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Friday, November 20, 2015


A snow leopard roars in the high mountains of Asia. A black rhinoceros gallops across the plains of Africa. A grizzly bear hunts for fish in a North American river. A mother blue whale and her calf glide through the deep waters of the ocean.

All of these animals share the Earth with us. They fascinate us with their beauty, their grace, and their speed. We love observing their behavior, and learning more about their habits. But just loving them is not enough. All of these animals are endangered. Many of them have died, and without special care, they may someday disappear from the Earth.

Why is it important to care for animals like these? One reason is to     protect the balance of life on Earth. Another reason is the beauty of the animals themselves. Each species of animal is special. Once it is gone, it is gone forever.

Africa was once filled with an abundance of wild animals. But that is changing fast. One of these animals, the black rhinoceros, lives on the plains of Africa. It has very poor eyesight and a very bad temper! Even though the black rhino is powerful, and can be dangerous, its strength can’t always help it to escape hunters. Some people think that the rhino’s horn has magical powers, and many hunters kill rhinos for their valuable horns. This has caused the black rhino to be placed on the endangered species list.

The elephant seems to represent all that is strong and wild in Africa. It once had no natural enemies, but is now endangered—killed for its ivory tusks.

The fastest land animal, the cheetah, also lives in Africa. It, too, is becoming extinct as people take over more and more of the land that is the cheetah's natural habitat.

Imagine Africa without the powerful rhino, the gentle, intelligent elephant, or the lightning quick cheetah. Once they are gone, they are gone forever.

Wherever people are careless about the land, there are endangered species.

Grizzly bears like to wander great distances. Each bear needs up to 1,500 square miles of territory to call its homeland. Today, because forests have been cleared to make room for people, the grizzly’s habitat is shrinking and the grizzly is disappearing. It joins other endangered North American animals, such as the red wolf and the American crocodile.

In South America, destruction of the rain forest threatens many animals. Unusual mammals, such as the howler monkey and the three-toed sloth, are endangered. Beautiful birds like the great green macaw and the golden parakeet are also becoming extinct. They’re losing their homes in the rain forest, and thousands die when they are caught and shipped off to be sold as exotic pets.

The giant panda of Asia is a fascinating and unique animal. Yet there are only about 1,000 still living in the wild. The giant panda’s diet consists mainly of the bamboo plant, so when the bamboo forests die, so does the panda. China is now making an effort to protect these special creatures from becoming extinct.

Asia’s big cats are also in trouble. The exotic snow leopard lives high in the mountains. Even there, it faces the loss of its natural habitat, and hunters who kill it for its fur. The tiger, the largest of all the big cats, is hunted merely for sport.

Ocean-dwelling animals are in danger of extinction as well. The blue whale is the largest animal in the world. It weighs up to 390,000 pounds. Whale hunting and pollution are this species’ greatest enemies.

Unfortunately, it is people who cause many of the problems that animals face. We alter and pollute their habitats. We hunt them for skins, tusks, furs, and horns. We destroy animals that get in the way of farming or building. And we remove them from their natural habitats and take them home as pets.

What can you do to help endangered animals? Learn as much as you can about them. The more you know, the more you can help. Make an effort to support zoos and wildlife groups. Many zoos breed endangered animals, helping to ensure that they will continue to live on. Contribute to groups, such as the National Wildlife Federation and the Sierra Club, that work hard to protect animals. You can also be a smart shopper and never buy a pet that has been raised in the wilderness.

The world is made up of many living things, and each thing is dependent on the others to survive. If we allow even one species on Earth to become extinct, it has an impact on other living things and changes our world. When we mention any endangered wild animals, let’s hope that we never again have to say, "Gone forever."
Now answer the following questions.
Which of the following is NOT an opinion?
It is important for us to take care of endangered animals.
The black rhinoceros is the most frightening animal in Africa.
The fastest land animal, the cheetah, also lives in Africa.
If we don’t protect endangered animals now, we will regret it in the future.
Read this quote.

Why is it important to care for animals like these? One reason is to protect the balance of life on Earth.
What does the author mean by the balance of life on Earth? Why is it important? Use details from the article to support your answer.
Read this sentence from the article.
Today, because forests have been cleared to make room for people, the grizzly’s habitat is shrinking and the grizzly is disappearing.
What does habitat mean?
an animal’s natural environment
a bear’s thick wool coat
a bear’s den
an animal’s vision
Is the author effective in persuading the reader that protecting endangered animals is important? Why or why not?
Use details from the article to support your answer.
Which of the following does NOT support the main idea of the article?
Ocean-dwelling animals are in danger of extinction as well.
Beautiful birds like the great green macaw are also becoming extinct.
Wherever people are careless about the land, there are endangered species.
The elephant seems to represent all that is strong and wild in Africa.
Read this sentence from the article.
They fascinate us with their beauty, their grace, and their speed.
What is an antonym for the word fascinate
What will happen to some animal species if current trends continue?
Their numbers will increase.
There will be no significant change.
They will become extinct.
They will move to other habitats.
How does the author feel about the fate of endangered animals?


Read the story "A Letter from New York" before answering Numbers 1 through 8 in the Answer Section.
Dear Aunt Julia,

I have so much to tell you, I don’t know where to begin! Remember last summer when I told you that I was planning to enter the TeenSay Magazine essay contest? Well, I entered, and my essay, "Improving Community Safety," won! The prize was a weekend trip to New York City, with a visit to the TeenSay offices to see how they publish the magazine each month. Three of us were chosen to go from Texas: two other contest winners, and myself.

My mom took me to the airport for the flight to New York, and I have to admit I was nervous! I’ve flown before, but never without my parents. But when we got to the airport and met the other people in our group, I relaxed. The group leader, Ms. Alvarez, was really friendly and easy to talk to. She is in charge of marketing and special promotions at TeenSay Magazine. While we waited for our flight, she described the activities we’d be participating in that weekend. She also introduced me to the other contest winners. Irene is from Arlington, and she’s 13 years old like me. She won a prize for the series of photographs she took when her family drove across the country last summer. The other winner is a 15-year-old boy named Eddie. Eddie won the TeenSay community spirit award for cleaning up and improving the neighborhood parks in his town. Irene and Eddie both seemed like a lot of fun. Before our plane even took off, we were laughing and telling jokes like we’d known each other forever.

I was surprised at how quick the flight seemed. Since Ms. Alvarez and I were sitting next to each other, she told me a lot about herself and how she had ended up working at TeenSay Magazine. She said that as a young girl she had always enjoyed writing stories and interviewing people. She also loved planning and organizing events. She was always in charge of planning her school’s dances and fundraisers, and even organized her family’s big reunion party every year. After college, she got a job as a reporter at TeenSay, and then she gradually moved into their marketing and special promotions department. She said that she still occasionally writes an article for them, but she loves what she does now. I told her that I was thinking about becoming a reporter someday, and she said that she thought I could do it if I worked really hard.

Before I knew it, we were landing in New York. At the airport, we were picked up in a limousine—just like celebrities! We drove to the TeenSay offices downtown. All during the ride, Irene and Eddie and I were pressed up against the windows like little kids, staring at the buildings and the people we passed. You wouldn’t believe how different New York is from Texas! The colors, the smells, the noises—everything is different. We couldn’t get over how crowded it was: all of the people and cars on the streets and so much going on. We were excited to jump in and start seeing the sights.

When we arrived at the TeenSay offices, Ms. Alvarez took us on a tour. We got to see how a magazine goes from a rough manuscript to a finished issue. I couldn’t believe how much work and detail goes into each issue, and how many people it takes to do the work. My favorite part was seeing the bulletin board where sketches, rough drafts, and outlines get pinned up in sequence. We also met many of the employees, from illustrators and writers to photographers and editors, and they answered all of our questions.

By the time the tour was over, Ms. Alvarez could tell that we were getting tired. She took us to her favorite restaurant, and on the way there we had a chance to do some window-shopping and check out some of the sights. All around us, people were speaking different languages. I told Ms. Alvarez     that I thought I could spend a whole year in New York and still not see everything!

When I see you at Mom’s birthday party next week, I will tell you all about the sightseeing we are going to do tomorrow. I am enclosing a copy of my essay with this letter. So far, it has been a great trip.

Now answer the following questions.
From whose point of view is this story told?
Ms. Alvarez’s
Aunt Julia’s
Yoshiko is in New York City because
she won the trip in an essay contest.
she is visiting her Aunt Julia.
Ms. Alvarez invited her to visit TeenSay Magazine.
she wants to be a reporter someday.
How would you describe Ms. Alvarez?
Use details from the story to support your answer.

What conclusion can you draw about Yoshiko and Aunt Julia?
They do not have a very good relationship.
They are close and share their experiences with each other.
Yoshiko writes to her aunt because her mother wants her to.
Yoshiko and her aunt travel together frequently.
Where does Yoshiko’s adventure begin?
at the TeenSay offices
at home
in New York City
at the airport
Read this sentence from the story.
She also loved planning and organizing events.

What does organizing mean?
taking part in
What are some of the differences between New York and Yoshiko’s hometown?

Use details from the story to support your answer.

Read this sentence from the story.
She said that she still occasionally writes an article for them, but she loves what she does now.

What is a synonym for the word occasionally?