinion of the audience’s answers to the first question?

a) Agreement and amusement

b) Disagreement and disappointment

c) Agreement and disappointment

d) Disagreement and amusement

4. Choose the example that best represents Chloe’s idea of an effective resolution.

a) “This year, I’m going to lose weight.”

b) “This year, I’m going to follow an exercise regimen.”

c) “This year, I’m going to improve my life.”

d) “This year, I’m going to become a better person.”

5. Jake talks about a particular answer that used a literary device. What was it?

a) Alliteration, SMART

b) Acrostic, SMART

c) Acrostic, SAMRT

d) Acquisition, SMART

6. Choose the example that best represents Jake’s idea of an effective resolution.

a) Write a story once per week for the whole year

b) Don’t have a resolution at all because they’re too stressful

c) Do various activities that relate to sport (training, joining a sport club etc.)

d) Make a monthly deadline for losing weight (e.g. lose 5 kilos by the end of each month)

7. Chloe states her opinions on resolutions throughout the episode. In which of these statements does she use hyperbole to illustrate a point?

a) “I don’t have the willpower to continue something for a full year and, like, not let it overwhelm me, I suppose.”

b) “As soon as it hits, like, January 1st ’til about February 2nd, the gyms are full. You can’t, like, you cannot get any equipment, the gyms are completely full of people.”

c) “I won nineteen dollars. Nineteen dollars! Tell me anyone who has ever won that much money on a scratchie!”

d) “I almost had an aneurysm saying that.”

8. What is most similar to Chloe and Jake’s dynamic?

a) Employees casually gossiping

b) Friends discussing something they find interesting

c) Strangers having an intense conversation

d) A teacher lecturing a student

9. How would you describe Chloe’s speaking style? Use three adjectives and include one or more piece/s of evidence from the audio (e.g. words she uses, her tone of voice etc.).

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

10. How would you describe Jake’s speaking style? Use three adjectives and include one or more piece/s of evidence from the audio (e.g. words he uses, his tone of voice etc.).

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Check your answers here!

The full episode can be found on Spotify at Chloe & Jake Have Questions. This audio is from Episode 6: “New Years, resolutions, and personality tests”. Listen to every episode on Spotify! (There’s the occasional swear word in the episodes but it’s rare and never disrepectful, I promise!)

The audio is published with full permission from Chloe & Jake Have Questions. The questions are of my own creation.