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ContinentalDriftDifferentiatedReadingPassageJanuary6

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©2019readingspecialty
Reading Strategies
Main Idea
Summarizing
Inference
Vocabulary
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Organizational
Patterns
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©2019readingspecialty
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Comprehending Nonfiction
² Differentiated passages connected to a calendar
event or completely stand-alone to be used
whenever you like. Mix and match or follow the
calendar suggestions.
² Readability tested using a minimum of 5
formulas giving you three levels of a passage
for use in your classroom
Passage 1—reading level grades 9-10
Passage 2—reading level grade 8
Passage 3—reading level grades 6-7
² Questions for each passage appear in
standardized test format, helping students to
prepare for
high-stakes testing. Each passage
©2019readingspecialty
contains these types of questions
² Main idea
² Vocabulary
² Organizational patterns
² Inference
² Summarizing
² One subject with differentiated passage allows
teacher to discuss, develop background
knowledge, show a video clip and engage the full
class yet provide for individual differences.
² Student progress charting shows teachers and
students patterns of errors in specific reading
skills.
©2019readingspecialty
Each passage contains 5 comprehension
questions. The question numbers are
correlated to the following skills:
1! Main idea
2! Vocabulary
3! Organizational patterns including sequencing
and chronological order, cause/effect,
compare/contrast, problem/solution
4! Inferences/Conclusion
©2019readingspecialty
5! Summarization
These same skills are assessed in EACH
passage in all differentiated passages in the
series. Students graph their results and use the
information to determine which skills are most
challenging for them and track their progress.
Questions may vary between passages but the
answers are all consistent. For example,
passages 1,2, and 3 would all have the same
letter for the correct answer to the main idea
question.
©2019readingspecialty
Continental Drift
Passage 1, Page 1
Dating back as early as the late 1500s and
1600s,when cartographers were able to create
accurate maps, scientists began to believe the
lands bordering the Atlantic had been originally
joined. These theories were predecessors to the
more complete work of Alfred Wegener.
The theory of continental drift is attributed to
Alfred Wegener, a geophysicist and climatologist
who developed the theory between 1908-1912. The
theory espoused by Wegener states that the
continents were once a single landmass and they
broke apart and drifted to their present locations.
Wegener’s theory was explained in a book
published in 1915, “The Origin of Continents and
Oceans.”
Evidence for Wegener’s theory included the
“jigsaw theory” which illustrated how the continents
originally fit together to form one land mass, called
Pangaea. The term Pangaea is Greek meaning
“whole land.” Wegener’s theory maintains the
continents were together about 225 million years
ago then broke apart and drifted to their current
locations, thus explaining the name continental
drift. He contended the continents continue to
move.
©2019readingspecialty
©2019readingspecialty
Continental Drift
Passage 1, Page 2
A second reason Wegener presented as
evidence for his theory was that some mountain
ranges on different continents seemed to match.
The Appalachian Mountains are nearly identical to
the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
A third piece of evidence can be found from
fossil remains. Fossils have been discovered in
coastlines, which match those found on coastlines
from different continents. One example is the
reptile Mesosaurus which can be found on both
sides of the Atlantic Ocean in the southern
hemisphere, but has never been found in another
location. These animals would not have been able
to travel over water, yet they have been found in
two or more disconnected regions. Similar findings
have been found with fossilized plants.
Rock sequences were another piece of
evidence to try to prove Wegener’s hypothesis. The
older (bottom) layers of rock show striking
similarities on both sides of the Atlantic ocean, with
granite, slate, and sandstone composing the bottom
layers of both Africa and South America. The top
layers are different, supposedly because they
were formed after the continental drift. The top
two layers in South America are siltstone and
©2019readingspecialty
©2019readingspecialty
Continental Drift
Passage 2, Page 3
sandstone while the top two layers in Africa are
loess and limestone.
One of the criticisms of Wegener’s work was
that he did not provide a strong explanation for the
physical drifting of the continents. He suggested
the continents were floating on the mantle, which
was composed of molten rock. The mantle
produced currents causing the drift of the
continents. He also believed the Earth’s rotation
produced a centrifugal force that caused
movement of the continents. Scientists rejected his
beliefs, largely because the forces he suggested
were not strong enough to create the continental
drift.
After his death, new research supported parts
of Wegener’s theories. Because of his work, the
current theory of plate tectonics is widely
accepted. Plate tectonics states the continents
exist on plates in the Earth’s lithosphere (crust and
upper mantle). These plates move very slowly and
are predominantly responsible for the earth’s
volcanoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and current
land position.
©2019readingspecialty
©2019readingspecialty
Continental Drift
Passage 1, Page 1
1. What is the main idea of this passage?
a. Before Alfred Wegener, others believed the
jigsaw theory of land positions.
b. Rock sequences help prove Wegener’s
hypothesis of the continental drift.
c. Alfred Wegener popularized the theory of
continental drift, proposing the continents were
once all connected and then broke into their
current positions.
d. Not everyone agreed with Wegener, mainly
because they could not agree the forces
Wegener suggested would cause the
continents to move.
©2019readingspecialty
2. Which is the best ANTONYM for espoused as
used in this passage?
a. support
b. defend
c. reject
d. embraced
3. What is the organizational pattern for
paragraphs 3,4,5,6?
a. They are a list of reasons supporting
Wegener’s theory and the order is not
important.
©2019readingspecialty
b. They are in time order with paragraph 3
occurring first and paragraph 6 occurring
last.
c. Paragraph 3 (jigsaw theory) caused
paragraph 4 (mountain ranges). Paragraph
4 (mountain ranges) caused paragraph 5
(fossil remains) and paragraph 5 (fossil
remains) caused paragraph 6 (rock
sequences).
d. Paragraph 3 is a definition and paragraph
5,6, and 6 are examples.
4. What can you infer about Wegener’s theory?
a. It was disproved when it was determined
the earth was round instead of flat.
b. Wegener’s theory was not accepted
because he was not a scientist.
c. Wegener was the first to suggest the
continents had been one land mass and
people believed he was crazy.
d. Although it has been modified, many of
Wegener’s ideas are included in the
current belief in plate tectonics.
©2019readingspecialty
5. Which is LEAST important in a summary?
a. jigsaw theory
b. races of people
c. fossils
d. plate tectonics
©2019readingspecialty
Continental Drift
Passage 2, Page 1
Dating back as early as the late 1500s and
1600s, cartographers were able to create accurate
maps. Scientists began to believe the lands
bordering the Atlantic had been originally joined.
They looked at the shape of the continents and
believed they fit together. These theories were
forerunners to the more complete work of Alfred
Wegener.
The theory of continental drift is credited to
Alfred Wegener, a geophysicist and climatologist.
He developed the theory between 1908-1912. The
theory stated by Wegener says that the continents
were once a single landmass. They broke apart and
drifted to their present locations. Wegener’s theory
was explained in a book published in 1915, “The
Origin of Continents and Oceans.”
Evidence for Wegener’s theory included the
shape of the continents and how they appear to fit
together. This is referred to as “jigsaw theory” and
shows how the continents began in one land mass,
called Pangaea. The term Pangaea is Greek
meaning “whole land.” Wegener’s theory maintains
the continents were together about 225 million
years ago then broke apart and drifted to where
they are today, thus explaining the name
©2019readingspecialty
©2019readingspecialty
Continental Drift
Passage 2, Page 2
continental drift. He believed the continents
continue to move.
Mountain ranges provided a second piece of
evidence for his theory. Some mountain ranges on
different continents seemed to match. The
Appalachian Mountains are nearly identical to the
Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
A third piece of evidence can be found from
fossil remains. Fossils have been discovered in
coastlines that match fossils found on the coasts
of different continents. One example is the reptile
Mesosaurus. This animal can only be found on
both sides of the Atlantic Ocean in the southern
hemisphere. These animals would not have been
able to travel a long distance over water.
Continental drift could explain how they have been
found in 2 or more detached regions. Similar
findings have been made with fossilized plants.
Rock sequences were another piece of
evidence used to prove Wegener’s hypothesis. The
older (bottom) layers of rock are alike on both sides
of the Atlantic Ocean. Granite, slate, and
sandstone make up the bottom layers of both
Africa and South America. The top layers are
different, supposedly because they were formed
after the continental drift. The top two layers in
©2019readingspecialty
©2019readingspecialty
Continental Drift
Passage 2, Page 3
South America are siltstone and sandstone. The
top two layers in Africa are loess and limestone.
Not everyone agreed with Wegener’s work.
Critics say that he did not provide a strong
explanation for the physical drifting of the
continents. He suggested the continents were
floating on the mantle that was composed of molten
rock. This produced currents causing the drift of
the continents. He also believed the Earth’s rotation
created a centrifugal force that caused movement
of the continents. Scientists rejected his beliefs,
largely because the forces he suggested were not
strong enough to create the continental drift.
After his death, new research supported parts
of Wegener’s theories. Because of his work, the
current theory of plate tectonics is widely
accepted. Both Wegener’s theory of continental
drift and the current plate tectonics research
support the idea of an original supercontinent.
Plate tectonics states the continents exist on
plates in the Earth’s lithosphere (crust and upper
mantle). These plates move very slowly and are
mainly responsible for the earth’s volcanoes,
tsunamis, earthquakes and continental movement.
©2019readingspecialty
©2019readingspecialty
Continental Drift
Passage 2, Page 1
1. Which question would reflect the main idea of
the passage?
a. How does plate tectonics explain
differences in weather?
b. Pangaea explains fossil findings in
different parts of the world.
c. What is the Continental Drift and where did
the theory originate?
d. What do we know about the life of Alfred
Wegener?
©2019readingspecialty
2. What does the Latin root centri mean in the
word centrifugal?
a. cent (coin)
b. ancient
c. center
d. accent
3. If you were creating a Venn diagram showing
the similarities and differences between
Wegener’s theory of continental drift and
current research in plate tectonics, which
statement would go in the middle showing it
applied to both theories?
©2019readingspecialty
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a. Both plate tectonics and continental drift
theories suggest a supercontinent that broke
apart.
b. Plate tectonics states the continents moved
due to movement of the crust of the earth
fueled by the internal heat of the earth’s core.
c. Continental drift theory suggested centrifugal
force was a cause of the movement of the
continents.
d. The theory of plate tectonics was developed
after WWII.
©2019readingspecialty
4. Which of the following would you infer is the
most logical explanation for more people
supporting the idea of a supercontinent now
as opposed to during Wegener’s lifetime?
a. Space travel confirms the existence of
Pangaea.
b. People believed Wegener was crazy and more
credible scientists now support the theory.
c. Mapmakers have been able to create more
precise maps.
(more choices on next page)
©2019readingspecialty
Continental Drift
Passage 2, Page 2
d. More scientific evidence continues to support
the theory of a supercontinent and movement of
the continents.
5. Wegener used all of the following to explain his
theory of Continental Drift EXCEPT
a. similar land formations
b. similar languages spoken
c. similar rocks
d. similar animals
©2019readingspecialty
©2019readingspecialty
Continental Drift
Passage 3, Page 1
As early as the late 1500s and 1600s,
cartographers were able to create accurate maps.
Scientists looked at the shapes of the continents.
They seemed to fit together. Scientists began to
believe the lands bordering the Atlantic had been
originally joined. These theories led the way to the
more complete work of Alfred Wegener.
The theory of continental drift is credited to
Alfred Wegener. He was a geophysicist and
climatologist. Wegener developed the theory
between 1908-1912. His theory states the
continents were once a single mass. They broke
apart and drifted to their present locations.
Wegener’s theory was explained in a book
published in 1915, “The Origin of Continents and
Oceans.”
Evidence for Wegener’s theory included the
“jigsaw theory.” Looking at the shape of the
continents they can be moved like puzzle pieces to
fit together. Wegener called the giant landmass
when the continents were all together Pangaea.
The term Pangaea is Greek meaning “whole land.”
His theory maintains the continents were together
about 225 million years ago. They broke apart and
drifted to where they are today, hence explaining
©2019readingspecialty
©2019readingspecialty
Continental Drift
Passage 3, Page 2
the name continental drift. He believed the
continents continue to move.
Mountain ranges added a second piece of
evidence for his theory. Some mountain ranges on
different continents seemed to match. The
Appalachian Mountains are nearly identical to the
Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
A third piece of evidence can be found from
fossil remains. Fossils have been discovered on
coastlines, which match coasts on the other side of
the ocean. One example is the reptile Mesosaurus.
This animal can only be found on both sides of the
Atlantic Ocean in the southern hemisphere. These
animals would not have been able to travel a long
distance over water, yet they have been found in 2
separate regions. Similar findings have been made
with plant fossils.
Rock sequences were another piece of evidence
used to prove Wegener’s idea. The older (bottom)
layers of rock are alike on both sides of the Atlantic
Ocean. Granite, slate, and sandstone make up the
bottom layers of both Africa and South America. The
top layers are different. The reason is likely
because they were formed after the continental
drift. The top two layers in South America are
siltstone and sandstone. The top two layers in Africa
are loess and limestone.
©2019readingspecialty
©2019readingspecialty
Continental Drift
Passage 3, Page 3
Not everyone agreed with Wegener. Critics say
that he did not provide a strong explanation for how
the continents drifted apart. He suggested the
continents were floating on the mantle that was
composed of molten rock. This produced currents
causing the drift of the continents. He also believed
the Earth’s rotation created a centrifugal force that
caused movement of the continents. Scientists
dismissed his beliefs. They felt the forces he
suggested were not strong enough to move the
continents.
After his death, new research in this area
continued. Some of this work supported parts of
Wegener’s theories. Wegener’s work became the
background for plate tectonics. The current theory
of plate tectonics is widely accepted. Both
Wegener’s theory of continental drift and the
current plate tectonics research support the idea of
an original supercontinent. Plate tectonics explains
the movement of the continents differently.
According to this belief, the continents exist on
plates in the Earth’s lithosphere (crust and upper
mantle). These plates move very slowly. They are
mainly responsible for the earth’s volcanoes,
tsunamis, earthquakes, and movement of the
continents.
©2019readingspecialty
©2019readingspecialty
Continental Drift
Passage 3, Page 1
1. Which of the following would be the best heading
for the fifth paragraph?
a. The Reptile Mesosaurus
b. Fossilized Plants
c. Fossil Evidence Supports Wegener’s
Theories
d. Both Sides of the Atlantic
2. What does the root geo mean in the word
geophysicist?
a. space
b. the study of
c. earth
d. animals
©2019readingspecialty
3. According to Wegener’s theory what happened
first?
a. All the continents were together as one land
mass
b. Wegener published “The Origin of Continents
and Oceans.”
c. Accurate maps were created.
d. Centrifugal force and currents caused the
continents to drift.
©2019readingspecialty
4. Which of the following could you infer was
essential for Wegener to have developed his
theory?
a. a degree in climatologist
b. the discovery of dinosaur fossils
c. trips to both of the poles
d. accurate maps
5. Which statement best summarizes Wegener’s
contribution to science?
a. Wegener discovered centrifugal force.
b. Wegener’s theories became the backbone of
plate tectonics.
c. Wegener observed and recorded the reptile
Mesosaurus.
d. Wegener classified rocks and was the first
scientist to understand rock layering.
©2019readingspecialty
©2019readingspecialty
Answer Key—
All 3 Passages
1—C-- (Main idea)
2—C—(Vocabulary)
3—A—(Organizational pattern)
4—D--Inferences/Conclusion
5—B—(Summarization)
©2019readingspecialty
©2019readingspecialty
Progress ChartReading Comprehension
Passages
1.! Write the title of the passage on the bottom of the
chart.
2.! In the column for your article, shade the box by the
questions you correctly answered.
!!!!
Main
&!
Idea
8
9
:
:
; !$! Vocabulary
8
<
!
Organizational
= 5! Patterns ©2019readingspecialty
>
?
@
Inferences
;
6! Conclusions
:
?
!
!
Summarizing
7!
<!A!<!B!;!!!9!C!!
!!=!:!<!!A!8!B!;!
©2019readingspecialty
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