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Common Core Standard CCRA.R.10 Questions

Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.

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Grade 6 Summarizing CCSS: CCRA.R.10, RI.6.10

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The Slave Trade
By Brenda B. Covert

1 Slavery has existed for thousands of years. It is described and even defended in early writings of the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Egyptians, and later in Ancient Greece and Rome. People of many different nationalities and cultures have both owned slaves and been themselves enslaved. Even today slavery continues in some parts of the world. However, because of the widespread use of African slave labor in America's early years, we automatically think of the slave trade as primarily African in nature.

2 Initially, most slaves were people who had been captured in warfare. On a smaller scale, criminals and people who could not pay their debts could also be enslaved. The "rules" were different back then. Slaves could earn or simply be given their freedom, and free people and slaves could sometimes marry each other. Over time something changed. Because slave labor was much cheaper than hired labor and new lands needing cultivation were being discovered, the market for slaves began to grow.

3 The Portuguese, Dutch, and British wound up controlling most of the Atlantic Slave Trade - shipping slaves across the Atlantic Ocean to work in the Americas. The Portuguese started the Atlantic Slave Trade with the practice of kidnapping Africans. Then Africans began to offer captives for sale. African peoples fought each other in an effort to capture people to sell as slaves to the European traders. Some African kings were also persuaded - for the right price - to sell some of their own people into slavery!

4 Despite all that, the supply did not meet the demand. Slave traders reverted to the old ways of obtaining slaves. Raiding parties were organized to capture young Africans. Forts were built on the coast of Africa where captured Africans were kept until the arrival of the slave ships.

5 What followed next is called the "Middle Passage." That is the trip across the ocean to the Americas. Slave ships were made to hold as many slaves as possible. The ships' captains packed from 150 to 600 humans into their cargo holds. From about 1520 to the mid-1800's, millions of African men, women, and children were crowded into slave ships for a voyage that lasted from 21 to 90 days. They were wedged horizontally, chained to low-lying platforms that were stacked in tiers. Male slaves were kept shackled together or chained to the ship to prevent mutiny. They were fed twice daily on a pitiful diet of water and boiled rice, millet, cornmeal, or stewed yams. If storms or calms prolonged the trip, rations were reduced even more, resulting in near starvation. Sometimes the captives were made to exercise on deck. If they were lucky, crew members would clean up their "living quarters." Otherwise, the heat and fumes from the filthy holds caused dreadful illnesses and even death. In any event, shock, disease, injuries, suicide, and mutiny killed off at least one sixth during the crossing. Their bodies were thrown overboard.

6 The slave ships stopped first in the West Indies. There the surviving captives would be taught the basics of English as well as the routine and disciplines of plantation life. The captives taken from Africa were generally farming people who also raised livestock. They had grown cotton, sugar, and rice. Africans were also skilled at iron working, music and musical instruments, the decorative arts, and architecture. Those skills served to make them very appealing to the plantation owners who were the prospective buyers at the slave markets.

7 In 1619 the first African slaves arrived in the English colonies in North America. The Dutch ship that delivered them had started out with about 100 captives, but it had run into extremely bad weather that had tossed the captives around like rag dolls in the hold. When the ship finally put into Jamestown, only 20 captives had survived to be sold to the struggling colony.

8 Europeans abolished slavery in the 1800's, but Arab slave traders continued the practice anyway. To put a stop to their activities, fleets of British ships patrolled the coast of Africa to protect Africans from further enslavement.
Grade 5 Places (Stories) CCSS: CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.10, RI.5.2, RI.5.10
Every year, countless people from some of the northern and central states of the country leave snow, ice and freezing temperatures behind by heading south. These "snowbirds", as they are often called, trade in their          gloves          and hats for             sunscreen             and bathing suits. Heading south to escape winter's chill is common, but some             travelers             do just the opposite. They pack the extra layers and the snow boots and head to the village of Jukkasjarvi in          Sweden         . Once they arrive, they check into their hotel, but they don't take off their heavy coats and           scarves          . Why? Because at Sweden's Ice Hotel, everything from the beds to tables is made out of blocks of       ice      .

Why would anyone want to travel to one of the           coldest           places in the world during the winter          season         ? That was a question that a tourist company asked more than 20 years ago. They wanted more tourists so they tried something new. They built a 60 square foot         igloo         out of ice blocks and held an art exhibit inside. People came, but not that many.

One day, a group came to see the           exhibit          , but arrived too late. Instead of leaving, they spread out their sleeping bags and spent the night in the        snow       . Suddenly, a brand new idea was born! The tourist company built an entire         hotel         out of ice blocks taken from the nearby Torne River. They advertised this          unique          hotel all over the world and soon, people came to explore. Now,           curious           guests check in and enjoy the cold. Then, when the warmth of spring returns, the hotel melts into the ground and disappears. It will be           rebuilt           when winter returns.
Grade 5 Places (Stories) CCSS: CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.10, RI.5.2, RI.5.10
Every year, countless people from some of the northern and central states of the country leave snow, ice and freezing temperatures behind by heading south. These "snowbirds", as they are often called, trade in their          gloves          and hats for sunscreen and bathing suits. Heading south to escape winter's chill is common, but some travelers do just the opposite. They pack the extra layers and the snow boots and head to the village of Jukkasjarvi in          Sweden         . Once they arrive, they check into their hotel, but they don't take off their heavy coats and scarves. Why? Because at Sweden's Ice Hotel, everything from the beds to tables is made out of blocks of       ice      .

Why would anyone want to travel to one of the coldest places in the world during the winter          season         ? That was a question that a tourist company asked more than 20 years ago. They wanted more tourists so they tried something new. They built a 60 square foot igloo out of ice blocks and held an art exhibit inside. People came, but not that many.

One day, a group came to see the exhibit, but arrived too late. Instead of leaving, they spread out their sleeping bags and spent the night in the        snow       . Suddenly, a brand new idea was born! The tourist company built an entire hotel out of ice blocks taken from the nearby Torne River. They advertised this unique hotel all over the world and soon, people came to explore. Now,           curious           guests check in and enjoy the cold. Then, when the warmth of spring returns, the hotel melts into the ground and disappears. It will be rebuilt when winter returns.
Grade 4 Animals (Stories) CCSS: CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.10, RI.4.2, RI.4.10
Have you ever seen a diving dog? Every year, thousands of dogs participate in          diving          competitions. During these competitions, man's best friend gets to swim and splash in the water while the crowd cheers them on.

So are dogs good          divers         ? Not all of them. Most dogs need a lot of practice to become good divers. If you have a dog, you can         train         your dog to become a diving dog. Lots of kids do it. The age of the dog doesn't matter either. All that's required is a dog that loves and respects it owner.

Training a dog to dive can also be a great way to help a               disobedient               dog. Dogs who usually have trouble following the rules enjoy learning how to dive because it is more fun than learning to sit or stay. It's also a great way to help dogs burn off          energy         .

Of course, just because a dog likes diving doesn't mean it will do well at a diving competition. Dogs must get used to diving on           command           and being around other dogs. They also have to get used to the noise of the crowd and the diving pool itself. The more competitions a dog participates in, the easier diving becomes. Some          owners          also throw special toys into the pool to make the dog more comfortable.

Dogs who become really comfortable and good at diving can qualify for even bigger competitions. The biggest               competition               is the Dog Olympics. It's called the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge. Every year, the best dog divers in the United States participate in the competition.

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