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«3 Grade The materials contained herein are intended for use by New York State teachers. Permission is hereby granted to teachers and nonprofit ...»

New York State

Testing Program

ELA

Common Core Sample Questions

3

Grade

The materials contained herein are intended for use by New York State teachers. Permission is hereby granted to teachers and nonprofit

organizations or institutions to reproduce these materials for their own use, but not for sale, provided copyright notices are retained as they appear in

this publication. This permission does not apply to mass distribution of these materials, electronically or otherwise.

Grade 3 ELA 1 Common Core Sample Questions The Gray Hare by Leo Tolstoy A gray hare was living in the winter near the village. When night came, he 1 pricked one ear and listened; then he pricked his second ear, moved his whiskers, sniffed, and sat down on his hind legs. Then he took a leap or two over the deep snow, and again sat down on his hind legs, and looked around him. Nothing could be seen but snow. The snow lay in waves and glistened like sugar. Over the hare’s head hovered a frost vapor, and through this vapor could be seen the large, bright stars.

The hare had to cross the highway, in order to come to a threshing-floor he 2 knew of. On the highway the runners could be heard squeaking, and the horses snorting, and seats creaking in the sleighs.

3 The hare again stopped near the road. Peasants were walking beside the sleighs, and the collars of their caftans were raised. Their faces were scarcely visible. Their beards, moustaches, and eyelashes were white. Steam rose from their mouths and noses. Their horses were sweaty, and the hoarfrost clung to the sweat.

The horses jostled under their arches, and dived in and out of snow-drifts. The peasants ran behind the horses and in front of them, and beat them with their whips. Two peasants walked beside each other, and one of them told the other how a horse of his had once been stolen.

When the carts passed by, the hare leaped across the road and softly made 4 for the threshing-floor. A dog saw the hare from a cart. He began to bark and darted after the hare. The hare leaped toward the threshing-floor over the snow-drifts, which held him back; but the dog stuck fast in the snow after the tenth leap, and stopped. Then the hare, too, stopped and sat up on his hind legs, and then softly went on to the threshing-floor.

5 On his way he met two other hares on the sowed winter field. They were feeding and playing. The hare played awhile with his companions, dug away the frosty snow with them, ate the wintergreen, and went on. In the village everything was quiet; the fires were out. All one could hear was a baby’s cry in a hut and the crackling of the frost in the logs of the cabins. The hare went to the threshing-floor, and there found some companions. He played awhile with them on the cleared floor, ate some oats from the open granary, climbed on the kiln over the snow-covered roof, and across the wicker fence started back to his ravine.

6 The dawn was glimmering in the east; the stars grew less, and the frost vapors rose more densely from the earth. In the near-by village the women got up, and went to fetch water; the peasants brought the feed from the barn; the children shouted and cried. There were still more carts going down the road, and the peasants talked aloud to each other. The hare leaped across the road, went up to his old lair, picked out a high place, dug away the snow, lay with his back in his new lair, dropped his ears on his back, and fell asleep with open eyes.

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Key: B Aligned CCLS: RL.3.1; additional standards may be added after further development.

Commentary: The question aligns to CCLS RL.3.1 because it asks students to refer to the text to answer a question.

Rationale: Option B is correct. The hare pauses at the edge of the road to wait for the carts to pass.

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Key: C Aligned CCLS: RL.3.3 Commentary: The question aligns to RL.3.3 because it asks students to describe a character in the story.

Rationale: Option C is correct. Careful and playful describe how the hare behaves throughout the story as he makes his way through the village, avoiding dangers and playing with his friends.

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Key: C Aligned CCLS: RL.3.5 Commentary: The question aligns to RL.3.5 because it asks students to refer to scenes when describing how they build on each other.

Rationale: Option C is correct. Going to the threshing-floor is what the hare sets out to do and why he crosses the road and the fields.

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Key: B Aligned CCLS: RL.3.4 Commentary: The question aligns to CCLS RL.3.4 because it asks students to consider non-literal uses of words when determining their meaning.

Rationale: Option B is correct. The author compares the snow to sugar to help describe the way it sparkles in the moonlight.

–  –  –

It’s easy to forget about soil. You have to look down on the ground to see it. Even then, soil may not seem to do very much. But there’s more to soil than you might think. It isn’t just dirt that gets on your shoes.

Trees and plants need soil to grow. Very few fruits, vegetables and grains would live 1 without it. Many animals need soil, too. They eat the plants that grow in it. Some animals even live in the soil. Can you imagine a world without soil?





Most soil comes from rocks. Over many years, weather causes rocks to break apart.

2 The pieces get smaller and smaller as time goes on. Soil forms when bits of rock mix with things like dead leaves and dead bugs.

–  –  –

Key: C Aligned CCLS: RI.3.1; additional standards may be added after further development.

Commentary: This question aligns with RL.3.1 because it asks students to answer a question based on details from the text.

Rationale: Option C is correct. The passage does not discuss the way soil smells.

–  –  –

Key: B Aligned CCLS: RI.3.7 Commentary: This question aligns with RI.3.7 because it asks students to use illustrations and words to demonstrate understanding of a text.

Rationale: Option B is correct. The photos show the different colors of the soils in Texas and Arizona, which is supported by the text.

–  –  –

“Soil in a meadow might be smooth, which means more silt.” Which of the following describes the relationship between these two sentences?

–  –  –

Key: A Aligned CCLS: RI.3.8 Commentary: The question aligns to CCLS RI.3.8. The question asks students to describe the logical connection between two sentences in the text.

Rationale: Option A is correct as the two sentences, put together, present a comparison.

–  –  –

Key: A Aligned CCLS: RL.3.1; additional standards may be added after further development.

Commentary: This question aligns with RI.3.1 because it asks students to answer a question based on details from the text.

Rationale: Option A is correct. The passage claims you can tell if it has recently rained by squeezing the soil.

–  –  –

Key: D Aligned CCLS: RI.3.4 Commentary: This question aligns with RI.3.4 because it asks students to determine the meaning of a word used in text.

Rationale: Option D is correct.

–  –  –

Long ago the poplar used to hold out its branches like other trees. It tried to 1 see how far it could spread them.

Once at sunset an old man came through the forest where the poplar trees 2 lived. The trees were going to sleep, and it was growing dark.

The man held something under his cloak. It was a pot of gold—the very pot 3 of gold that lies at the foot of the rainbow. He had stolen it and was looking for some place to hide it. A poplar tree stood by the path.

“This is the very place to hide my treasure,” the man said. “The branches 4 spread out straight, and the leaves are large and thick. How lucky that the trees are all asleep!”

–  –  –

The gold belonged to Iris, the beautiful maiden who had a rainbow bridge to 6 the earth. The next morning she missed her precious pot. It always lay at the foot of the rainbow, but it was not there now.

Iris hurried away to tell her father, the great Zeus, of her loss. He said that he 7 would find the pot of gold for her.

He called a messenger, the swift-footed Mercury, and said, “Go quickly, and 8 do not return until you have found the treasure.”

–  –  –

“Hold up your branches,” said Mercury. “I must see that the pot of gold is not 13 hidden among them.” All of the trees held up their branches. The poplar that stood by the path was 14 the first to hold up his. He was an honest tree and knew he had nothing to hide.

Down fell the pot of gold. How surprised the poplar tree was! He dropped his 15 branches in shame. Then he held them high in the air.

–  –  –

Why is the old man in the forest at the beginning of the story? Use two details 10 from the story to support your answer.

Write your answer in complete sentences.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Aligned CCLS: RL.3.3 Commentary: This item aligns to CCLS RL.3.3 because it requires the student to describe a character’s motivation and actions.

Rationale: Explaining why the old man is in the forest will require students to indicate that he stole gold and is looking for a place to hide it.

–  –  –

Write your answer in complete sentences.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Aligned CCLS: RL.3.3 and RL.3.1

Commentary: This item aligns to CCLS RL.3.3 and RL.3.1 because it requires students to demonstrate an understanding of and to refer explicitly to the text when finding details to support their response in describing how a character’s actions contribute to the sequence of events in the story.

Rationale: Students will have to identify Iris (the daughter of Zeus) and explain how her loss of gold furthers the plot. After Iris tells her father that her gold was stolen, Zeus undertakes a process to recover it. This process culminates with the poplar holding its branches to the sky.

–  –  –

Describe the way the poplar grows his branches. Explain why the tree 12 decides to grow them this way and how the actions of the Old Man, Iris, Zeus, and Mercury lead to his decision. Use details from the story to support your answer.

In your response, be sure to include the following:

the direction in which the poplar tree’s branches grow  the events that made the tree’s branches grow this way  the roles that the Old Man, Iris, Zeus, and Mercury play in the decision  details from the story to support your answer  Write your answer in complete sentences.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

CCLS Alignment: RL.3.1, RL.3.3, W.3.2, W.3.4, W.3.9 Commentary: This item aligns with CCLS RL.3.1, RL.3.3, W.3.2, W.3.4, and W.3.9 because it asks students to explain its central message using key details, including characters and plot.

Rationale: The response accurately explains the direction of the poplar branches and the tree’s decision. The response recounts the events of the story leading up to the decision including how the Old Man stole the pot of gold from Iris, and how Iris went to Zeus who sent Mercury to find out what happened. The response recounts how the Old Man hid the gold in the poplar’s branches while the poplar slept and how when the gold is found there the poplar promises to always grow his branches upward to prove that he is honest.

–  –  –

Grade 3 ELA 18 Common Core Sample Questions



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