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[Susan notes: Obviously, many children will be at a disadvantage if they don\'t know what a lasso is.

In question 2, I see a lot of opinions: Mike has an opinion on how to tie a lasso. He has an opinion about hard work. Someone thinks the calf\'s nose is pink and soft. Others might disagree. Some may think the pond is still frozen, but if you read the paragraph, you\'ll find out that a calf fell through. So just what do the writers and test makers mean by frozen?]

Item Sampler Reading and Language Arts, Grade 5

Lydia’s Lasso

“This is how you tie a lasso,” said Mike. He took Lydia’s rope and made a large
loop in one end. Then he tied the loop to the main part of the rope with a special knot.
When Mike slid the knot up or down the rope, the loop of the lasso got smaller or

Lydia’s eyes sparkled. “Thank you, Mike!” she said. Mike was Lydia’s cousin, and he was nearly sixteen years old. “Now I can help you and Uncle Carlos round up the

“I don’t think so, Lydia,” said Mike. “This is hard work, and it can be dangerous. It’s best if you go over by the pond and watch from there.” Lydia looked over at the
pond. It was a good quarter of a mile away from all the action. From there she would hardly be able to see anything. She certainly would not be able to help.

“But Mike!” she pleaded. “You might need me.”

“Lydia, go on to the pond.” Mike walked off to join Uncle Carlos, and Lydia was left alone, as usual.

Lydia dragged her feet all the way to the pond. She lassoed a bush, and then she lassoed a fencepost. It just wasn’t the same. She wanted to lasso cattle from high atop a horse. She could do it, if only they would give her a chance.

The pond was still frozen from the winter temperatures, but Lydia could see that
the edges were beginning to melt. She lassoed a log that had been frozen upright in the
ice. This was boring. . . .

“Lydia’s Lasso” by Lesli Favor, copyright © 2001 by CTB/McGraw-Hill.

You can read the rest of the passage at

Here are two questions based on this passage.

1. Kim is writing a paragraph about the character Lydia in the passage "Lydia's Lasso." Read her topic sentence.

Lydia is a brave girlwho wants to help more on the ranch.

Which sentence from the story best supports Kim's topic sentence?

a) Mike was Lydia's cousin, and he was nearly sixteen years old.

b) She lassoed a log that had been frozen upright in the ice.

c) She wanted a lasso cattle from high atop a horse.

d) It was a good quarter of a mile away from all the action.

2. Which of these sentences from the passage is an opinion?

a) "This is how you tie a lasso," said Mike.

b) "This is hard work and it can be dangerous."

c) It bounced off the tip of the calf's soft pink nose.

d) The pond was still frozen from the winter temperatures.

More Stupid Test Items

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