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Grade 3 Vocabulary
Grade 3 Main Idea CCSS: CCRA.R.2, RL.3.2
A Real Grandma
by Joan Strauss


Grandma wasn't like the grandmas Beth saw in books. Those grandmas were in the kitchen with aprons on, baking cookies. They sat in rocking chairs with cats in their laps.

Beth's grandma wore jeans. Instead of a cat, she had a yellow Lab named Sunny.

Beth wondered, Is my grandma a real grandma?

"Can we bake cookies?" Beth asked.

"When we're not so busy," Grandma said, "we'll bake oatmeal cookies with raisins. They're my favorite."

"Why can't we bake them today?" Beth asked.

"Today we're taking Sunny to cheer up the people in the nursing home," Grandma said.

The people in the nursing home liked playing with Sunny. But there was no time to bake cookies.

The next time Beth visited Grandma she asked, "Can we bake cookies today?"


"We're going to build a bluebird house today," said Grandma. "Spring's here. The bluebirds need a house."

Beth had fun hammering nails and painting the bluebird house. It took the whole day. There wasn't any time left to bake cookies.

At Beth's next visit, she and Grandma rode their bikes through the park. By the time they got back, it was too late to bake cookies.

"Grandma's always too busy to bake cookies," said Beth. "I wish I had a real grandma."

"She is a real grandma," Mom said. "She's just a busy grandma. She doesn't have time to bake."

Beth sat quietly, her chin propped in her hand. She smiled. "I know! Since I have time, I'll bake cookies for Grandma, oatmeal cookies with raisins. Will you help me, Mom?"

"What a good idea. Of course, I'll help."

Beth mixed the cookie batter and stirred in the raisins. She dropped spoonfuls of batter onto the cookie sheets.

Mom slid the pans into the oven. The cookies turned a beautiful golden brown. Beth and Mom each ate one. Beth packed the rest in a shiny cookie tin for Grandma.

19When they arrived at Grandma's house, she was digging in her garden. Beth jumped out of Mom's car. She held out the cookie tin. "Grandma, I've got a surprise for you!"

Grandma leaned back on her heels then stood up. "A surprise? For me?" Grandma opened the tin without even taking off her muddy gardening gloves. "Oatmeal cookies with raisins! How wonderful!"

"I baked them for you," Beth said.

"That's even more wonderful." Grandma hugged and kissed Beth.

Beth snuggled into Grandma's arms. She didn't care about Grandma's muddy gloves. Grandma might not be like the grandmas in books, but Beth knew her grandma was a real grandma.


An important message in this story is that...
  1. nature is full of beautiful things
  2. doing things for others brings happiness
  3. outdoor exercise is fun for everyone
  4. working in a garden is harder than baking
Grade 3 Theme
What is the theme of a passage?
  1. the message or lesson
  2. the main idea
  3. the climax of a text
  4. how my people are in the story
Grade 5 Theme
Eddie Schaffer wheeled through the corridors of Riverside Middle School like a race car passing the pit stops at the Daytona Speedway! If Principal Shandling could give out speeding tickets, Eddie would owe hundreds of dollars in fines by now. As it was, the harried principal simply told Eddie to slow down no less than twelve times a day as he mumbled, "I wish all our students were as eager to get to class on time!"

Eddie's friends marveled at his enthusiasm, his teachers were thrilled to have him in their class, and everyone had long since grown accustomed to his bulky, squeaky wheelchair. After all, it never seemed to slow him down.

After school, he played softball right along with the rest of the kids, smacking the ball with his fist and then zooming around the bases like a bolt of lightning. At PE, he was a star athlete, as healthy as anyone else on the playing field. In band class, he played the trumpet like nobody's business.

Eddie's best friend, Jeremy, was just as athletic, but doubly-blessed by the fact that he could still use both his legs. He loved to push Eddie around, saying it made him twice as strong! Some people thought that it was Jeremy who inspired Eddie to do more, go faster, and be better. But those who listened to Jeremey the day Eddie got hurt knew differently.

Monday morning dawned clear and bright for the kids in Mr. Fisker's homeroom class. They made paper airplanes, chatted about the weekend, and visited loudly until their teacher stood up from his desk and made an announcement:
"Gang," he said wearily, as if he hadn't slept the night before. "I have bad news. Jeremy Givens was in a car accident over the weekend, and his left leg was badly broken. They say that even if it heals properly, he will always have a limp from now on."

The class gasped, thinking of Jeremy's many awards and ribbons for running, jumping, and sprinting. They thought of his bright future as a high school track star, now ruined. Boys shook their heads sadly, some of the girls even cried. But not Eddie.

Jeremy's best friend just cleared his throat and raised his hand. "Mr. Fisker," he said proudly. "I know Jeremy, and if anyone can get over having a limp, it's my best buddy. I've watched him run when he was winded, keep doing push-ups long after his arms had turned to Jell-O, and he's never given up yet..."

What is the theme of this passage?
  1. Don't let anything stop you.
  2. Give in to your struggles.
  3. Life often throws you curveballs.
  4. A positive attitude is everything.
Grade 3 Grammar CCSS: CCRA.L.1, L.3.1, L.3.1g
Which sentence is written correctly?
  1. She used a softly voice.
  2. I tried to speak slowly.
  3. This is a badly idea.
  4. That sound is nicely.
Grade 1 Grammar
Which sentence is written correctly?
  1. Is she sick!
  2. Go to the store?
  3. This is, so funny.
  4. Did you call me?
Grade 6 Vocabulary
Grade 10 The Lottery

This question is a part of a group with common instructions. View group »

Grade 11 Thanatopsis
According to the poem, what should people do when they feel afraid of death?
  1. Keep very busy and think about life.
  2. Go into Nature and listen to what Nature teaches.
  3. Read poetry about Nature outdoors under the sky.
  4. Spend plenty of time with friends and family.
Grade 5 Story Elements CCSS: CCRA.R.2, RL.5.2
Finding the theme to a passage is most like...
  1. a camera zooming in to find the details
  2. a camera zooming out to see the entire picture
Grade 7 Story Elements

This question is a part of a group with common instructions. View group »

What would be an appropriate theme for this passage?
  1. Everything always works out.
  2. You should be nice to people, even if they are mean to you.
  3. What goes around comes around.
  4. Always have extra money.
Grade 7 Story Elements
Theme is the...
  1. central message expressed in a story.
  2. way of life.
  3. highest point of interest in the story.
Grade 7 Reading Strategies CCSS: CCRA.R.2, RL.7.2
Money Mark was born rich. He never had to work a day in his life and he got everything handed to him on a silver platter. When he was six, Money Mark wanted to go to a basketball game. His father paid the starting five of the Bulls and Celtics to play a private game of Nerf-ball in Money Mark's bedroom. When Money Mark turned thirteen, he wanted to start a band. His father hired the Rolling Stones to play with him every Saturday at the family's private concert hall, though his family was never there. By the time he was twenty-one, Money Mark was bored with life. He was surrounded by a bunch of possessions that he didn't appreciate and Money Mark could find nothing new or exciting in his life. Despite his vast wealth, Money Mark never found happiness.

Penny Petal was born poor. Her family hardly had anything to eat, but they loved each other. Penny Petal appreciated every thing she got. When she was six, her father walked her around the United Center before the Bulls played the Celtics. She was excited by the crazy fans and feeling in the air. She looked forward to the day that she could see a real game. When she was thirteen, she learned to play the buckets. She was an extremely talented musician, a natural percussionist, and everyone on the block loved the rhythms that poured from her palms. By the time she was twenty-one, Penny was a successful businesswoman. Now she had everything that she had ever dreamed of and she truly loved to share her wealth and happiness with her family who supported her through all of the hard times.

What is the THEME?
  1. Don't be greedy.
  2. Material things make people happy.
  3. Happiness can be bought.
  4. Money is everything.
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