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This printable supports Common Core ELA Standard ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.2 and ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.3

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Finding Main Idea (Grade 9)

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Finding Main Idea

1. 
On Wednesday, the Senate passed a $1.35 trillion tax cut package. This is the biggest reduction in twenty years. The measure lowers all income tax rates. The package now goes to a House-Senate conference committee. In the committee, Congressional and White House negotiators will quarrel over the size and timing of the tax cuts. In the final tally, 62 senators voted for the bill and 38 voiced against it. All 50 Republicans and 12 Democrats joined in support of the package.

What is this news story mainly about?
  1. Negotiators will argue about the timing.
  2. The vote on the tax cut was 62 to 38.
  3. The Senate passed a large tax cut.
  4. Taxes are way too high in America.
2. 
On Tuesday, President Obama chose John McHugh to be the next Secretary of the Army. McHugh is a Republican. His nomination shows that Obama continues to want members of other political parties in some of the administration's most important jobs.

President Obama said that McHugh will ensure that our soldiers are trained and equipped to meet the challenges and threats of our time.

The president values different opinions in his administration. He kept Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense. McHugh joins Gates as Republicans in important positions dealing with the nation's military. McHugh has not agreed with several of Obama's policies. He did not agree with cuts Obama wanted to make in military budgets. McHugh's appointment shows that Obama values his judgment. The president must believe that McHugh will provide him with an important point of view.
A. 
Which sentence from the above passage best describes the main idea of the third paragraph?
  1. "McHugh joins Gates as Republicans in important positions dealing with the nation's military."
  2. "The president values different opinions in his administration."
  3. "He kept Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense."
  4. "He did not agree with cuts Obama wanted to make in military budgets."
B. 
While the passage announces President Obama's decision to appoint John McHugh to be the Secretary of the Army. It has a larger purpose. What is that purpose?





C. 
How could you rewrite the passage so that its main idea becomes solely the selection of John McHugh as Secretary of the Army?





3. 
The city of Irving, Texas, has long been known as a middle-class white suburb of Dallas. One of the world's largest companies, ExxonMobil, has its corporate headquarters there. For more than 37 years it was home to the Dallas Cowboys professional football team. Football is a real passion for many Texans. Driving into Irving from the east, you're greeted by the town's most famous building: the white-domed Texas Stadium with the big hole in its roof. Until 2009, it was where the Cowboys played their home games. The Cowboys have now moved to a neighboring city, where a larger stadium was built. The Cowboys won five Super Bowl titles while based in Irving.

However, Irving is changing fast. The Cowboys have moved out, and Texas Stadium will be torn down. The ethnic makeup of the city is also changing. According to the most recent census data, Latinos made up 41 percent of Irving's population in 2007. The low home prices have attracted many people. Irving also has many city parks. In 1980, Irving was 93 percent Anglo. Many expect Irving's Latino population to increase to more than 50 percent.

You don't need census data to see the change. Many restaurant signs and billboards are in Spanish. Bookstores have large sections devoted to books in Spanish. At a coffee shop, many of the customers order in Spanish. Many customers will order cafe con leche, or coffee with milk, a favorite drink in Mexico. Latin America has definitely made its way to suburban Texas.
A. 
Which of these sentences most strongly supports the main idea of this passage?
  1. "Many expect Irving's Latino population to increase to more than 50 percent."
  2. "Irving also has many city parks."
  3. "Many customers will order cafe con leche, or coffee with milk, a favorite drink in Mexico."
  4. "Driving into Irving from the east, you're greeted by the town's most famous building: the white-domed Texas Stadium with the big hole in its roof."
B. 
Which statement best represents the main idea of the passage?
  1. Irving, Texas is changing fast.
  2. The city of Irving, Texas, has long been known as a middle-class white suburb of Dallas.
  3. Latin America has definitely made its way to suburban Texas.
  4. Many expect Irving's Latino population to increase to more than 50 percent.
C. 
Why does the author begin the passage with a brief description of the history of Irving, Texas?





4. 
Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina, is known as the Paris of South America for its rich cultural treasures and its ability to attract a great many tourists. Lately, however, a bizarre problem has hit the city: it has become very difficult to make change. Indeed, this small economic crisis has come to be known as the great Buenos Aires coin shortage.

People commonly deal in transactions involving only small change, so the problem affects most people in the city. The city buses, the most common form of public transportation, take only change. A quick walk through any of the shopping districts of Buenos Aires will show the casual visitor many No Coins signs in storefront windows. Also, taxi rides are a smidgen more expensive as many drivers have begun rounding prices up to avoid dealing with change. The longest line in the city's central subway station is not for purchasing tickets or getting on the train, it's at the change window!

If you hope to visit this beautiful, up-and-coming city soon, dealing with these small inconveniences is worth it! The artistic treasures, the delicious food, the music, and the nightlife make visiting Buenos Aires truly special. Don't let the great Buenos Aires coin shortage stop you. You do need to plan to spend extra time locating coins for many of your simpler purchases and exchanges. If you are entering the city from other parts of Argentina, get a bag of coins, and take them with you! You may end up being more popular than you've ever been before!
A. 
Which sentence best describes the main idea of the news story?
  1. "You do need to plan to spend extra time locating coins for many of your simpler purchases and exchanges."
  2. "Lately, however, a bizarre problem has hit the city: it has become very difficult to make change."
  3. "A quick walk through any of the shopping districts of Buenos Aires will show the casual visitor many "No Coins" signs in storefront windows."
  4. "If you hope to visit this beautiful, up-and-coming city soon, don't let the great Buenos Aires coin shortage stop you."
B. 
Which sentence from the passage detracts from the main idea?
  1. The artistic treasures, the delicious food, the music, and the nightlife make visiting Buenos Aires truly special.
  2. Indeed, this small economic crisis has come to be known as the great Buenos Aires coin shortage.
  3. People commonly deal in transactions involving only small change, so the problem affects most people in the city.
  4. The longest line in the city's central subway station is not for purchasing tickets or getting on the train, it's at the change window!
C. 
Based on the passage, has the coin shortage negatively affected Buenos Aires and its tourism industry?





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