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Nails (Grade 3)

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Nails

You have nails on your fingers. You also have nails on your toes. Still you probably don't think about them very often. Even if your fingernails and toenails don't cross your mind very much, they play a lot of important roles.

For example, if you have an itch, what do you use to scratch it? If you need to pick a tiny piece of lint off your shirt, what do you use to grab it?

Your fingernails!

Your fingernails aren't just useful for picking up pieces of lint or scratching itches. They exist to help protect your fingers and toes. Looking at your nails can tell a doctor a lot about your body. For example, they can show whether your blood is flowing properly or whether you're getting the right amount of vitamins and nutrients.

Your fingernails and toenails are made from something called keratin. If that word sounds familiar, it's because keratin is also used to create the hair and skin on your body. Just like your hair grows from the root, your nails start growing from the nail root. It is hidden under the u-shaped cuticle. This is the place where your nail meets your skin. The protein from the keratin helps your new nail cells to harden as they push out of the root and onto the skin.

While your fingernails and toenails are constantly growing, they are doing it slowly. A typical fingernail grows about 1/10 of an inch each month. Your toenails grow even slower. That's why you don't have to trim your nails all that often. You do, however, need to trim your nails regularly. By trimming your nails, you help keep them healthy. You also keep them from breaking.

It's important to trim your nails and keep them healthy to prevent problems. Some problems that you may experience include ingrown nails, hangnails, and nail deformities. If you bite your nails a lot, you can cause nail deformities and put yourself at risk for getting an infection. If you drop something on your nail or hit your nail with a hammer, you can get a bruise underneath your nail or even cause your nail to fall off.

Take care of your nails. Be careful not to damage them. Make sure they can keep playing their important role for your body.
1. 
What is the purpose of the second paragraph of the passage?
  1. to show how little people think about their fingernails and toenails
  2. to give examples of the importance of fingernails and toenails
  3. to describe what fingernails and toenails look like
  4. to explain how fingernails and toenails are made
2. 
Which sentence from the passage best explains how your nails can help determine if you are healthy?
  1. Even if your fingernails and toenails don't cross your mind very much, they play a lot of important roles.
  2. Looking at your nails can also tell a doctor a lot about your body, from whether your blood is flowing properly to whether you're getting the right amount of vitamins and nutrients.
  3. If that word sounds familiar, it's because keratin is also used to create the hair and skin on your body.
  4. By trimming your nails, you help keep them healthy and keep them from breaking.
3. 
Which paragraph from the passage best explains why you should take care of your nails?
  1. Paragraph 3
  2. Paragraph 4
  3. Paragraph 5
  4. Paragraph 6
4. 
Which text feature would best support the information in paragraph 4 of the passage?
  1. A picture of someone painting their nails
  2. A chart showing how fast nails grow during different seasons
  3. A diagram labeling the different parts of a fingernail
  4. An microscopic view of a toenail
5. 
Which is NOT a way fingernails are like hair?
  1. They contain keratin.
  2. They grow from roots.
  3. They are different colors.
  4. They must be trimmed regularly.

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