Grade 7 English Language Arts Practice Questions

Questions 1 - 5 are based on the following:

The Blue and the Gray
by Francis Miles Finch

By the flow of the inland river,
Whence the fleets of iron have fled,
Where the blades of the grave-grass quiver,
Asleep are the ranks of the dead:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day;
Under the one, the Blue,
Under the other, the Gray
These in the robings of glory,
Those in the gloom of defeat,
All with the battle-blood gory,
In the dusk of eternity meet:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day
Under the laurel, the Blue,
Under the willow, the Gray.
From the silence of sorrowful hours
The desolate mourners go,
Lovingly laden with flowers
Alike for the friend and the foe;
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day;
Under the roses, the Blue,
Under the lilies, the Gray.
So with an equal splendor,
The morning sun-rays fall,
With a touch impartially tender,
On the blossoms blooming for all:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day;
Broidered with gold, the Blue,
Mellowed with gold, the Gray.
So, when the summer calleth,
On forest and field of grain,
With an equal murmur falleth
The cooling drip of the rain:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day,
Wet with the rain, the Blue
Wet with the rain, the Gray.
Sadly, but not with upbraiding,
The generous deed was done,
In the storm of the years that are fading
No braver battle was won:
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day;
Under the blossoms, the Blue,
Under the garlands, the Gray
No more shall the war cry sever,
Or the winding rivers be red;
They banish our anger forever
When they laurel the graves of our dead!
Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day,
Love and tears for the Blue,
Tears and love for the Gray.

1. What type of scene does this poem depict?

a. the changing of the seasons
b. a loved one being welcomed home
c. the aftermath of a battle
d. a decision being made

2. What do the following lines imply about those who died as a result of the actions that were taken?

Love and tears for the Blue,
Tears and love for the Gray.

a. Those who died in battle are now weeping as a result of their destruction.
b. It doesn't matter who won the battle; there are people on both sides mourning their loved ones.
c. Bystanders are questioning the reasons for the battle that took so many lives.
d. One day, those who died will come back to life.

3. How does the author's repetition of the idea expressed in the following lines help communicate his main message?

Under the sod and the dew,
Waiting the judgment-day,
Love and tears for the Blue,
Tears and love for the Gray.

a. It shows that there are no winners when it comes to war, only destruction, and that in death, everyone is equal.
b. It tells the reader that battles should be remembered and reenacted to remember the losses once suffered.
c. It shows that those who die in battle should never be remembered for their sacrifices.
d. It reminds readers that it is not their job to wonder at the reasons behind war, but to follow the actions of others and mourn losses when they happen.

4. To what war does this poem's title allude?

a. The Vietnam War
b. World War II
c. World War I
d. The Civil War

5. The author contrasts images of death and destruction with those of natural beauty and wonder to show that

a. war is pointless.
b. there are just reasons for war and violence.
c. even in the aftermath of horrific violence, life continues to go on and renew itself.
d. we should be thankful for what we have today and not worry about what we will need in the future.

The following is an excerpt from Anne of Green Gables, a classic story written by Lucy Maud Montgomery that follows the life and times of a young girl who was mistakenly sent to live with an elderly brother and sister in rural Prince Edward Island.

Morning at Green Gables

It was broad daylight when Anne awoke and sat up in bed, staring confusedly at the window through which a flood of cheery sunshine was pouring and outside of which something white and feathery waved across glimpses of blue sky.

For a moment she could not remember where she was. First came a delightful thrill, as something very pleasant; then a horrible remembrance. This was Green Gables and they didn't want her because she wasn't a boy!

But it was morning and, yes, it was a cherry-tree in full bloom outside of her window. With a bound she was out of bed and across the floor. She pushed up the sash-it went up stiffly and creakily, as if it hadn't been opened for a long time, which was the case; and it stuck so tight that nothing was needed to hold it up.

Anne dropped on her knees and gazed out into the June morning, her eyes glistening with delight. Oh, wasn't it beautiful? Wasn't it a lovely place? Suppose she wasn't really going to stay here! She would imagine she was. There was scope for imagination here. A huge cherry-tree grew outside, so close that its boughs tapped against the house, and it was so thick-set with blossoms that hardly a leaf was to be seen. On both sides of the house were a big orchard, one of apple-trees and one of cherry-trees, also showered over with blossoms; and their grass was all sprinkled with dandelions. In the garden below were lilac-trees purple with flowers, and their dizzily sweet fragrance drifted up to the window on the morning wind.

Below the garden a green field lush with clover sloped down to the hollow where the brook ran and where scores of white birches grew, upspringing airily out of an undergrowth suggestive of delightful possibilities in ferns and mosses and woodsy things generally. Beyond it was a hill, green and feathery with spruce and fir; there was a gap in it where the gray gable end of the little house she had seen from the other side of the Lake of Shining Waters was visible.

Off to the left were the big barns and beyond them, away down over green, low-sloping fields, was a sparkling blue glimpse of sea.

Anne's beauty-loving eyes lingered on it all, taking everything greedily in. She had looked on so many unlovely places in her life, poor child; but this was as lovely as anything she had ever dreamed.

She knelt there, lost to everything but the loveliness around her, until she was startled by a hand on her shoulder. Marilla had come in unheard by the small dreamer.

"It's time you were dressed," she said curtly.

Marilla really did not know how to talk to the child, and her uncomfortable ignorance made her crisp and curt when she did not mean to be.

Anne stood up and drew a long breath.

"Oh, isn't it wonderful?" she said, waving her hand comprehensively at the good world outside.

"It's a big tree," said Marilla, "and it blooms great, but the fruit don't amount to much never-small and wormy."

"Oh, I don't mean just the tree; of course it's lovely-yes, it's RADIANTLY lovely-it blooms as if it meant it-but I meant everything, the garden and the orchard and the brook and the woods, the whole big dear world. Don't you feel as if you just loved the world on a morning like this? And I can hear the brook laughing all the way up here. Have you ever noticed what cheerful things brooks are? They're always laughing. Even in winter-time I've heard them under the ice. I'm so glad there's a brook near Green Gables. Perhaps you think it doesn't make any difference to me when you're not going to keep me, but it does. I shall always like to remember that there is a brook at Green Gables even if I never see it again. If there wasn't a brook I'd be HAUNTED by the uncomfortable feeling that there ought to be one. I'm not in the depths of despair this morning. I never can be in the morning. Isn't it a splendid thing that there are mornings? But I feel very sad. I've just been imagining that it was really me you wanted after all and that I was to stay here for ever and ever. It was a great comfort while it lasted. But the worst of imagining things is that the time comes when you have to stop and that hurts."

"You'd better get dressed and come down-stairs and never mind your imaginings," said Marilla as soon as she could get a word in edgewise. "Breakfast is waiting. Wash your face and comb your hair. Leave the window up and turn your bedclothes back over the foot of the bed. Be as smart as you can."

6. Which words best describe how Anne is feeling?

a. shy and inactive
b. scared and unsure of her situation
c. energized and excited about the possibility that Green Gables will be her new home
d. excited, but a little homesick for the orphanage

7. The word smart as used in the final line of the passage means

a. quick.
b. intelligent.
c. painful.
d. fashionable.

8. The narrator of this passage is

a. Anne.
b. Marilla.
c. an outside observer.
d. an omniscient narrator who knows everything about the story and its characters.

9. Which of the following describes how Marilla feels about Anne?

a. Marilla has decided that she does not like Anne, and will send her back to the orphanage.
b. Marilla is warming up to Anne and starting to feel affection for her.
c. Marilla is unsure of how to act around Anne, and is uncomfortable with a child in the house.
d. Marilla is suspicious of Anne and of whether her being sent to Green Gables was really a mistake.

10. What is the author's purpose in presenting the following as Anne's response to Marilla's misunderstanding of Anne gesturing out the window?

"Oh, I don't mean just the tree; of course it's lovely-yes, it's RADIANTLY lovely-it blooms as if it meant it-but I meant everything, the garden and the orchard and the brook and the woods, the whole big dear world. Don't you feel as if you just loved the world on a morning like this? And I can hear the brook laughing all the way up here. Have you ever noticed what cheerful things brooks are? They're always laughing. Even in winter-time I've heard them under the ice. I'm so glad there's a brook near Green Gables. Perhaps you think it doesn't make any difference to me when you're not going to keep me, but it does. I shall always like to remember that there is a brook at Green Gables even if I never see it again. If there wasn't a brook I'd be HAUNTED by the uncomfortable feeling that there ought to be one. I'm not in the depths of despair this morning. I never can be in the morning. Isn't it a splendid thing that there are mornings? But I feel very sad. I've just been imagining that it was really me you wanted after all and that I was to stay here for ever and ever. It was a great comfort while it lasted. But the worst of imagining things is that the time comes when you have to stop and that hurts."

a. to show Anne's tendency for being dramatic and establish an important component of her personality
b. to show Anne's fear that Marilla misunderstood her intentions when she was gesturing out the window
c. to correct a misperception and prevent Marilla from being angry with Anne
d. to show Marilla the extent of Anne's intelligence in the hopes that she will not be sent back to the orphanage

Answers and Explanations

1. C: There are many lines in this poem that indicate it is describing a scene following a battle: By the flow of the inland river / Whence the fleets of iron have fled; These in the robings of glory / Those in the gloom of defeat / All with the battle-blood gory / In the dusk of eternity meet; and No braver battle was won. Each of these lines implies that some kind of battle took place, but is now over.

2. B: These lines use the same words to describe the emotions of those on both sides of the conflict. The only difference is the order of the words, which does not affect their meaning in any way. This author is saying that there are tears and love for all of the people who lost their lives as a result of this battle. There is no indication that this is the view of the dead, or that, if indeed there are bystanders present in this section of the poem, they are questioning anything. There is also no indication that the dead will come back to life.

3. A: These lines can be interpreted to mean that soldiers from both sides of the battle now lay dead and buried, and face the same fate. No matter the circumstances depicted in the lines preceding these in each stanza, the dead still lie beneath the soil awaiting the afterlife. This makes death an equalizer. The fact that this is repeated over and over in the poem shows its significance.

4. D: By describing the two conflicting factions in this battle as "The Blue" and "The Gray," the author alludes to the uniforms worn by Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. There are no specific colors associated with any of the other wars listed.

5. C: The author begins the poem with images of ending and destruction, such as in the gloom of defeat and All with the battle-blood gory / In the dusk of eternity meet. Then, he transitions into a blending of these images with ones such as the morning sun-rays fall and a touch impartially tender / On the blossoms blooming for all. Since the images of nature begin to overshadow those of destruction as the poem progresses, it can be inferred that this is done purposefully to show that life goes on after war, that it has value, and that it is delicate.

6. C: There are plenty of small details throughout the passage that indicate that Anne is full of energy and excited about being at Green Gables, if a little fearful that her stay might only be temporary. The reader does not get a sense of fear or anxiety, except when Anne thinks about not being able to stay. Her statements and dramatic views of everything around her do not show Anne to be shy, inactive, or wanting to be back at the orphanage.

7. A: Each of the answer choices is a possible definition of the word "smart," but answer A is the only one that fits the context in which it is used. In the passage, Marilla is showing a little impatience for Anne's long, fanciful descriptions of Green Gables, and is giving Anne instructions for what she needs to do before she goes down to breakfast. The reader can infer that Marilla doesn't want Anne to waste any time. Therefore, A is the best choice.

8. D: This story excerpt is told from the perspective of both Anne and Marilla, and the reader is privy to the thoughts of each. Only an all-knowing narrator would be able to know what both characters are thinking, and why.

9. C: Of all the answer choices, C makes the most sense, particularly in light of the following line: Marilla really did not know how to talk to the child, and her uncomfortable ignorance made her crisp and curt when she did not mean to be. The passage does not give the reader a sense that Marilla is suspicious or that she dislikes Anne, nor does it show her to be affectionate.

10. A: The fact that Anne's language in this section of the passage is very dramatic and reflects the romanticism of her earlier thoughts makes A the best choice here. There is no fear in the tone of this section, nor is there any indication that Anne is trying to prove herself.

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Grade 7 Common Core English Language Arts Language Overview

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Last Updated: 03/01/2017


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