This printable supports Common Core ELA Standards ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.2, ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.3, ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2 and ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3

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Mixed Text Analysis (Grade 10)

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Mixed Text Analysis

Passage 1

Natalie had it down to a science. Every Saturday morning she would drive to Camano Park, leave her Chevy pickup truck in the parking lot, and walk along an abandoned hiking trail. The trail led to an isolated section of the park where an old wooden bench sat in the shade of a magnolia tree. The bench had obviously been abandoned to decrepitude long ago: its wooden construction sagged with the weight of past rains and encroaching moss. But the bench was located a great distance from the noise of other visitors to the park, which was essential to Natalie's purpose - watching for birds. Quiet, above all else, was most conducive to bird sightings.

Natalie was an ornithologist, and it was here in Camano Park that she'd spotted more than ten species of rare birds. She was a diligent observer and kept an inventory of the birds she'd seen in a spiral notebook.

That Saturday, Natalie's tremendous patience paid off. Using her binoculars, she caught sight of a reddish-purple color in the branch of a far-off maple tree. It was a purple finch! Immediately Natalie made a note in her spiral notebook. The note read "Purple Finch=1." No sooner had she jotted this note than the finch left its perch and flew directly toward her. She watched as it swooped down and plucked an earthworm from the ground. Then, it zinged past her and alighted on a branch directly over her head.

Taking care to remain quiet, Natalie aimed her binoculars overhead at the branch where the purple finch had landed. Now, she could see a nest. Engrossed, she watched as the purple finch fed its spawn. After watching uninterrupted for almost fifteen minutes, Natalie took out her spiral notebook. She crossed out the "1" that she'd written next to "Purple Finch," and replaced it with a "5."

Passage 2

Family: Fringillidae (finches) in the order Passeriformes
Upperparts of male are raspberry red, with brown wings, tail, and streaks on back. The tail is strongly notched at the tip. Underparts are raspberry red, mixed with white, with little or no brown streaking on the breast and sides. The belly and under tail feathers are white. Female upperparts are heavily streaked with brown, with a broad whitish eyebrow and moustachial streak. Underparts are streaked brown, with a heavy dark streak along the side of the throat. Under tail feathers are white and unstreaked. The song is an energetic, bubbly warble. The call is a soft “pick.”

Similar species: The house finch is a common permanent resident, so in Missouri, if you see a reddish finch between May and September, it is probably a house finch. Male house finches usually lack any purplish cast, and both sexes lack a light eyebrow line and have a square or only slightly notched tail. The call is a rising, two-note “tooit.”

Size: Length: 6 inches.

Habitat and conservation: Common in cities and towns, around farms, and in suburban areas, foraging on the ground or in trees. It frequently attends bird feeders in large flocks. Unlike the house finch, with which it is often confused here in the eastern United States, the purple finch is native to our region. People see purple finches most commonly at birdfeeders in winter. Half a century ago, house finches were rarely, if ever, seen in Missouri; now it is a trick to tell one from the other as they dine at feeders.

Foods: Forages on the ground and in trees for insects, seeds, tree buds, fruits, and berries. Frequently attends bird feeders for sunflower and millet seeds. The conical bill typical of finches is adapted for cracking the seeds of sunflowers, grasses, and more. Animals that eat fruits, including seeds, are called “frugivores.”

Distribution in Missouri: Statewide.

Status: Common migrant; uncommon winter resident. Present in our state from October through April. This species seems to be declining in the eastern and northern parts of its range, and biologists think the decline may be caused by competition with the house finch, which was introduced to the eastern United States in 1940.

Life cycle: Purple finches nest in cool evergreen forests in their breeding range in Canada, New England, and around the Great Lakes. They spend winters in much of the eastern United States. Therefore, unless you see one in a museum, you probably won’t see the nest of a purple finch in Missouri.
In sentence 4, the author says that the bench had "been abandoned to decrepitude." This is another way of saying that the bench is:
  1. wet and slippery.
  2. old and broken down.
  3. small and delicate.
  4. smooth and well-worn.
Why did Natalie chose a more isolated part of the park?

The passage says Natalie is an ornithologist.
The root word ornitho most likely means
  1. animal.
  2. nature.
  3. bird.
  4. air.
Which word best describes the purple finch?
  1. Rare
  2. Populous
  3. Obvious
  4. Ambiguous
Why did Natalie cross out the 1 next to a Purple Finch and write a 5?

Does the bird Natalie saw in Passage 1 fit the description of the purple finch in Passage 2?
  1. Yes
  2. No
Natalie may have actually seen a house finch instead of a purple finch. How could she have distinguished between the two?

To attract more purple finches, Natalie could've put out a bird feeder with sunflower seeds and other favorites of the finch.
  1. True
  2. False
What is the purpose of Passage 2?
  1. To tell about the purple finch, particularly its presence in Missouri
  2. To tell about the purple finch on Camano Island
  3. To tell about an ornithologist who studies only purple finches
  4. To tell a story about Natalie and the time she saw a purple finch
What is the purpose of Passage 1?
  1. To tell about the purple finch, particularly its presence in Missouri
  2. To tell about the purple finch on Camano Island
  3. To tell about an ornithologist who studies only purple finches
  4. To tell a story about Natalie and the time she saw a purple finch

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