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II. English Language Arts,
Reading Comprehension, Grade 3

Grade 3 English Language Arts
Reading Comprehension Test
The spring 2009 grade 3 MCAS English Language Arts Reading Comprehension test was based on learning standards in the two content strands of the Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum Framework (2001) listed below. Specific learning standards for grade 3 are found in the Supplement to the Massachusetts English Language Arts Curriculum Framework (2004). Page numbers for the learning standards appear in parentheses.

■ Language (Framework, pages 19–26; Supplement, pages 6–7) ■ Reading and Literature (Framework, pages 35–64; Supplement, pages 7–9) The English Language Arts Curriculum Framework and Supplement are available on the Department website at www.doe.mass.edu/frameworks/current.html.

In test item analysis reports and on the Subject Area Subscore pages of the MCAS School Reports and District Reports, ELA Reading Comprehension test results are reported under two MCAS reporting categories: Language and Reading and Literature, which are identical to the two Framework content strands listed above.

Test Sessions and Content Overview
The MCAS grade 3 ELA Reading Comprehension test included three separate test sessions. Each session included reading passages, followed by multiple-choice and open-response questions. Selected common reading passages and approximately half of the common test items are shown on the following pages as they appeared in grade 3 test & answer booklets.

Reference Materials and Tools
The use of bilingual word-to-word dictionaries was allowed for current and former limited English proficient students only, during all three ELA Reading Comprehension test sessions. No other reference materials were allowed during any ELA Reading Comprehension test session.

Cross-Reference Information
The table at the conclusion of this chapter indicates each released item’s reporting category and the Framework general standard it assesses. The correct answers for released multiple-choice questions are also displayed in the table.

6

English Language Arts
Reading CompRehension
DIRECTIONS
This session contains two reading selections with twelve multiple-choice questions and one openresponse question. For multiple-choice questions, mark your answers by filling in the circle next to the best answer. For the open-response question, write your answer in the space below the question. When 12-year-old Milton Daub sees snow falling outside the window of his New York home, he has no idea that he is living through a historic storm. The Snow Walker is based on real events from the blizzard of 1888, one of the worst snowstorms in United States history. Read the story to find out what Milton does during the storm and answer the questions that follow.

from

The Snow Walker

by Margaret K. and Charles M. Wetterer
Monday, March 12, 1888
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Crack! The sound jolted Milton awake. A howling wind rattled the window. Milton jumped out of bed and pushed aside the curtains. A smile lit his face. Snow! Snow was everywhere. He saw that a giant branch had broken from the maple tree. Now wind was tossing it crazily across the yard. Quickly Milton pulled on his school clothes and ran downstairs. Snow covered all the windows. The hall and parlor were dark. Back in the kitchen, Mama had lit the kerosene lamp. Everyone was eating breakfast, even baby Jerome in his high chair.

“Mama! Why didn’t you call me?” Milton asked. “It’s after 7:30. I’ll be late for school.”
“No school today,” his mother replied. “There’s a wall of snow blocking the front door.”
“We’ll all stay home,” said his father. “It’s dangerous out in that storm.” “We have plenty of food,” Mama said, checking the icebox. “But I do wish we had more milk.”
“I’ll go and buy some,” Milton offered.
“Don’t be foolish, Milton!” his father exclaimed. “The drifts1 are already climbing to the second...
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