Laying the Foundation English Diagnostic Activity Comparison/Contrast Grade 7 KEY

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1 Multiple Choice Activity Mother to Son and Fear Answer Section 1. ANS: D The correct answer is choice D. The colon introduces the advice the mother is going to offer the son. She offers this advice in a narrative form, explaining how she has been climbing and making progress, even in the dark. Choice A is incorrect because a colon does not end a sentence. Choice B is incorrect. The point of view is established in the first line but not by the colon. Choice C is incorrect because the first line offers no contrast between the mother and son; for that matter, the mother does not contrast herself with her son anywhere in the poem, but rather offers herself as an example for him to follow. Choice E is incorrect because the function of the colon is not primarily to separate the first two lines, though it clearly does so. It actually separates the first line from the rest of the poem, as the words in the first line tell the son that she is about to tell him something, and the rest of the poem tells him that something. PTS: 1 DIF: Easy REF: R U OBJ: Grammar STA: (7.16)B TOP: Mechanics KEY: Punctuation MSC: Obj. 2 Writing, Obj. 6 Writing 2. ANS: D The correct answer is choice D. Throughout the entire poem, lines 2-20, life is compared to a set of stairs not a crystal stair, but a rough, uncarpeted one. This is an extended, controlling metaphor, one that controls the entire poem. Choice A is incorrect because there is no comparison using like, as, or any other comparing word, so there is not a simile. Choice B is incorrect because there is no allusion to any historical, mythological, or literary work. Choice C is incorrect. The mother s description of her life does not include hyperbole (deliberate exaggeration for effect). Choice E is incorrect. Life is not compared here to a person here, but to an object (a stair), so there is no personification. STA: (7.12)J TOP: Figures of Speech KEY: Metaphor MSC: Obj. 2 Reading 3. ANS: A The correct answer is choice A. A crystal is clear and reflects the light, representing elegance and ease, the opposite of this woman s life, sometimes spent in the dark. Choice B is incorrect. The dark has a negative connotation, as do splinters, so these two images are presented as similar, rather than as contrasts. Choice C is incorrect. Turnin corners is what the speaker has been doing despite the dark, but it is an action, not a condition like the dark, so it is not the best answer. Choice D is incorrect. The fact that the mother s life has been kinder hard is an effect of the dark, not an element in contrast with it. Choice E is incorrect. Honey is what the speaker calls her son and is not related to the dark. STA: (7.10)H TOP: Reading Strategies KEY: Inference

2 4. ANS: D The correct answer is choice D. The reader appreciates more fully the mother s hardships by hearing about them from her. Choice A is incorrect because using third person would create a more objective tone. Choice B is incorrect. The point of view does not have anything to do with the son s involvement in his mother s life. Choice C is incorrect. The point of view does highlight the mother s advice, since she is speaking directly to her son, but this is not the primary function of the point of view. Choice E is incorrect because the author could show the mother s difficulties through other points of view as well. STA: (7.12)H TOP: Literary Elements KEY: Point of View MSC: Obj. 3 Reading 5. ANS: E The correct answer is choice E. Lines 2 and 20 repeat the idea that the mother s life ain t been no crystal stair. Choice A is incorrect because there is no irony in this poem; rather, the speaker uses a straightforward, passionately caring and sincere tone. Choice B is incorrect because the mother does not use sarcasm in an attempt to hurt her son; she is trying to help him to face a difficult life. Choice C is incorrect because there is no allusion to any event, historical, mythological, or literary, in this poem. Choice D is incorrect because no inversion (verb before the subject) is found in the poem. PTS: 1 DIF: Medium REF: R U OBJ: Grammar STA: (7.19)A TOP: Syntax Techniques KEY: repetition MSC: None 6. ANS: A The correct answer is choice A. The tacks, splinters, boards torn up, no carpet on the floor, and bare[ness] combine to create a sense of a harsh, bleak, difficult life. Choice B is incorrect. There is, perhaps, a touch of sadness in the mother s description of her life, but that feeling is overshadowed by a tough, strong attitude that she attempts to transmit to her son. Emptiness speaks to a lack of will and courage, neither of which is lacking in the speaker. Choice C is incorrect. Though some of these images do suggest violence, this combination is not the best answer. Rather than sounding depressed, the speaker matter-of-factly lists the metaphorical obstacles she s faced. Choice D is incorrect. Although the mother creates these images in a straightforward manner, a sense of resignation is not created; rather, they are listed as obstacles to overcome, not to resign oneself to. Choice E is incorrect. While such obstacles could cause bitterness, the tone is not bitter, but bold; these difficulties are tough, she seems to say, but she is tougher. STA: (7.10)D TOP: Literary Elements KEY: imagery MSC: None

3 7. ANS: C The correct answer is choice C. The mother s dialect is characterized by language such as ain t been no crystal stair, I se been a-climbin on, it s kinder hard, etc. Her language is simple and concrete she mentions tacks, splinters, boards, carpet, floor, etc. Choice A is incorrect. Although the mother s language includes dialect, it also includes concrete diction. Choice B is incorrect. Although the mother s language does include dialect, it does not include idioms. Choice D is incorrect. Although the mother s language does include concrete diction, it does not include idioms. Choice E is incorrect. Although the mother s language does include dialect and concrete diction, it does not include idioms. STA: (7.9)F TOP: Literary Elements KEY: diction MSC: Obj. 1 Reading 8. ANS: B The correct answer is choice B. The compound verbs are a-climbin, reachin, turnin, and goin. The dependent clause is Where there ain t been no light. Choice A is incorrect. Although the sentence does include compound verbs, it also includes a dependent clause. Choices C, D, and E are incorrect because the sentence does not contain an infinitive phrase ( to plus a verb). PTS: 1 DIF: Medium REF: R U OBJ: Grammar STA: (7.17)A TOP: Clauses KEY: Dependent/Subordinate MSC: Obj. 2 Writing, Obj. 4 Writing 9. ANS: C The correct answer is choice C. These three sentences are imperative, issuing a directive to the son in each one Don t. Choice A is incorrect. Two of the sentences are simple (lines 14 and 17), but lines form a complex sentence. Choice B is incorrect because there are no compound sentences (two independent clauses joined by a semicolon or by a comma and coordinating conjunction) in these lines. Choice D is incorrect because these sentences are not declarative, but imperative. Choice E is incorrect because none of these sentences are questions (interrogative). PTS: 1 DIF: Easy REF: R OBJ: Grammar STA: (7.17)A TOP: Sentences KEY: Purpose MSC: None

4 10. ANS: C The correct answer is choice C. These words signal transitions between ideas, either by introducing a contrasting idea ( but ) or by linking one idea to the next ( so and for ). Choice A is incorrect because these conjunctions do not add suspense, but rather move the ideas forward in a predictable way. Choice B is incorrect. While the hardworking, long-suffering mother might be seen as an archetype, these conjunctions certainly don t introduce that idea. Choice D is incorrect because the conjunctions do not mark a conflict; rather, they show a progression of ideas. Choice E is incorrect because no details are provided through the use of but, for, or so. PTS: 1 DIF: Medium REF: R U OBJ: Composition STA: (7.15)H TOP: Organization KEY: Transitions MSC: Obj. 1 Writing 11. ANS: C The correct answer is choice C. Despite the obvious hardships she has endured, the mother expresses no resentment. Choice A is incorrect. The mother is indeed affectionate toward her son, though her affection is partially covered up by a no-nonsense attitude. But she uses the loving term honey in addressing her son, and it is because of her love for him that she wants to advise him. Choices B and D are incorrect. The mother is humble, not asking for any undue credit, and determined, as is clear in her statement that she is still goin. Choice E is incorrect. The speaker has had much experience with the world, experiences that she describes through the use of the central metaphor, the dark, rough set of stairs. PTS: 1 DIF: Hard REF: R U OBJ: Close Reading STA: (7.12)F TOP: Literary Techniques KEY: Characterization: indirect MSC: Obj. 2 Reading 12. ANS: A The correct answer is choice A. These words follow the verb has had and answer the question What? thus making them direct objects. Choice B is incorrect because these words do not answer the questions to whom, for whom, to what, or for what, and so are not indirect objects. Choice C is incorrect. These words do not serve as the subjects of the sentence; the subject of this sentence is it. Choice D is incorrect. These words are not adjectives at all, but nouns, and so cannot be predicate adjectives. Choice E is incorrect. Although these words are nouns, they do not follow a linking verb, and so cannot be predicate nominatives. PTS: 1 DIF: Easy REF: R OBJ: Grammar STA: (7.17)C TOP: Usage KEY: Direct objects MSC: Obj. 2 Writing, Obj. 5 Writing

5 13. ANS: E The correct answer is choice E. The message throughout this poem is that people should carry on with life despite hardships, as the speaker has done. Choice A is incorrect. This mother s personality is not defeated but triumphant. Choice B is incorrect. Weak people often do give up in difficulties, but this is not a theme in the poem; besides, the mother is anything but weak. Choice C is incorrect. The speaker does not believe that her son s life will be easier than hers; if she did, she would not be advising him in this way. She must believe that he will face the same hardships she has faced. Choice D is incorrect because this iis not an idea presented in this poem; the speaker clearly believes that children need advice from their parents. PTS: 1 DIF: Hard REF: R U A A OBJ: Close Reading STA: (7.11)D TOP: Literary Elements KEY: Theme 14. ANS: D The correct answer is choice D. The mother is earnest and passionate in desiring for her son to be independent and to deal manfully with life s struggles. Choice A is incorrect. While the poem does possess a calm sense, it possesses more vigor than a poem should to be referred to as meditative. Choice B is incorrect. The poem is not dark or foreboding but rather hopeful. Choice C is incorrect. The mother is heroic, but the poem contains no archetypes. Choice E is incorrect because the tone certainly is not pitiful the mother is strong and admirable. PTS: 1 DIF: Hard REF: R U A A OBJ: Close Reading STA: (7.12)K TOP: Literary Elements KEY: Tone 15. ANS: E The correct answer is choice E. The mother shows her determination to keep struggling in the words For I se still goin, honey, I se still climbin. Choice A is incorrect. The mother does not rebuke her son but encourages him. Choice B is incorrect. The conclusion does not concern light and darkness, and there is no sense that the speaker feels that life will easier for her son. Choice C is incorrect because the mother addresses her son in the first line. Choice D is incorrect because the poem does not show us the son s response. STA: (7.10)G TOP: Reading Strategies KEY: Paraphrase MSC: Obj. 1 Reading

6 16. ANS: E The correct answer is choice E. In both poems, the mothers express sincere, earnest concern for the wellbeing of their children. In Fear, the mother wants to keep her daughter close to her and safe. In Mother to Son, the mother wants to offer advice about overcoming the difficulties in life. And it is certainly hard for a mother to speak of her child s safety and well-being without becoming emotional. Choice A is incorrect. Although the tone of both poems is sincere, both are also concerned and emotional. Choice B is incorrect. Although the tone of both poems is sincere and concerned, both are also emotional. Choice C is incorrect. Although the tone of both poems is concerned, both are also sincere and emotional. Choice D is incorrect. Although the tone of both poems is concerned and emotional, both are also sincere. PTS: 1 DIF: Medium REF: R U A A OBJ: Close Reading STA: (7.12)K TOP: Literary Elements KEY: Tone 17. ANS: E The correct answer is choice E. Mother to Son repeats lines 2 and 20 as the main idea of the poem: Life for me ain t been no crystal stair. In Fear, the first two lines and the last two lines of each stanza are the same. Choice A is incorrect. Both speakers speak metaphorically, rather than in hyperbole. Choice B is incorrect. Neither mother speaks ironically, but rather sincerely. They both passionately want to protect their children from the difficulties of life. Choice C is incorrect. In neither poem are there inverted sentences; rather, the sentences are written in standard fashion, with the subject coming before the verb. Choice D is incorrect. Situational irony does not exist in either poem, for in neither case does something unexpected occur. Actually, nothing occurs ; these are expressions of feeling, not narratives involving action. PTS: 1 DIF: Medium REF: R U A A OBJ: Grammar STA: (7.12)C TOP: Syntax Techniques KEY: Repetition MSC: Obj. 3 Reading 18. ANS: B The correct answer is choice B. Neither poem includes rhyme. Choices A, C, D, and E are incorrect. Mother to Son contains imperative sentences (commands) in lines 14-17, but Fear contains none. Mother to Son also employs dialect, while Fear does not. STA: (7.12)C TOP: Sound Devices KEY: Rhyme MSC: Obj. 3 Reading

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