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Glowworm Grotto (Grade 5)

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Glowworm Grotto

A trip to the North Island in New Zealand is full of exotic places to see. This island is home to volcanoes and beaches. It has thousands of species living in its waters. It is home to the rich culture of the Maori. One of the island's most incredible sights, however, is found deep under the ground.

Deep in New Zealand's Waitomo Caves is a special place known as the Glowworm Grotto
Cavern. It is not easy to reach. Visitors can only get there in boats, but the journey alone is worth the trip. To get to the grotto, tourists float through a series of caves designed to delight. The beautiful and fragile growths rising up from the floor of the caves are equal only to those growing down from the ceilings.

As amazing as these caves are, the grotto is unlike anything else found on earth. It is pitch black except for the dense layer of stars glittering above visitors' heads. How are underground stars possible? They aren't. Instead, each spark in the darkness is a tiny fly found only in New Zealand. Thanks to a mix of chemical reactions, these flies glow in the dark in order to attract their food. The hungrier the flies are, the brighter they glow!
What is the main idea of this passage?
  1. Amazing sites can be found inside cave systems.
  2. The North Island is home to many different species.
  3. The underground grotto in New Zealand is full of glowing flies.
  4. Chemical reactions can help creatures glow in the dark as part of their survival.
What is the most likely reason only a limited number of people see the glowworm grotto?
  1. It is too difficult to get to.
  2. Few people live in New Zealand.
  3. Tourists rarely venture into caverns.
  4. It is far too dangerous for people to visit.
Which detail would fit best in the second paragraph of the passage?
  1. What the Maori culture is like
  2. The technical names of the cave growths
  3. How long the glowworm's life cycle typically is
  4. The sizes and materials used to make the boat caves

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