Notes

This worksheet is aligned with CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.3, and CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.4 PARCC Practice

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Mr. Acton (Reading Practice) (Grade 6)

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Mr. Acton (Reading Practice)

Acton was a clever and highly respected merchant who owed much of his success in life to the system and exactness with which he carried on his business. Then, too, he was so reliable, so honest, and sold his goods so cheaply, that everyone preferred to trade with him.

His home, which he could have furnished luxuriously, was the model of simplicity. The only surviving member of his family was his son George, who was now twenty years of age. He was a sturdy, manly, upright youth; willing and obliging to his friends and kind-hearted to the poor. He reverenced God and everything which should be held sacred in life. He was the joy of his father's heart.

Partly on account of his father's business and partly to increase his own knowledge and ability, George had journeyed to England, and Mr. Acton daily awaited his return.

Late one afternoon, after a day of strenuous work, Mr. Acton sat dreamily near the fireside, smoking his pipe. Mr. Richmond, his bookkeeper, who had been one of his school-mates, and who on account of his loyalty and honesty was classed as his nearest and dearest friend, sat beside him. Together they were planning for a banquet which they would give in honor of George's return.

A knock at the door interrupted their conversation, and in response to the pleasant "Come," the servant entered and delivered a package of letters. Mr. Acton broke the seals and hurriedly glanced over them, in turn. As he took one which seemed to please him, his face suddenly changed color, and the hand which held the letter began to tremble. Mr. Richmond became startled, for he well knew that business losses, which Mr. Acton had often experienced and borne calmly, could not be the cause of this agitation. He touched him lightly on the shoulder and said, with deep concern: "Do tell me what has happened."

"There, read it," said Mr. Acton, with a deep sigh, as he handed him the letter. Then, sinking back in his arm-chair and folding his hands, he stared blankly into the distance, his grief too deep for words.

Mr. Richmond read the letter which a fellow merchant in a distant city had written, and which referred incidentally to the sinking of a ship in the English Channel. Unknown to the merchant, this ship had been the one on which George Acton was to have taken passage.

This sad news stunned Mr. Richmond, but he tried to reassure his friend, and said: "Perhaps your son is among the saved, or possibly he may not have embarked, owing to some business delay."

"You certainly do kindle a faint spark of hope in my heart, my dear Richmond, but I fear it will be extinguished. Let us lose no time in getting all the information we can." He rang, and said to the servant who answered: "Go at once and send this telegram." Then taking up the evening newspaper his eye glanced hurriedly over column after column, and finally he read that the ship Neptune had been sunk, and that eleven persons had been rescued, but no names had been reported.

Between hope and fear, the next day passed. He summoned all his courage and waited anxiously for an answer to his telegram.

All the neighbors, in fact all the people of the town, held Mr. Acton and his son in the highest esteem, and they awaited the news of George Acton's fate in dread suspense. At last the answer arrived: "George was numbered among the passengers on board, but not among those rescued."

Poor Mr. Acton was so overcome that his eyes held no tears. With dumb grief he shut himself up in his room to find his comfort in God, alone.
1. 
Read the sentence from Paragraph 9 in the passage.

You certainly do kindle a faint spark of hope in my heart, my dear Richmond, but I fear it will be extinguished.

What does the word kindle mean as it is used in the sentence?
  1. set on fire
  2. a group of kittens
  3. become excited
  4. inspire an emotion
2. 
Which words from Paragraph 9 best support the answer to Part A?
  1. a faint spark of hope
  2. in my heart
  3. it will be extinguished
  4. Let us lose no time
3. 
Which option describes the main purpose of Paragraph 2 in the passage?
  1. to explain how Acton lived
  2. to describe how Acton felt about his son
  3. to introduce the reader to Acton's family
  4. to establish the setting of the story about Acton
4. 
Which detail from Paragraph 2 best supports the answer to Part A?
  1. His home, which he could have furnished luxuriously, was the model of simplicity.
  2. The only surviving member of his family was his son George, who was now twenty years of age.
  3. He was a sturdy, manly, upright youth; willing and obliging to his friends and kind-hearted to the poor.
  4. He was the joy of his father's heart.
5. 
How does Paragraph 4 contribute to the setting?
  1. It shows how ordinary Mr. Acton's days were.
  2. It describes what was going on when Mr. Acton learned the news of his son.
  3. It provides a date and time for the story.
  4. It offers a list of all those present when the main action of the story took place.
6. 
Which other sentence best contributes to the setting in the same way as the answer to Part A?
  1. Paragraph 2
  2. Paragraph 5
  3. Paragraph 7
  4. Paragraph 11

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