Posted by Sumii on Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 12:40pm.
Jaws of the Water
At rise we see DAD, TINA, and MARK rushing in and out of the living room. Each enters carrying important items—such as sleeping bags, rain gear, and gallons of water—sets them down, and exits. All three come in together, and MOM bursts through the front door.
DAD: Where’s the water now?
MOM: As high as the car’s wheels.
DAD: We’d better go.
MOM: We can’t. The car’s dead.
MOM: The water is up to the engine; it won’t start.
TINA: Oh, no!
MARK: What can we do?
DAD: I don’t know. (He looks through the window.) It isn’t raining now.
MOM: The water is still rising. The levee must have broken.
TINA: Will we drown?
MARK: Can’t we swim away?
DAD: No! That’s too dangerous. What we need is a boat!
MARK: I wish we had one!
TINA: We’re going to drown!
DAD: (reaching to hug her) No, honey. We’ll just go upstairs. If we have to, we’ll climb onto the roof. (to Mark) Let’s get jugs of water and the camp stove upstairs. I’ll get the canned food out of the basement.
MOM: Be careful! (She smiles and nods as DAD waves a flashlight and exits. MOM turns to MARK and TINA, gripping each child’s shoulder.) Listen to me. None of us is going to be hurt. Do you hear me? No one will be hurt! The worst that will happen is we’ll be cold and wet for a while. (She looks from one to the other.) We’re together, and we’re in our home. We have water and food, and we can climb above the rising water. But just as importantly, we aren’t alone! Other people—our friends and neighbors—are living through this flood with us.
Little by little, everyone will work together to make sure no one is harmed. We’re part of a community. Our family is much larger than just the four of us!
(DAD returns, dripping wet and carrying a box of canned food.)
MARK: Here, let me help you.
1. Why do the stage directions instruct the actor playing Mom to burst through the door and later to grip her children’s shoulders?
A. to show that she is calm about the situation
B. to communicate her excitement at living through such a thrilling situation
C. to show that she is able to control the situation
D. to communicate her worry and the urgency of the situation
2.Based on what she says, what can you conclude about Tina?
A. She wants to swim to safety.
B. She is older than Mark.
C. She has never been in a flood before.
D. She hates getting wet.
Read the excerpt below and answer the questions that follow.
In all of recent American history, there has been no worse river flooding than what occurred on the Mississippi River between late June and the middle of August in 1993. Record flooding affected communities from Minnesota to Missouri. Iowa and Illinois joined those states as the hardest hammered by the floods. At St. Louis, Missouri, the river crested at 49.6 feet—more than nineteen feet above “flood stage.” It was six feet higher than any level that had been recorded before.
Of the 1,300 levees that had been built to contain Mississippi River floods, more than 1,000 failed. Almost 50,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, and more than 70,000 people had to move because of the floods. Damage was estimated to be between 15 and 20 billion dollars. Worst of all, 52 people lost their lives in the great flood of 1993.
3. Which of the following best represents the greatest height above flood stage that the Mississippi floodwaters reached in 1993?
A. the top of a minivan
B. an elephant's shoulders
C. a one-story building
D. a two-story building
4. Which of the following best paraphrases the first sentence of the second paragraph?
A. Mississippians built more than 1,300 levees to contain the river.
B. More than 1,000 of Mississippi’s 1,300 levees broke during the flood.
C. No flood has ever caused so much damage to a river’s levees.
D. Many Midwestern communities were affected when the levees collapsed.
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