Grade 1 English Language Arts Practice Questions

Questions 1-3 pertain to the following story:

My Trip to the Beach

Last weekend my family took a trip to the beach. We got there right before noon. The sun was very high in the sky, and it was hot! My sister Julie and I could not wait to swim.

We ran right into the ocean, but it was so cold! We only swam for a few minutes before we could not stand the cold anymore. So we ran back out onto the sand. The sun dried us off very quickly. Then we were very hot again! So we ran back into the water. It was still very cold.

Julie said, “Bill, let’s get out again.” I said, “Julie, be patient. We might get used to the cold.”

And you know what? That is exactly what happened! We swam for a long time. It was a lot of fun!

1. Who is telling this story?
  1. Bill
  2. Julie
  3. Bill’s mother
  4. Julie’s father
2. When does the family get to the beach?
  1. At sunset
  2. At noon
  3. After noon
  4. Before noon
3. What is the lesson of this story?
  1. Swimming is hard work.
  2. It is good to be patient.
  3. The beach is fun.
  4. Families are always happy.

Questions 4 and 5 pertain to the following story:

The Play

Karen and Rudy were bored on Saturday. They did not know what to do.

“I have an idea!” Karen said. “We should put on a play!”
“That’s a great idea!” Rudy said.

Rudy and Karen asked all their friends to act in the play.

“I’ll be a bear,” Sheila said.
“I’ll be a deer,” Myron said.
“We’ll be campers,” Karen and Rudy said.

The kids spent all morning making their costumes. Then they invited their parents to the play. The adults sat in Karen’s backyard and watched the show. It was about two campers who see a deer in the forest. Then they get chased away by a big bear! All the parents loved the play.

4. What is true about Karen?
  1. She has good ideas.
  2. She likes bears.
  3. She goes camping a lot.
  4. She does not have a backyard.
5. If this story were turned into a book, it would be
  1. funnier
  2. more serious
  3. longer
  4. less interesting

Questions 6-8 pertain to the following story:


Cats make wonderful pets. Like dogs, they can be very loving. They like to rub up against people with their soft fur. When people pet cats, they purr to show they are happy.

Cats are also good at telling you what they need. They will meow when they are hungry. They will scratch at a door if they want to be let inside.

Sometimes cats like to be left alone, so they will not take up a lot of your time. They sleep more than most other animals. Some cats sleep 16 hours a day! When they wake up, they may want you to play with them. Some cats are shy and would rather hide behind a chair or a desk. But you will see them soon enough when it is feeding time!

6. Read this sentence from the story:
Cats make wonderful pets.
What does wonderful mean?
  1. Very bad
  2. Very good
  3. Very fast
  4. Very sad
7. What is true about cats?
  1. They all sleep 16 hours a day.
  2. They are totally silent.
  3. They like to be alone sometimes.
  4. They do not like people.
8. How are cats and dogs alike?
  1. They both purr.
  2. They both sleep most of the day.
  3. They both meow.
  4. They both can be loving.

Questions 9 and 10 pertain to the following story:

Singing Strings

No matter what kind of music you like, you have heard the guitar. It is one of the best-loved instruments.

The guitar is a string instrument. Most guitars have six strings. Some have twelve. You can strum the strings all at once. You can also pluck them one at a time. The way you play the strings changes the way the guitar sounds.

The strings stretch over a long piece of wood. This is called the neck. A round hole in the middle of the guitar makes it sound louder. Some guitars do not need this hole. They are electric guitars. They plug into speakers. Speakers make electric guitars louder.

Quiet or loud. Twelve strings or six. Listen to those strings sing! It’s the fantastic guitar.

9. What is this story about?
  1. Singers
  2. Speaking
  3. The guitar
  4. Shoe strings
10. Read these sentences from a book about guitars:

A guitar has six strings. Plucking the strings makes sound. The violin also has strings. But these strings are played with a bow.

What does this sentence tell you that “Singing Strings” does not?
  1. Violins have strings.
  2. Guitars have strings.
  3. Guitar strings can be plucked.
  4. A guitar is played with a bow.

Answers and Explanations

1. A: Julie’s brother is telling this story. She calls her brother “Bill” during the story. This shows that Bill is telling the story.

2. D: Look back at the story to remember its details. The second sentence is “We got there right before noon.”

3. B: Julie and her brother have trouble getting used to the cold water. But he tells her to “be patient. We might get used to the cold.” Julie learns that being patient is good because this is how she gets used to the cold water.

4. A: Putting on the play was Karen’s idea. Rudy says it is a great idea. Since all the adults have fun watching the play, we know that it really was a good idea. This shows that Karen has good ideas.

5. C: Books are a lot longer than stories. We do not know if it would be funnier, so choice A is wrong. We don’t know if it would be more serious or less interesting either. So choices B and D are wrong too.

6. B: The whole story is about how cats are good pets. They like to rub against people. They are good at telling people what they want. They do not take up much of people’s time. Based on these clues, you can guess that wonderfulmeans very good.

7. C: The story says, “Sometimes cats like to be left alone, so they will not take up a lot of your time.” Some cats sleep 16 hours a day, but not every cat does this. So choice A is wrong. Cats meow and purr, which are sounds. This means they are not totally silent and choice B is wrong. Choice D is wrong because the story is about how a lot of cats like people.

8. D: The second sentence of the story gives the answer to this question. It says, “Like dogs, they can be very loving.” Only cats purr and meow, so choices C and D are wrong.

9. C:This story is all about the guitar. Do not let the title confuse you. The “Singing Strings” are not real singers. They are the guitar strings that sound like they are singing because they make music.

10. A: The story “Singing Strings” does not say anything about violins. The story says that guitars have strings, so choice B is wrong. It also says these strings can be plucked, so choice C is wrong too.

Infographic showing common core standards for grade 1 English language arts