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Type: Multiple-Choice
Category: Author's Purpose
Level: Grade 6
Standards: CCRA.R.6, RI.6.6
Score: 1
Tags: ELA-Literacy.RI.6.6
Author: szeiger
Last Modified: 3 years ago

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Author's Purpose Question

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by Jennifer Kirkpatrick

Under a blazing African sun a female warthog, a kind of wild pig, kneels on a grassy plain. With her wide snout the warthog digs grass roots and eats them while her two piglets stand nearby. Scrambling onto the mother's back, birds called oxpeckers eat bloodsucking ticks and other insects that feed on the warthog's skin.

Suddenly the oxpeckers raise their beaks and hiss. A lion dashes from its hiding place toward them. The birds scatter, and the mother warthog, alerted to danger, grunts loudly. Her piglets squeal and scurry away.

The mother waits a second, then speeds toward her offspring with her tail stiffly erect. The piglets run headfirst into a burrow, then the mother whirls around and backs in. Her large head and tusks block the entrance. The lion circles and soon leaves.

With four tusks and large shovel-shaped heads, warthogs look fierce, but they often avoid fighting predators such as lions, cheetahs, leopards, wild dogs, or hyenas by running away or dodging into a burrow. Warthogs can run as fast as 30 miles (48 kilometers) an hour, often outdistancing a pursuer.

When cornered by predators, warthogs will attack with their sharp lower tusks, which can measure 6 inches (15 centimeters) long. Older warthogs have long curved upper tusks that can grow as long as 2 feet (61 centimeters). These too serve as weapons. Warthogs are generally peaceful, but sometimes a male may attack another male during mating season. The snarling attacker, with his mane and tail erect, charges into his opponent's lowered head. The fleshy, wartlike bumps that cover male warthogs' heads may cushion the blows.

The warthogs butt each other with their snouts and try to push each other down. Most often the weaker male will give up and walk away. Very rarely will a warthog be wounded in these attacks.

Grade 6 Author's Purpose CCSS: CCRA.R.6, RI.6.6

What is the author's purpose in this text?
  1. To entertain readers with a story about warthogs
  2. To inform readers about the life of a warthog
  3. To describe a warthog's general habitat
  4. To persuade readers to support warthog conservation
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