Teacher`s Guide - Fairfax County Public Schools

Teacher’s Guide – Animal Play
General Information:
Project the passage and make sure that all students can see the text. You might want
to distribute individual copies of the text so that students can use test-taking strategies
such as highlighting and underlining to engage with the text. These features are
available on the SOL so students should have prior experience with when and how to
use the strategies effectively.
The text and associated questions can also be printed and used with small groups of
students who might need additional scaffolding and support.
Remind students that in the past they have always chosen the one best answer but
that with the technology enhanced items, more than one answer might be correct.
Sometimes the number of correct answers is identified, sometimes they are not. If a
question does require more than one correct answer, ALL answers must be correct for
the student to receive credit. NO partial credit is given on the test.
Stress that the ways the questions/statements are worded often contain clues about
how many responses are needed. It is important for students to read each question
carefully and to think critically about what they are being asked to do.
Use the specific grade level Technology Enhanced Items on the VDOE website
to help students:
 Know how the test will look
 Become familiar with using the arrows to navigate between the pages of the text
 Become familiar with the tools available to highlight and mark the passage and
answer choices
 Practice some of the different ways the student will be asked to respond, such as
clicking and dragging
The link is included.
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Passage Specific Information:
Question 1:
Another way of thinking about the main purpose is for the student to ask, “Why did the
author write this text?” Interchanging the terms, main idea and main purpose, can
cause confusion for students on questions that deal with main idea so be careful to
distinguish between the two.
 persuade the reader to treat animals with respect - Incorrect. The author made
no attempt to persuade the reader to treat animals with respect. The author
presents factual information to inform the reader.
 inspire the reader to study animals – Incorrect. The article contains factual
information about the role of play as an animal develops, but there is no
suggestion that animals should be studied.
 entertain the reader with interesting animal stories – Incorrect. The article does
contain information about animals, but it is not written in story format and there
is no attempt to entertain the reader.
 inform the reader about various animal behaviors – Correct. The article is
written in an informational format and contains information about the different
types of play and how each helps in an animal’s development.
Question 2:
Students will first need to think about what the question is asking. In this case, three
words (as indicated by the boxes) that give the impression, or suggestion, of active
movement are needed. Suggest to the students that they think about the movements
that each word requires and then determine which of the words imply the most action.
somersaulting - Correct. This action does consistently require active movement
and would create an image, or picture, of lively motion.
stalking prey - Incorrect. If the response said chasing prey, this could be a
good response; however, when animals stalk prey they often are quiet and still
so as not to been seen or heard. An example is a lion poised in the grass,
waiting until just the right moment to attach a zebra. The motion is not
consistently lively so this is not a good choice.
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back flipping – Correct. Back flips require a great deal of movement and the
term helps the reader clearly “see” what the animal is doing.
ball-tossing – Correct. This is another answer choice where the reader can
clearly “see” the action, based on the words used in the term. The body must
move to be able to throw and/or catch a ball.
catching insects – Incorrect. At times, animals might require active movement in
order to be able to catch insects, however the movement is inconsistent and
sporadic. An example would be a frog sitting by a pond waiting for an insect to
fly by so the frog could catch it with its tongue. It might have to sit for some
time before catching the insect. Another example would be a spider simply
sitting and waiting for a fly to get tangled in the web. There’s not much
movement from the spider. Catching insects does not always suggest an image
of lively motion.
Question 3:
This question is an example of increased rigor. The student will need to understand
that “shows a contrast” means something is being compared. In this case, kittens are
being compared to adult cats. Then the student will have to locate a word that is
frequently used in comparing and contrasting information. Examples of key words are
therefore, because, while, yet, but, rather, most, either, same, opposed to, as well as,
likewise, on the other hand, although, similarly, and opposites.
But is the word, in this example, that indicates a contrast and is the correct
Question 4:
Under the old testing format, this question would have been worded, “which words
mean the same as….” Now, students must recognize the academic vocabulary of
“synonym” and understand its meaning so that knowledge can be applied. Next, the
student will need to go back to paragraph 1, reread the paragraph to figure out what
the word means as it is used in this paragraph. In this paragraph it means many, or
too many to count. The last analysis the student has to do is to select the words that
are synonyms, or words that mean nearly the same, as countless.
The correct answers are immeasurable (can’t be measured) and numerous
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Question 5:
In order to be successful on this question, the student must understand what is meant
by “gains reader’s attention.” Another way to focus thinking is to ask, what ways to
authors use to help hook the reader. Often authors ask a question, provide a list,
compare and contrast information, or describe something to grab the reader’s attention.
This background knowledge is necessary in order to be able to analyze the first
paragraph and determine a correct answer.
giving information about animal research – Incorrect. Animal research is
mentioned in paragraph 2, but that is not how the author gets the reader’s
attention in paragraph 1.
listing examples of animals at play – Incorrect. It is true that some examples of
animals at play are given; however, they are not presented as a list so this is not
the best answer choice.
comparing the different types of animal play – Correct. Phrases that signal this
is a comparison response are “…have in common…” and “Just like …”. The
author hooks the reader by comparing the different forms of play several animals
describing the purposes of animal play – Incorrect. This information is covered
in paragraphs 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 but it is not given in the first paragraph.
Question 6:
As students analyze what information the question is asking for, key words to consider
are “different species” and “use object play”.
Rare Birds of the United States – Incorrect. The title indicates the focus of the
Understanding How Birds Behave – Correct. This title indicates there might be
The History of the Bald Eagle – Incorrect. There is nothing about the title that
text is on rare birds in the U.S.; there is no indication this source would contain
information on birds that use object play.
some description or examples of ways birds behave so the reader can gain some
understanding. Play can be one of the behaviors discussed. Paragraph 2 states
that scientists recognize that young animal play is practice for adult behavior and
would support this answer choice.
signifies it is about different birds or that play is involved. This book only deals
with the history of a specific bird.
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Caring for Baby Birds: A Manual – Incorrect. The topic of this book is about
caring for baby birds in general, not different species.
Question 7:
This question requires careful analysis on the student’s part. In thinking about how to
respond to the question, the student should use the key words “are alike” and “both
groups” and recognize that a comparison is being made. The student is looking for a
way that young humans and young animals are similar.
 send specific signals to their peers – Incorrect. Paragraph 6 discusses the
different signals young animals send to each other, but it does not discuss
signals that young children send to each other.
 play in four different ways – Incorrect. Paragraph 2 of the article does say that
animals have four different ways of playing, but it does not say that about
 enjoy spending time playing – Correct. Paragraph 1 states, “Just like children,
animals enjoy playing.” Children and animals are being compared and both
enjoy playing.
 play with the same kinds of toys – Incorrect. The article indicates that both
children and young animals play with toys. However, as stated in paragraph 5,
the specific toys that young animals use include feathers and sticks while
specific toys that children use were not mentioned.
Question 8:
After reading the question, the student should go back into the text and reread
paragraph 6. The author states, “… animals give signals by showing a “play face”.”
 an activity that usually involves adult animals – Incorrect. There is no indication
that the activity is limited to adult animals.
 an action that is taught to animals – Incorrect. No mention is made that a “play
face” is taught to animals. The article is about animal play that occurs in
 a name given to an animal game of tag – Incorrect. The paragraph does state
that animals play tag, but it does not state that the game is named, “play face”.
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 a type of signal between animals – Correct. As stated in the paragraph, animals
give signals to each other when they want to play by showing a “play face.”
More details are given by comparing the face to a human smile and by
describing it as the animal holding its “…mouth in a relaxed and open manner.”
Question 9:
Students will compare and contrast information and organize that information on the
graphic organizer. Suggest that students go back to both paragraphs in the text and
use the highlighter tool to highlight examples of each type of play. Next, ask students
to compare the phrases/sentences they underlined with the answer choices given.
Finally, students are ready to click and drag the responses into the Venn diagram. This
is a good strategy that students can use for any type of question that uses a Venn
Examples are pouncing and stalking – Correct response for Predator Play. This is
stated clearly in the first sentence of paragraph 4.
Preparation for adult situations – Correct response for both. Paragraph 4 indicates
this type of play is preparation for a life of chasing and catching prey. The reader
may conclude that this is animal life as an adult. Paragraph 7 explicitly states that
playful acts help prepare animals for more serious adult encounters.
Common with peers – Correct response for both. Students will need to know what
“common with peers” means so the phrase might be a challenge. This is stated in
paragraphs 4 and 6. This is an example of what is meant by expanding vocabulary
within authentic texts.
Examples are play-fights and wrestling – Correct response for Social Play. This
information is located in paragraph 6.
Examples are playing with sticks and objects – Incorrect response. This information
was found in the section on Object Play and does not fit in the Venn diagram.
Playing with toys is educational for children – Incorrect response. Though this is a
true statement, there is no place on the diagram that is a good fit for this answer
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