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Seventh Grade (Grade 7) Main Idea Questions

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Grade 7 Main Idea
Most people think it's fine to be busy as a beaver. Little do they know. Beavers may work hard, but often they don't get much done.

Beavers are supposed to be great tree cutters. It is true that a beaver can gnaw through a tree very quickly. (A six-inch birch takes about ten minutes.) But then what? Often the beaver does not make use of the tree. One expert says that beavers waste one out of every five trees they cut.

For one thing, they do not choose their trees wisely. One bunch of beavers cut down a cottonwood tree more than one hundred feet tall. Then they found that they could not move it.

In thick woods a tree sometimes won't fall down. It gets stuck in the other trees. Of course, doesn't think to cut down the trees that are in the way. So a good tree goes to waste.

Some people think that beavers can make a tree fall the way they want it to. Not true. (In fact, a beaver sometimes gets pinned under a falling tree.) When beavers cut a tree near a stream, it usually falls into the water. But they do not plan it that way. The fact is that most trees lean toward the water to start with.

Now what about dam building? Most beaver dams are wonders of engineering. The best ones are strongly built of trees, stones, and mud. They are wide at the bottom and narrow at the top.

Beavers think nothing of building a dam more than two hundred feet long. One dam, in Montana, was more than two thousand feet long. The largest one ever seen was in New Hampshire. It stretched four thousand feet. It made a lake large enough to hold forty beaver homes.

So beavers do build good dams. But they don't always build them in the right places. They just don't plan. They will build a dam across the widest part of the stream. They don't try to find a place where the stream is narrow. So a lot of their hard work is wasted.

Beavers should learn that it's not enough to be busy. You have to know what you're doing, too. For example, there was one Oregon beaver that really was a worker. It decided to fix a leak in a man-made dam. After five days of work it gave up. The leak it was trying to block was the lock that boats go through.

What is the main idea of this passage?
  1. Beavers may be hard working animals, but they don't always choose the most efficient mechanisms.
  2. Beavers are excellent dam builders.
  3. New Hampshire was the site of the largest beaver dam.
  4. Beavers are well developed tree cutters.
  5. Beavers are poor surveyors of aquatic environments in some cases.
Grade 7 Main Idea CCSS: CCRA.R.2, RI.7.2, RH.6-8.2, RST.6-8.2

This question is a part of a group with common instructions. View group »

What is the main idea of this passage?
  1. Greenhouse gases are essential for life on earth.
  2. A century ago, people's reliance on fossil fuels increased.
  3. The planet's climate is shifting primarily because of human behavior.
  4. Carbon dioxide is extremely damaging to people, plants, and animals.
Grade 7 Main Idea
The raisin business in America was born by accident. It happened in 1873 in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Many farmers raised grapes in this valley. That year, just before the grape harvest, there was a heat wave. It was one of the worst heat waves ever known. It was so hot the grapes dried on the vines. When they were picked, California had its first raisin crop.

People were surprised to find how good raisins were. Everybody wanted more. So the San Joaquin farmers went into the raisin business. Today, of course, they do not let the grapes dry on the vines. They treat them with much more care.

In late August the grapes start to ripen. They are tested often for sweetness. The growers wait until the sugar content is twenty-one percent. Then they know the grapes are ripe enough to be picked.

Skilled workers come to the vineyards. They pick the bunches of grapes by hand. The workers fill their flat pans with grapes. They gently empty the pans onto squares of paper. These squares lie between the long rows of vines. They sit in the sun.

Here the grapes stay while the sun does its work. It may take two weeks or longer. The grapes are first dried on one side. When they have reached the right color, they are turned to dry on the other side. The grapes are dried until only fifteen percent of the moisture is left. Then they have turned into raisins.

The raisins are rolled up in the paper on which they have dried. Trucks take them from the fields. They are poured into big boxes called sweatboxes. Each box holds one hundred and sixty pounds of raisins. Here, any raisins that are a bit too dry take moisture from those that have a bit too much. After a while they are all just moist enough.

The big boxes are trucked next to the packaging plant. They are emptied onto a conveyor belt that shakes the raisins gently. This knocks them from their stems. A blast of air whisks the stems away. The water bath is next. Then the plump brown raisins have a last inspection. They are again checked for moisture and sugar. Then they go on a belt to packing machines. Here they are poured into packages, which are automatically weighed and sealed. The raisins are now ready for market.

What is the main idea of this passage?
  1. The process of raisin development requires multiple steps.
  2. California has been the leader in American raisin development.
  3. Raisins on the grocery store shelf undergo a brief fermentation process.
Grade 7 Main Idea
What if someone told you about a kind of grass that grows as tall as the tallest trees? A grass that can be made as strong as steel? A grass from which houses, furniture, boats, and hundreds of other useful things can be made? A grass that you would even enjoy eating? Would you believe that person? You should, for that grass is bamboo, the wood of 1,001 uses.

Bamboo may look like wood, but it is part of the family of plants that includes wheat, oats, and barley. It is a kind of grass. This grass is not just a material for making useful products. Young bamboo is eaten, often mixed with other vegetables, in many Asian foods.

Bamboo grows in many parts of the world. In the United States it grows in an area from Virginia west to Indiana and south to Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. Most bamboo, however, is found in warm, wet climates, especially in Asia and on the islands of the South Pacific Ocean.

In most Asian countries, bamboo is nearly as important as rice. Many Asians live in bamboo houses. They sit on bamboo chairs and sleep on bamboo mats. They fence their land with bamboo and use the wood for cages for chickens and pigs.

Bamboo is used to build large buildings as well as homes. When it is glued in layers, it becomes as strong as steel. On some islands in the South Pacific, bamboo is even used for water pipes. This extraordinary material has many other uses. It is used to make musical instruments, such as flutes and recorders. Paper made from bamboo has been highly prized by artists for thousands of years.

Bamboo is light and strong, and it bends without breaking. It is cheap, floats on water, almost never wears out, and is easy to grow. Nothing else on earth grows quite so fast as bamboo. At times you can even see it grow! Botanists have recorded growths of more than three feet in just twenty-four hours! Bamboo is hollow and has a strong root system that almost never stops growing and spreading. In fact, only after it flowers, an event that may happen only once every thirty years, will bamboo die.

There are more than a thousand kinds of bamboo. The smallest is only three inches tall and one-tenth of an inch across. The largest reaches more than two hundred feet in height and seven inches in diameter. No wonder, then, that the lives of nearly half the people on earth would change enormously if there were no longer any bamboo. No wonder, too, that to many people bamboo is a symbol of happiness and good fortune.

What is the main idea of this passage?
  1. Bamboo has at least 2,000 uses.
  2. Bamboo grows at an amazing rate and is found primarily in Asia.
  3. Bamboo is an amazing grass that can be used in multiple ways.
Grade 7 Main Idea
What question should you ask yourself to find the main idea of a passage or paragraph?
  1. What is happening in this paragraph?
  2. What is going on in this paragraph?
  3. Who or what is the paragraph talking about?
  4. What is the most important point the author wants me to understand?
Grade 7 Main Idea
What question should you ask yourself to find the topic of a passage or paragraph?
  1. Who or what is this paragraph about?
  2. What is the main idea the author is trying to make?
  3. What word is used the most in the passage?
  4. all of the above
Grade 7 Main Idea
Grade 7 Main Idea CCSS: CCRA.R.1, RI.7.1

This question is a part of a group with common instructions. View group »

Which sentence from the text best supports the answer to Part A?
  1. You doubtless know already that the more highly developed the animal, the longer it takes the young one to grow before it is born, and the longer the period when it is helpless to provide its own food and care.
  2. Now we come to human beings, and see how different they are!
  3. Most of the animals have different mates every season, though there are a few kinds where the male and female, once having mated, remain mates for years, sometimes even for life.
  4. But it is only human beings whose mating is what we call “falling in love,” and that is an experience far beyond anything that the animals know.
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