Courage to Speak
“Any volunteers?” Ms. Chavez scanned the class. Ming slouched farther down in her seat. “Come on now, you’ll all have to interview someone sometime this year. No one wants to go first? Okay, I’ll just have to choose someone.” I am an ant, she won’t notice me, Ming thought. “Ming, why don’t you go first? Come on up and pick a name out of a hat.” Ms. Chavez shook the slips of paper around in the hat. Ming dragged herself up to the front of the room. She drew out a slip of paper.
“Mrs. Russo,” Ming whispered hoarsely.
“Great, the librarian! You’ll have a fine time interviewing her. Now just remember to ask her the questions we came up with, record her answers, and then you can present them next week.” Ms. Chavez cheered as Ming quickly returned to her seat.
Ming knew Mrs. Russo was very nice. She had helped Ming use the computer to find science articles last week. Ming knew she could interview Mrs. Russo. It was the class presentation afterward that she dreaded. Even back home in China, Ming had hated speaking in front of the class. Here in the United States, it was worse. She spoke slowly and with a thick accent. Ming sighed and packed up her books. She had a free period next, so she might as well get the interview part completed.
Ming found Mrs. Russo in the reference section of the library.
“Hi, Ming!” Mrs. Russo said cheerfully. “Need more articles on chimpanzees this week?”
“No, I need to interview you,” Ming said quietly. She suddenly felt shy. Why had Ms. Chavez given this assignment?
"Oh, an interview for what? The school paper?” Mrs. Russo asked.
“No. For Ms. Chavez’s ESL class,” Ming whispered.
“Sure, ask away! I’ll just keep stacking these books if you don’t mind,” Mrs. Russo replied, turning to the shelves. Ming felt relieved. It was much easier to interview Mrs. Russo’s back.
“Are you American?” Ming asked.
“Yes . . . I mean, I was born in Argentina, but I moved here when I was 25. I became an American citizen. Most of my family still lives in Argentina. My husband and our children live here. I am like all Americans, multicultural,” Mrs. Russo laughed.
“Is English your first language?” Ming asked.
“No, Spanish is,” Mrs. Russo replied.
“What does the American Dream mean to you?” Ming asked.“In Argentina, my husband and I couldn’t make enough money to support our family. We knew that we could in the United States. We also knew we’d have to give up being near our family. The American Dream is not perfect. It takes courage and sacrifices, but it is worth it.” Mrs. Russo turned to Ming. Ming smiled. It takes courage not to act like an ant. She understood why Ms. Chavez had given this assignment. She could find the courage to share what she had learned about Mrs. Russo in front of the class.
11. Why does Ming whisper when she speaks? (1 point)
She is tired and worn out.
She is shy and embarrassed.@
She does not like Ms. Chavez.
She is afraid of being overheard.
Read the passage below and answer the questions that follow.
12. Which best describes the main idea in the final paragraph? (1 point)
Ms. Chavez and Mrs. Russo believe in the American dream.
Ming’s assignment is about the importance of the American dream.
The American dream takes courage and sacrifices, but it is worth it.@
Mrs. Russo and her husband moved to the United States to support their family.
13. What is the best interpretation of Ming’s slouching down in her seat? (1 point)
She dislikes the class because it is boring.
She wants to avoid being noticed because she is shy.@
She is angry because she was picked last.
She is too tired to sit up straight in class.
14. Identify the type of figurative language used in the excerpt below.
I am an ant, she won’t notice me, Ming thought.
15. What causes Ming to feel worried about the assignment? (1 point)
interviewing Mrs. Russo
the class presentation@
finding time for the assignment
impressing Mrs. Chavez
16. What is the best interpretation of Ming whispering hoarsely when she says the name on her paper? (1 point)
Ming’s throat hurts from talking so much in class.
Ming keeps quiet when she is in front of a group.@
Ming’s worrying has made her physically ill.
Ming fears getting in trouble for speaking too loudly.
17. What is the story mostly about? (5 points)
18. Identify a detail from the beginning of the story that supports the story’s main idea. (5 points)
19. Identify a detail from the end of the story that supports the story’s main idea. (5 points)
the ones with a @ by it are my answers. I also needed help with the ones that are blank.
Help Ms. Sue LA - Ms. Sue, Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 11:48am
Your answers are all correct.
17. Isn't the story about courage?
I'll be glad to check your answers for 18 and 19.
Help Mrs.Sue LA - Lala, Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 12:27pm
18.When she is shy and doesnt want the teacher to pick relates to the main idea because it shows that when the she is interviewing the teacher she figures out she can do it and becomes confident.
Help Mrs.Sue LA - sally, Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 12:27pm
sorry my brother changed my name err i don't like little brothers.
Help Mrs.Sue LA - Ms. Sue, Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 1:43pm
18 is right.
19. "The American Dream is not perfect. It takes courage and sacrifices, but it is worth it.”