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Blinking (Grade 3)

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All day long, your eyelids open and close. Sometimes you open and close them on purpose. Other times, they do it on their own. The rapid opening and closing of your eyes is called blinking. For the average person, it happens up to 25 times a minute or over 5 million times a year.

On the outside corners of your eyes you have something called tear ducts. All day long, these tear ducts work to create tears. The tears help keep your eyes moist. However, if you get too many of them, they can start to cloud your vision. Your eyelids work sort of like windshield wipers. They wipe away the tears to keep your vision clear, but still keep your eyes moist.

You don't have to will your eyelids to blink -- they do it automatically. Your eyelids are controlled by nerves that can tell when your eyes need to be wiped off. The same nerves also can tell when something is coming close to your face, which is why your eyes may blink when someone waves something in front of your face.

You may try to keep your eyes from blinking, but if you've ever been part of a staring contest, you know that's pretty hard to do. Go ahead and try not to blink. How long can you last? Most people can only last around 10 seconds before their nerves kick in. The only time your nerves don't kick in to make you blink is when you close your eyes and go to sleep. When you're asleep, your eyes stay moist so they don't need the tears from blinking.
Why does the author mention windshield wipers?
  1. To compare your tears to the rain
  2. To explain how your eyelids clear tears from your eyes
  3. To show that your eyelids also work in the rain
  4. To compare blinking to driving a car
You can always control when your eyelids blink.
  1. True
  2. False
What controls your eyelids by letting them know when to blink?
  1. your tears
  2. your brain
  3. your nerves
  4. your eyes
Which choice best explains why your eyes blink when a ball comes flying toward your face?
  1. Your eyes tell your lids to close to protect them.
  2. Your eyes close so you don't have to feel the impact.
  3. Your nerves sense something is coming and close your eyelids.
  4. Your eyes can sense when they are in danger and signal for protection.
According to the passage, what is the main reason you need to blink?
  1. to keep your eyes clear
  2. to keep your eyes moist
  3. to keep your eyes dry
  4. to keep your eyes safe
How do tears help your eyes?
  1. Tears keep your eyes moist.
  2. Tears keep your eyes clear.
  3. Tears keep your eyes safe.
  4. Tears keep your eyes dry.
Why does the author include the reference to a staring contest?
  1. to describe a situation in which you can stop yourself from blinking
  2. to reference a time when you may have realized how hard it is to keep from blinking
  3. to show how it is possible to stop blinking for a long period of time
  4. to explain that ten seconds feels like a really long time

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