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Fourth Grade (Grade 4) Main Idea Questions

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Grade 4 Main Idea
The sun is some ways away from Earth. It may not seem that far when you look at it in the sky. However, it is so far away that it takes eight whole minutes for the light from the sun to reach us on Earth. And yet, it is still far closer than any other star in the universe.

What is the main idea of this passage?
  1. The sun is far away from Earth.
  2. The sun’s light takes eight minutes to reach Earth.
  3. The sun appears closer than it is.
  4. There are suns across the universe.
Grade 4 Main Idea
Do you enjoy ice cream? Many people over the ages have enjoyed ice cream. The ancient Greeks ate snow mixed with honey and fruit. It really took off as a dessert in the 18th century. Today, people all over the world enjoy the wonderful taste of ice cream.

What is the main idea of this passage?
  1. The Ancient Greeks ate a version of ice cream.
  2. Ice cream has been around a long time.
  3. Ice cream was popular in the 18th century.
  4. Many people eat ice cream.
Grade 4 Main Idea CCSS: CCRA.R.2, RI.4.2
Benjamin Franklin loved the city of Philadelphia. He started the city's first hospital and fire department. Ben also started Philadelphia's first public library. Benjamin Franklin worked very hard to make Philadelphia a better place to live.

What is the main idea?
  1. Benjamin Franklin worked hard to make his city a great place to live.
  2. Benjamin Franklin worked for the fire department.
  3. Benjamin Franklin knew a lot about books.
  4. Benjamin Franklin went to school in Philadelphia.
Grade 4 Main Idea
Libraries have existed for a long time. One of the most impressive of the early libraries was the Library of Alexandria. It was also known as the Great Library. It was estimated to hold tens of thousands of scrolls. Sadly, it was burned down.

What is the main idea of this passage?
  1. The Library of Alexandria was also called The Great Library.
  2. The Library of Alexandria held many scrolls.
  3. The Library of Alexandria was very impressive.
  4. Libraries have existed for a long time.
Grade 4 Main Idea CCSS: CCRA.R.8, RI.4.8
I am very upset with your company and the service I received. I saw a commercial on TV about your latest CD "All the Loud Music Hits" and decided to buy it. I called the number on the screen and ordered the CD and was very excited to receive it so that I could listen to the great songs it was supposed to have on it. It took two weeks for the CD to arrive at my house even though I paid extra to have it arrive in three days. When I got the CD, it was not "All the Loud Music Hits." Instead you sent me "Rockin' With the Oldies" and a bill for $9.99.

Why does the author summarize her experience of discovering, purchasing and receiving the CD?
  1. To provide the company with specific details
  2. To better explain her disappointment
  3. To show where the company went wrong
  4. All of the above
Grade 4 Main Idea CCSS: CCRA.R.2, RL.4.2
In a field one summer's day a grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart's content. A group of ants walked by, grunting as they struggled to carry plump kernels of corn.

"Where are you going with those heavy things?" asked the grasshopper.

Without stopping, the first ant replied, "To our ant hill. This is the third kernel I've delivered today."

"Why not come and sing with me," teased the grasshopper, "instead of working so hard?"

"We are helping to store food for the winter," said the ant, "and think you should do the same."

"Winter is far away and it is a glorious day to play," sang the grasshopper.

But the ants went on their way and continued their hard work.

The weather soon turned cold. All the food lying in the field was covered with a thick white blanket of snow that even the grasshopper could not dig through. Soon the grasshopper found itself dying of hunger.

He staggered to the ants' hill and saw them handing out corn from the stores they had collected in the summer. He begged them for something to eat.

"What!" cried the ants in surprise, "haven't you stored anything away for the winter? What in the world were you doing all last summer?"

"I didn't have time to store any food," complained the grasshopper; "I was so busy playing music that before I knew it the summer was gone."

The ants shook their heads in disgust, turned their backs on the grasshopper and went on with their work.

What is the moral of the story?
  1. Work first, then play.
  2. Share with others.
  3. YOLO (you only live once)
  4. Friendship
Grade 4 Main Idea
In the United Kingdom, they have a lot of different words for things we have. Instead of apartments, they have flats. Instead of flashlights, they have electric torches. An elevator is called a lift. Telly is the word for T.V.

What is the main idea of this passage?
  1. The United Kingdom has different words than us.
  2. An elevator is also called a lift.
  3. Apartments are called flats in the United Kingdom.
  4. The United Kingdom is weird.
Grade 4 Main Idea
Immigration has long been a part of American history. During the immigration boom of the 1800s, many immigrants entered through a place called Ellis Island. This island is in New York City. Here immigrants were processed and, if approved, granted access to the U.S.

What is the main idea of this passage?
  1. Immigrants have a long history in the U.S.
  2. Immigrants would often come through Ellis Island.
  3. Ellis Island is located in New York City.
  4. Immigrants had to be approved in order to enter the U.S
Grade 4 Main Idea CCSS: CCRA.R.8, RI.4.8
I am very upset with your company and the service I received. I saw a commercial on TV about your latest CD "All the Loud Music Hits" and decided to buy it. I called the number on the screen and ordered the CD and was very excited to receive it so that I could listen to the great songs it was supposed to have on it. It took two weeks for the CD to arrive at my house even though I paid extra to have it arrive in three days. When I got the CD, it was not "All the Loud Music Hits." Instead you sent me "Rockin' With the Oldies" and a bill for $9.99.

Which strategy does the author used most when writing the music company?
  1. Emotional appeal
  2. Evidence
  3. Logic
  4. Extreme anger
Grade 4 Main Idea
Your immune system is what keeps you from getting sick. It is made up of two different types of white blood cells. Phagocytes fight off invading germs. Lymphocytes remember the germs so they can be more easily fought next time. Together they do their best to keep you healthy.

What is the main idea of this passage?
  1. White blood cells are part of the immune system.
  2. The immune system keeps you healthy.
  3. There are two types of white blood cells.
  4. Phagocytes destroy invading germs.
Grade 4 Main Idea
The United States used to be a lot smaller. Then President Thomas Jefferson did something to expand it in the 1800s. It was called the Louisiana Purchase. He bought a huge amount of land from France for very cheap. It more than doubled the size of the U.S.

What is the main idea of this passage?
  1. Thomas Jefferson was president in the early 1800s.
  2. The U.S. bought land from France.
  3. Thomas Jefferson was the one to conduct the Louisiana Purchase.
  4. The Louisiana Purchase greatly expanded the United States.
Grade 4 Main Idea
Newburgh, New York was founded in 1752. It would serve as headquarters for the continental army in 1782 and 1783. It really started to grow in the 19th century. That’s when a lot of factories were built. Today the city is more diverse than ever.

What is the main idea of this passage?
  1. Newburgh is diverse.
  2. Newburgh has an interesting history.
  3. Newburgh was founded in 1752.
  4. Newburgh used to have a lot of factories.
Grade 4 Main Idea
The tortoise and the hare were going to have a race. The hare knew he was faster than the tortoise. After the race had begun, the hare decided he was fast enough that he could take a break and catch up to the tortoise later. The tortoise, even though he was slow, kept trying his hardest to win the race. When the hare tried to catch up and beat the tortoise it was too late. He had waited too long to try to win the race and the tortoise beat him.

Which statement provides the best moral for this story?
  1. Being fast means you always win.
  2. Slow and steady wins the race.
  3. You should give up if you are the slowest.
  4. Winning isn't everything.
Grade 4 Main Idea
In the grand scheme of history, pants are new. They weren’t invented until about the 6th century BCE. Before that, people mostly wore tunics or dresses. It took a while to come up with the idea for pants.

What is the main idea of this passage?
  1. Pants were created in the 6th century BCE.
  2. People used to wear dresses or tunics.
  3. Pants are comfortable.
  4. Pants are a relatively new invention.
Grade 4 Main Idea
Fonts are what different kinds of typefaces are called. You are looking at a font right now. Some fonts are sans-serif. This means they do not have flourishes on the ends of the characters. Others do have flourishes. They are called serif fonts. There are many other kinds of fonts as well.

What is the main idea of this passage?
  1. Some fonts are sans-serif.
  2. Some fonts have flourishes.
  3. There are many kinds of fonts.
  4. Fonts are typefaces.
Grade 4 Main Idea
Scrabble is a game that provides hours of challenging fun for you and your friends. In this game you use your letters to build new words from words already on the game board. Scrabble is a fun way to learn new words and meanings.

What is the main idea of the passage?
  1. Scrabble is challenging and fun.
  2. Scrabble is a good game for building vocabulary.
  3. It takes skill to play a good game.
  4. Scrabble can take hours to play.
Grade 4 Main Idea
Yesterday was my birthday. When I woke up, I noticed my brother Josh hung up a big sign that said,"Happy Birthday, Charles!" Mom made spaghetti for dinner.
It's my favorite food in the whole world. My friend Dave came over and handed me a wrapped gift. I wondered what it was. It was a new basketball! I had a great day.

What is the main idea of this paragraph?
  1. Josh got lots of gifts
  2. Charles got a lot of gifts
  3. Charles had a great birthday
  4. Josh had a great birthday
Grade 4 Main Idea
Someday we will all have robots that will be our personal servants. They will look and behave much like real humans. We will be able to talk to these mechanical helpers and they will be able to respond in kind! Amazingly, the robots of the future will be able to learn from experience. They will be smart, strong, and untiring workers whose only goal will be to make our lives easier.

What is this selection mainly about?
  1. Someday we will have robots that will be our personal servants.
  2. We will be able to talk to robots and they will be able to respond.
  3. Robots will look and behave much like real humans.
  4. Amazingly, the robots of the future will be able to learn from experience.
Grade 4 Main Idea
Much like the United States the United Kingdom is a democratic republic. This means its people directly elect other citizens to represent them. Their version of congress is called parliament. They do not have a president, but they do have a Prime Minister.

What is the main idea of this passage?
  1. The United Kingdom has a parliament.
  2. The United Kingdom has a prime minister.
  3. Parliament and the U.S. congress are similar
  4. The United States and the United Kingdom have similar governmental systems.
Grade 4 Main Idea
Wilbur and Orville Wright were brothers who were inventors, even from a young age when they built kites and bicycles. Many people credit the Wright Brothers with designing and building the first successful airplane. In 1903, their first flight only lasted 12 seconds, but it continues to inspire people all over the world to learn about science and math, to work hard to realize their dreams, and to use imagination to achieve success.

The main idea of this passage is inventors build kites and bicycles.
  1. True
  2. False
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