Welcome to Termite Village

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1 Welcome to Termite Village 1 Some of the best home builders in the world have six legs and measure only ⅛ to ¼ inch in length. These industrious little insects, known as termites or white ants, live in many parts of the world. Types of Homes 2 In the United States, termites mostly burrow underground or into rotting logs. In tropical regions or areas where there is heavy rainfall, termites build homes that can be as tall as 20 feet high. This home, called a termitary or termite mound, is actually a system of interconnected tunnels and chambers. 3 In hot, dry regions, termites build complex homes that can last up to 100 years. These termitaries are tall and more pointed at the top and are known as termite towers. Termite towers in the savannahs of Africa reach heights as great as 1,500 feet. Protection 4 Thousands of termites live within each mound and rarely leave the nest. In fact, when they do, they can only live in the open air for a short time. Therefore, a termite mound must be built to provide for all the needs of the insects within its walls. Built from bits of soil and mud cemented together with saliva, the walls become very hard when baked by the sun. The hard walls provide the termites protection from their enemies and the weather. Tower termitary located in the savannahs of Africa. Comfort 5 Termites design their homes to keep a comfortable temperature inside. To do this, a tall spire that acts like a chimney is built on the top of the mound. Passages lead up the chimney and branch out to the sides. Warm air from inside the nest rises and escapes out the thinner walls of the chimney. This way the temperature stays the same inside the termite mound day and night, no matter what the weather is like outside. 6 Inside the mound are rooms, or chambers, for every need. One room, called the royal chamber, is where the king and queen live. The queen s job is to lay eggs. She gets so fat with eggs that worker termites have to attend to her every need. The queen termite lays thousands of eggs every day! Other chambers are used as living quarters, nurseries for the young, and places to store food. Food 7 Termites feed on the wood from twigs that workers collect during the night. They also consume food that they grow themselves! In special garden chambers, worker

2 termites place leaves and other plant material. As the plants begin to rot, a mold begins to grow. This mold can be used by the termites as food. 8 With chambers for growing and storing food, laying eggs and hatching the young, the termites have little need to leave the nest. Their home is so complete, it is like a tiny village. Each termite has its own job to do to keep things running smoothly in the termite village.

3 READING Expository Text - Welcome to Termite Village 1. The information in the passage best answers which of the following questions? A How does a termite build a home? B What is the purpose of a termitary? C How does the termite contribute to the environment? D What are the various jobs of termites within the village? 2. Why did the author most likely write this passage? A to show that termite homes are like human houses B to convince people that termites are hard workers C to provide information about termite structures D to explain the complex nature of termite behavior 3. Which statement best summarizes the main idea of the passage? A Termites, also known as white ants, are little insects that live in many parts of the world. B The termitary is a highly complex structure that provides for all of the needs of the termite. C There are many differences between the tower termitary and the termite mound. D The termite spends its entire life caring for the needs of the king and queen termite. 4. To anthropomorphize is to give human-like qualities to non-human things. Statements from the passage such as: Some of the best home builders One room, called the royal chamber Other chambers are used as living quarters, nurseries are examples of the author s use of anthropomorphizing. Why does the author anthropomorphize the termite? A to help the reader better understand the information B to show his deep admiration and respect for the termite C to convince the reader the termite is an intelligent insect D to suggest that termites are capable of acting like human

4 5. Micah is interested in learning more about the scientific classification of termites, the different species of termites, and their social organization. She found the following sources on the Internet. Which of the sources would be most likely to contain the information she needs? A If you live in an area where termites are a known problem, we recommend that you have your home inspected for termites once each year and before buying a...www.pestcontrolcanada.com/termite B The Formosan termite project is working to determine the extent and severity of the Formosan Termite infestation in Mississippi and to research various...www.msstate.edu/dept/crec/termites C Termites have existed for 50 million years and can be found throughout the world. Learn all about termites and find out how termite colonies are structured animals.howstuffworks D Welcome to the Termites Guide - a guide to how to get rid of termites. This website covers all of the basics - from how you can tell if your home is...www.saybyetermites 6. This passage would most likely be found in which of the following sources? A a book on Africa B a science magazine C a home building journal D a collection of science fiction 7. Read the following sentence. These subterranean, or underground, dwellings are a maze of miles of connected tunnels. If the above sentence were added to the passage, into which section should it be added? A Types of Homes B Protection C Comfort D Food

5 READING Grades 7 and 8 Expository Text S3 C1 Welcome to Termite Village 1. B S3 C1 PO1 2. C S3 C1 PO4 3. B S3 C1 PO2 4. A S3 C1 PO12 5. C S3 C1 PO6 6. B S3 C1 PO6 7. A S3 C1 PO5 Average Readability: 7.3 Lexile: 1090L

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