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SOLs and Number of Questions on the Test

  • Topics we have covered:

    Using Context Clues

    Figurative Language

    Finding and Summarizing Main Ideas/Supporting Details

    Making Inferences

    Narrative Elements

    Organizational Patterns

    Text Features

    Making Predictions

    Prefixes, Roots, and Suffixes


SOLs and Number of Questions on the Test

  • Test Taking Strategies


    1. Read EVERYTHING!
      1. Directions
      2. Instructions in gray boxes’
      3. Passages
      4. Questions
      5. All answer choices


    1. Sometimes you’ll have to read MORE THAN ONCE, sometimes even three or four times.


    1. Slash the trash!


    1. PROVE your answers!


    1. Take SMART breaks!
      1. At a good stopping point
      2. Multiple breaks during the test
      3. You don’t always have to leave the room


    1. Make some NOTES
      1. The second the teacher says start the test, fill your paper with whatever info you think you’ll need

    You can’t do it beforehand, but you get scratch paper...USE IT


  • Context Clues

    Defintion: Context Clues are hints in the text that help you understand words or phrases you may not be familiar with. 


    1. Definition/Explanation Clue The meaning of a word or phrase is revealed by an explanation immediately following.

    Example: “The city holds a bazaar, or market, every other Saturday.”

    The meaning of the noun bazaar can be found in the appositive, market.


    2. Restatement/Synonym Clue

    The meaning of a word or phrase is revealed by a simple restatement or synonym.

    Example: “The remote site was far away from our current location.”

    The sentence provides a synonym, far away, for the adjective remote.


    3. Contrast/Antonym Clue

    The meaning of a word or phrase is revealed by a statement of the opposite meaning.

    Example: “We wanted to contribute to the project, not take away from it.”

    The word not signals that the verb contribute is an antonym to “take away from.” Therefore, the reader knows it means “add to.”


    4. Inference/General Context Clue

    The meaning of a word or phrase is revealed elsewhere in the text, not within the sentence containing the word. Relationships, which are not directly apparent, are inferred or implied.

    Example: “The haberdashery was Lou’s favorite place. He loved shopping for nice suits. The people who worked there were so friendly and helpful.” The meaning of the noun haberdashery is inferred by the information in the next two sentences: it is a place to buy nice suits and is staffed by helpful people, i.e.,it is an upscale clothing store.


    5. Tone and Setting Clue

    The meaning of a word or phrase is revealed by the actions or setting.

    Example: “The hostile dog barked at everyone and everything in sight. He even thought a piece of trash was an enemy, so he barked at it, too.”

    The meaning of the word hostile is shown by the dog’s actions, which are “unfriendly” and “aggressive”


    Here is a google slides lesson with tricks to solving context clues.


    Here is a google slides activity with more practice with context clues. Once you have reviewed the slides, complete this activity on your own paper.




  • Lessons for Finding the Main Idea and Summarizing Supporting Details:

    Here is good advice on how to summarize:(source link)

    1. A summary begins with an introductory sentence that states the article's title and author.
    2. A summary must contain the main thesis or standpoint of the text, restated in your own words. (To do this, first find the thesis statement in the original text.)
    3. A summary is written in your own words. It contains few or no quotes.
    4. A summary is always shorter than the original text, often about 1/3 as long as the original. It is the ultimate fat-free writing.  An article or paper may be summarized in a few sentences or a couple of paragraphs. A book may be summarized in an article or a short paper.  A very large book may be summarized in a smaller book.
    5. A summary should contain all the major points of the original text, and should ignore most of the fine details, examples, illustrations or explanations.
    6. The backbone of any summary is formed by crucial details (key names, dates, events, words and numbers). A summary must never rely on vague generalities.
    7. If you quote anything from the original text, even an unusual word or a catchy phrase, you need to put whatever you quote in quotation marks ("").
    8. A summary must contain only the ideas of the original text. Do not insert any of your own opinions, interpretations, deductions or comments into a summary.
    9. A summary, like any other writing, has to have a specific audience and purpose, and you must carefully write it to serve that audience and fulfill that specific purpose.

    An effective summary:

    • Begins with an introductory sentence that states the article's title and author and restates its thesis or focus.
    • Includes all of the article's main points and major supporting details
    • Deletes minor and irrelevant details.
    • Combines/chunks similar ideas
    • Paraphrases accurately and preserves the article's meaning.
    • Uses student's own wording and sentence style.
    • Uses quotation marks when using phrasing directly from the article or source. 
    • Includes only the article's ideas; excludes personal opinion.
    • Reflects article's emphasis and purpose. 
    • Recognizes article's organization.
    • Stays within appropriate length; is shorter than the original.
    • Achieves transition through use of author's name and present-tense verb.
    • Has few or no mechanical errors. 

    Here is another resource for learning about Main Ideas/Supporting Ideas: PDF Slides: Lesson on Main Idea and Supporting Details


    Practice with Summarizing Use your own paper and write down the answers. Remember to read the passage first!

    Read the following document: Katherine Johnson; now, challenge yourself to write a $2 summary