This printable supports Common Core ELA Standard ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.2, ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.3 and ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.6

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Compare and Contrast Informational (Grades 11-12)

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Compare and Contrast Informational

Pets—or Threats?

For many families, having a pet as part of the household is as normal and traditional as having a washer and dryer or a car and a bicycle. Many young people remember with immense fondness the pleasure of growing up with dogs, cats, fish, birds, and other common domestic animals in the home. Pets frequently attain the status of an actual family member, and provide love, companionship, and affection.

What happens, however, when the concept of pets stretches beyond the customary breeds and into the less conventional types such as rattlesnakes, tigers, or even elephants?
While approximately half of the states in the U.S. ban at least some species of dangerous captive wildlife, the other half have little or no restrictions on what creatures can be brought home.

Whether or not people should be allowed to own exotic pets is a matter of opinion. Many pet owners are responsible and knowledgeable about how to care for the unique dietary, housing, and lifestyle needs of unusual animals. Also, although many of these breeds are classified as wild creatures, a number of them pose no actual threat to humans, especially if kept in the proper containers.

Sadly, there are pet owners who are only temporarily fascinated by unique animals. They lose interest or get distracted and stop taking adequate care of the creatures. They may stop feeding them the necessary diet to keep the animals satisfied. They may forget to latch a gate or lid and the animals can escape, or the owners may just decide to return them “to the wild” and let them go. Frightened, confused animals can be especially hazardous to the public, and when those animals are already dangerous, the threat is magnified. Not only are people at risk, but so is the lost pet, as many authorities will find a solution to its escape not through capture and release, but through euthanasia.
Which detail about exotic animals would people on both sides of the issue most likely agree on?
  1. These animals are a risk to the public.
  2. These animals are more exciting than traditional pets.
  3. These animals require special food, housing, and maintenance.
  4. These animals should only be owned by people with special licenses.
What is the primary complication of owning an exotic pet?
  1. Paying for one
  2. Breaking the law to own one
  3. Taking care of one so that it is safe
  4. Finding the right type of shelter for one
What sometimes happens to exotic pets who get lose and threaten the public?
  1. They are returned to the wild.
  2. They are captured and released.
  3. They are humanely killed.
  4. They are taken to local zoos.
All species of wild animals pose some type of threat to the general public.
  1. True
  2. False
               of the states in the U.S. have laws in place about what kind of animals can be owned as pets.
Benefits and Risks

Young people have very busy lives between going to school, spending time with friends, going to jobs, and participating in extracurricular activities. Between the ages of 16 and 21, they often find themselves needing to go here, there, and everywhere. It is completely understandable that parents are sometimes eager to relinquish some of the daily driving responsibilities. Many teens view getting their license as a coming of age experience, an unspoken initiation into adulthood. Not only does having a license make life easier and more enjoyable for teens, but it also tends to simplify life for their parents. From running errands and going to work to taking siblings to friends' houses or sharing the driving on family road trips, there are multiple advantages to having teen drivers in the household. Of course—there are also risks.

Studies have shown that 16-year-old drivers have a higher crash rate than at any other age. They talk and text on their cell phones more and wear their seat belts less than their adult counterparts. Worst of all, death rates have been shown to rise with each additional passenger riding with a driver under 17 years old.

One of the main causes of accidents involving teens is actually beyond their control. Research has shown that particular parts of the human brain, such as the section responsible for decision making, quick judgment and planning ahead, are not fully developed until the mid-20s. This theory has convinced some politicians and parents that the minimum driving age should be raised to at least 18, or even 21, however, the idea is not nearly as popular with young people.
What two things is this passage comparing?
  1. The amount of time teens and adults text while driving
  2. The differences between the capabilities of teen and adult brains
  3. The benefits and risks involved in teens being able to drive at age 16
  4. The risk to passengers when driving in a car with a teen or an adult
Which statement about teen drivers is the most accurate?
  1. They are more apt to wear their seat belts.
  2. They are unable to make rational decisions.
  3. They support raising the driving age to 21.
  4. They are higher risk drivers than adults are.
What is a primary reason to raise the driving age to 21?
  1. To allow a young person’s brain to mature
  2. To lessen the demands on parents
  3. To reduce the risk of cell phone use in the car
  4. To have more time to teach defensive driving skills
There are few, if any, advantages to having a teen driver in the house.
  1. True
  2. False
Some research has shown that the portion of the brain responsible for making good decisions is not fully formed until the                     .

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