Saturday, August 1, 2015

Grade 4-10 Mentor Texts For Writing Lessons PDF

Grade 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,and 10 Printable Mentor Texts For Writing Lessons 

Writing Standards Common Cor ELA: Using Mentor Text to Teach Writing Traits, Mechanics Conventions, Structures and Styles of Writing

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. Supporting the Common Core Writing  Standards: 

Using Mentor Texts
Read and Analize Writen Text Like a Writer

13-year-old Dutch girl, Laura Dekker sails Around the World
Exploring the farthest corners of the globe has always been one of man’s most endearing dreams, and this has been taken to a wholly new level by the Dutch teenager Laure Dekker, who has accomplished the seemingly impossible task of sailing around the world solo at the age of 16 years. In fact, Laura became the youngest person to sail across the earth when she completed her voyage at the age of sixteen on the 21st of January 2012. On her way, she has witnessed countless obstacles that have taken all the resourcefulness and determination that she could master to realize her dreams into reality.
Laura Dekker turned her dream into reality, and inspired countless other teenagers across the planet to dream big with the blessings of her parents but not the Dutch government. This is because the Dutch authorities tried their utmost to prevent Laura from taking this arduous trip across the earth’s waters at such an early age, and did all they could to stop her in her tracks. Even though of Dutch nationality, Laura was in fact born on a yacht in the New Zealand waters. She was born on the 20th of September 1995 while her parents were in the middle of a seven year long sailing trip, and their trip continued for a further five years after she was born before they returned to Holland. Thus, being born within the territorial waters of New Zealand, Laura Dekker enjoys dual Dutch and New Zealand citizenship.
Laura Dekker stayed with her father even since her parents got divorced in 2002, and her father’s passion of building boats has been a strong influence on her eventual quest to sail across the earth alone. She started sailing at an early age of six, and has ever since then been gradually upgrading to bigger boats as she got older. She took part in competitive dinghy races, as well as, offshore events, and finally started going on longer trips when she upgraded to the 7 m long seaworthy boat Hurley 700 at the age of ten. Laura used this boat to take solo trips around Holland, as well as, the North Sea, and then even sailed on her own to England in May 2009 with her Hurley 700. It was during those solo trips that the idea of sailing solo around the world began to emerge, and gradually grew to become her biggest dream.
Laura Dekker began to contemplate seriously about turning her dream into reality somewhere during 2009, and received considerable support from her parents towards her effort. However, the attitude of the Dutch government was quite to the contrary, and the authorities started a court case to thwart Laura from making the voyage. The ensuing battle in court continued for the next 10 months at the end of which Laura’s custody was handed back to her parents in July 2010. Finally, Laura was free to begin her journey, which duly started on the 21st of August 2010 on the 30-year old yacht Guppy. Laura successfully led her voyage around the world on the 38 feet yacht and finally arrived in the Dutch Antillean island of Saint Maarten in the Caribbean on the 21st of January 2012.
Laura Dekker traversed the North Atlantic, Pacific, and the Indian Oceans on her journey, and clocked over 27,000 miles. However, much has been said and written about the consequences of allowing young teenagers of going on such arduous trips involving considerable risks, and Guinness authorities have scrapped all records consisting of underage sailors to dissuade youngsters. Even then, Laura Dekker remains an influential figure in popular culture.
  1. Laura Dekker has accomplished the incredible task of being –
a)      The only person ever to sail across the world
b)      The youngest person to sail around the world
c)      The oldest person to sail around the world
  1. While trying to make her dream come true, Laura received support from –
a)      Her parents
b)      The Dutch Government
c)      Both
  1. Laura has dual Dutch and New Zealand nationality because –
a)      Her parents are Dutch
b)      She was born in New Zealand waters
c)      Both
  1.  Laura Dekker took up sailing from an early  age and took part in –
a)      Competitive dinghy races
b)      Offshore sailing events
c)      Both
  1. Prior to sailing around the world, Laura Dekker –
a)      Took solo trips around Holland, and to England
b)      Took solo trips around England, and to Holland
c)      Took trips to the Dutch Antillean islands
  1. The Dutch Government tired to prevent Laura from taking the trip by –
a)      By initiating a court case that lasted for ten months
b)      By arresting her
c)      By confiscating her boat and provisions for the journey
  1. Guinness authorities scrapped all records regarding underage sailors because –
a)      They do not appreciate the challenges faced by such sailors in accomplishing the feat
b)      They do not intend to encourage more underage sailors to take part in risky voyages
c)      They do not believe in honoring challenging feats accomplished by young people

Friday, July 24, 2015

Common Core Reading Passages with Test Questions

Advanced CCSS ELA READING Passages Grades 6, 7, 8, 9, AND 10 | Non Fiction / Expository Reading Passages with Test Questions | Persuasive Reading Passages | Compare and Contrast and Cause and Effect Reading Passages

Captain James Cook Mini Biography
1.      James Cook is one of the most renowned explorers and navigators that the world has ever seen, and according to many has done more to fill the unknown spots on the map of the world than anyone else in history has. He is famous for having discovered the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of New Zealand and Australia on his ship Endeavor, while also disapproving the existence of the fabled southern supercontinent, Terra Australis. He also provided the most detailed and accurate map of the Pacific through his many voyages.
2.      James Cook was born on October 27, 1728, to a Scottish farmhand in Marton-in-Cleveland, Yorkshire, England. Cook worked as a farmhand alongside his father as he grew up, and had the first real exposure to the life on sea when he turned 18. Cook received an offer for apprenticeship from a Quaker ship-owner in Whitby, England when he came of age. This apprenticeship proved to be a life changing experience for Cook, and he developed intimate relation with the ships and the sea. 
3.      The apprenticeship with the Quaker ship-owner was just a beginning to a long and eventful career on the high seas. James Cook dreamt of joining the British Navy, and this desire eventually led him to joining the same a few years later. He showed great skill and fortitude during his life in the navy, and this resulted in Cook being promoted to the rank of ship’s master by the time he was 29 years of age.
4.      James Cook shone in his role as a ship’s master in the British Navy, and this became even more apparent during the Seven Years War, which lasted from 1756 to 1763. During the war, Cook served the Royal Navy by commanding a captured ship with great success. However, his real claim to fame lay far away from the hustle and bustle of naval warfare, in the field of exploration to the far edges of the known world during the latter half of the eighteenth century.
5.      James Cook was chosen to command the first scientific expedition to ever head for the Pacific Ocean. This was a monumental endeavor because of the limited knowledge in hand during those times regarding the geography of the region. Cook’s ship was aptly named HMS Endeavor to reflect upon the mammoth efforts made by the captain and crew to extend the horizon of knowledge regarding the world.
6.      James Cook discovered and charted New Zealand in 1770 on his ship the HMS Endeavor, and this was in addition to the discovery and exploration of the Great Barrier Reef of the coast of Australia. The Great Barrier Reef was an incredible feat because of the fact that its infamy as one of the most dangerous areas to navigate for any ship.
7.      James Cook returned to England after having completed his scientific expedition. However, he was soon chosen for a mission to circumnavigate and explore the Antarctica. On this voyage, Captain Cook charted a number of islands that exist in the Pacific such as Tonga, Easter Island, New Caledonia, the South Sandwich Islands, and South Georgia. Apart from that, he also disapproved the existence of the mythical southern supercontinent, Terra Australis.
8.      James Cook also made valuable contribution towards improving the health condition of sailors while on long expeditions by trying to control scurvy, which is caused by vitamin efficiency, and was a huge problem for sailors. He sought to do so by feeding his crew a meal consisting of watercress, sauerkraut, and orange extract.
9.      James Cook met his demise while fighting a skirmish with the islanders of Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii, during a winter layover on February 14, 1779.
1.      James Cook is famous as a –
a)      Explorer and pirate
b)      Explorer and navigator
c)      Admiral and navigator
2.      Which among the following is not a famous achievement of James Cook?
a)      Discovering New Zealand
b)      Discovering and charting the Great Barrier Reef
c)      Discovering Antarctica
3.      Under whom James Cook did do his first apprenticeship?
a)      A naval officer
b)      His father, a farmhand
c)      A Quaker ship-owner
4.      What role did James Cook play as a naval officer during the Seven Years War?
a)      He was the admiral of the Royal Navy
b)      He commanded a captured ship for the Royal navy
c)      He took no part in the war
5.      Where did James Cook head during his first scientific mission and on which ship?
a)      The Atlantic, HMS Excalibur
b)      The North Sea, HMS Enterprise
c)      The Pacific, HMS Endeavor
6.      What is the name of the fabled southern supercontinent whose existence James Cook refuted through his explorations?
a)      Terra Australia
b)      Terra Australis
c)      Terra Australasia 
1.      James Cook sought to fight scurvy with a combination of what diet?
a)      Sandwiches, sauerkraut, and orange juice
b)      Sauerkraut, orange extract, and onions
c)      Watercress, sauerkraut, and orange extract

Can you Win Arguments with Your Parents with Facts?
Parents often find it difficult to communicate with their children, especially during the adolescence period when the raging hormones turn almost every person into somewhat of a rebel. However, the situation is tricky equally from both sides, and teenagers have to face the brunt of lack of understanding between them and their parents as well. The problem lies in the fact that no one is quite sure regarding root cause of this troubling issue, and this leads to farther alienation between parents and their teenage children. However, you can averse this situation with a little bit of effort on both you and your parents’ part.

Most teenagers believe that it is next to impossible to win arguments with their parents, because of the lack of understanding about the change of cultural milieu between different generations. They believe that their parents argue with them based on nostalgia and emotions, rather than hard facts that are irrefutable but not quite overwhelming as raw emotion. Thus, you may feel less inclined to have arguments with your parents based solely upon facts and nothing else, because of the belief that with any such approach it is going to land you in an unenviable situation. However, such a notion is as far from the truth as possible, and it is possible to have reasoned arguments with your parents, and even convince them if you have solid reasons backing your argument.

The most important criterion for having a reasoned argument is to ensure that both parties are willing to hear each other out, and give value to reasons that have facts and logic to back them. Even if you consider it highly unlikely to be the case, while you are having an argument with your parents regarding anything from wearing your favorite clothes to college to life in general, it is generally the truth.

Your parents have nothing but the best of thoughts for you, and they are certainly not your nemesis when it comes to living your life on your own terms. However, the concern that they feel towards you and your wellbeing may often seem to be unduly protective and restrictive on their part. This however is not necessarily a reason why you must hold a grudge towards your parents. Instead, you can help them understand your own point of view in a calm and reasoned manner without having to hurt their feelings, and dismissing any or all of their thoughts without judging them first on their merit.
The best thing to do in case you are having serious difference of opinion with your parents is to have calm chat with them, while you present all the fact in your favor to bolster your argument. Even if you consider the facts and logic presented by you to be infallible, be prepared to have your parents show serious doubts about the sanguinity of your claims. This might be because of a difference of perspective, and not necessarily because your parents do not trust your judgment or the validity of your argument.

The most efficient way to win arguments with your parents with facts is by convincing them that the decision you have taken or about to take is to the best of your interests. Since the only concern your parents have is regarding your wellbeing, any argument that focuses on this aspect is likely to enjoy the most amicable countenance from your parents. Therefore, if you have facts to back your argument, and prove that you are quite aware of the implications of your actions, there is no reason to believe that you cannot win arguments with your parents based solely upon facts.

1.      During which period do parents face most difficulty in communicating and connecting emotionally with their children?
a)      Infancy
b)      Adolescence
c)      Adulthood
2.      What reasons do teenagers give to justify their belief regarding the inability of their parents to understand the logic behind their arguments?
a)      Generational gap regarding changing social milieu
b)      Intentional misunderstanding
c)      Both
3.      What is reality regarding having arguments with parents?
a)      That they are not ready to pay attention to any reasoning
b)      That they are ready to concede to well reasoned arguments
c)      That they lack the ability appreciate reasoned arguments
4.      What is/are the most important criteria for having a reasoned argument?
a)      Willingness to listen to other end of the argument
b)      Attach value to well reasoned arguments
c)      Both
5.       Why do parents tend to become overprotective of their children?
a)      Out of concern for their wellbeing
b)      To humiliate them in front of their friends
c)      To ensure that they lack the skills to survive on their own
6.      What might be the reason/s behind parents shooting down arguments that seems infallible to their children?
a)      Because parents do not trust their children’s judgment
b)      Because parents might possess a different perspective than their children
c)      Both
7.      What method does the author suggest to teenagers to win arguments with their parents?
a)      By making them understand about the positive impact of the decisions made by their children
b)      By deceiving them with false promises
c)      By keeping them in the dark and not share anything of importance 
Why aren’t there more female engineers?
Even in the second decade of the twenty-first century, an alarmingly low number of women begin their career as professional engineers, while a lower number continues being in the profession. This is in spite of the thunderous progress that women have made in every sphere of life in the last couple of centuries, when they have emerged from their role as homemakers to become decision makers and movers in the outside world, increasingly on an equal footing with their male counterparts. Thus, it becomes quite interesting to analyze the probable reasons behind such a skewed ration against the women when it comes to their presence in the field of engineering.
One possible explanation has been that women have traditionally shied away from career choices that entail much physical or fieldwork. Parochial thinking that women are both intellectually and physically inferior to men has fueled this traditional thinking. However, this theory still fails to explain why the number of professional female engineers is drastically lower when compared to the number of female engineering students receiving degrees every year. Moreover, this trend is present in pretty much every society around the globe, including all the advanced first world countries with much more liberal social milieu when it comes to woman empowerment and equality of opportunity in education and employment.
Various surveys conducted around the globe has indicated that apathy and often hostile behavior from their male colleagues often plays an important role in convincing female engineers to give up on their career goals. This is again because of the intrinsic misogynistic belief among many men that women make poor engineers, and this leads to chilly workspace environments that many women find hard to deal with, and prosper in their careers. Thus, even in an advanced country such as the United States, a reported 11% of the total working engineers are women, while they make 12% of the engineering faculty. This is contrast to around 20% of the engineering degrees being awarded to women every year. Thus, there is a distinct drop in the number of women who make professional use of their engineering degrees, and seek to blossom as eminent engineers in their respective fields of expertise.
Another major reason why many women probably quit being fulltime engineers is that long hours that they are expected to out in every day. This may leave those women who are intending to start a family in a bit of a quandary. Thus, a great many number of fully qualified female engineers may have to make the ultimate career in their bid to start a family. Moreover, the latent misogyny present among many of their male colleagues often force the female engineers to voluntarily put in extra hours to prove their worth and capability. However, this in turn might put strain upon their family lives, which is a probable reason behind many female engineers not preferring to take it up as a fulltime career option.
Research have further shown that most women who have led a successful career as an engineer often had supportive supervisors while they were just beginning as professional engineers. Thus, it is quite clear that the dearth of female engineers is not simply a women’s issue, but rather one concerning the workplace environment, and the challenges surrounding it. It is essential that the male counterparts of the female engineers are made more sensitive about the need to be supportive of all their colleagues, regardless of their gender. This is the only possible way that a remedy can be found for addressing this grave issue, and enable women to realize their potential as successful engineers of the future.
1.      Why, as per the author, is it quite interesting to analyze the number of female professional engineers?
a)      Because of their wondrous achievement despite limited numbers
b)      Because of limited participation in this field, unlike most other
c)      Because of pure academic curiosity
2.      Give a suitable alternative to the word ‘Parochial’ by referring to the context
a)      Broad-minded
b)      Narrow-minded
c)      Indifferent
3.      What is the major parochial thought process regarding the suitability of women as professional engineers?
a)      That they are physically and intellectually inferior that their male counterparts
b)      That they are just as capable as their male counterparts
c)      That they are lacking in training compared to their male counterparts
4.      What sort of behavior do female engineers experience from their male colleagues?
a)      Warm and welcoming
b)      Demanding and vulgar
c)      Apathetic and hostile
5.      What is the percentage of women who make up engineering faculty members in the United States?
a)      11%
b)      12%
c)      20%
6.      Why do many women quit their full time career as professional engineers?
a)      Because of demanding hours that makes starting a family impossible
b)      Because of pressure from their superiors to not start a family
c)      Because of a belief that starting a family does not befit an engineer
7.      What is the common factor that has helped most successful female engineers early on in their careers?
a)      Supportive superiors
b)      Jealous colleagues
c)      Demanding work schedule 

What is your carbon footprint?
Carbon dioxide is the most prevalent greenhouse gas in the earth’s atmosphere, while carbon is the most prevalent of all naturally occurring elements. Carbon dioxide or CO2 gas plays an instrumental role in increasing the temperature of earth’s atmosphere by trapping the infrared rays of the sun, which is in turn leading to an increased extremity of weather and disruption of the normal weather pattern across the globe. Thus, it has become essential that regular people become more aware about the implications of their actions, and the way it results in the addition of an ever-increasing amount of carbon into the atmosphere. However, everyone can contribute in his or her own little way by taking into account his or her own carbon footprint, which calculates the net amount of carbon dioxide or its equivalents that are released into the atmosphere.
The calculations for measuring anyone’s carbon footprint takes into account every activity in their daily schedule ranging from sleeping to commuting. This is because we give out carbon dioxide even while lying still in bed, but the amount generated through our natural life processes is not enough to cause any harm to earth’s natural balance. However, the rise in the use of modern gadgets and felling of tress have seriously affected the fine balance between the amount of carbon dioxide generated and those absorbed by plants to produce their food through the process of photosynthesis. Thus, taking into account even the minutest use of electronic gadgets makes calculation carbon footprint for individuals such a constructive practice.
The best way to find out about your carbon calculation is by finding out about the ecological impact of your lifestyle choice such as the car you drive, or even the food you throw away every day after meals. Thus, if you are able to become knowledgeable about your carbon footprint, caches are that you are likely to be proactive regarding ways to reduce it to a more acceptable level. In fact, even the car that you drive or the flight you take can have quite a pronounced impact upon your annual carbon footprint. Therefore, it is imperative that people become more aware of their carbon footprint, as well as, simple but efficient ways to limit it.
One of the most effective ways of restricting the extent of carbon footprint is by opting for carpooling which helps in cutting down on fuel bill and carbon emission of a number of people at once. Similarly, opting for a more restraint use of the accelerator paddle, and maintaining it regularly are surefire ways of minimizing carbon emissions. Opting for non-stop flights instead of one with one or more stopovers can also substantially reduce the carbon footprint of frequent filers. Such small gestures can be quite substantive in the extent to which they have an impact upon the carbon footprint of a person, if they become popular among a large enough section of the population.
People who consume vegetarian meals have much less carbon footprint compared to those who depend primarily upon meat and fish for their daily meals. In fact, people who do not consume non-vegetarian dishes are already having a carbon footprint, which is less by 3000 pounds of CO2 when compared to their meat-eating counterparts. Moreover, restricting consumption of processed food can also help in cutting down on one’s carbon footprint.
It is quite clear that people can make a difference to their atmosphere with a few simple modifications to their lifestyle practices. However, the most effective way to start that is by knowing your carbon footprint, which provides an accurate measurement of the implications of your lifestyle choices upon the earth’s atmosphere.
1.      Why is carbon dioxide a greenhouse gas?
a)      Because it is primarily green in color
b)      Because it entraps infrared sun rays and heat up the atmosphere
c)      Because it is more widespread in greenhouses
2.      What is the meaning of carbon footprint?
a)      The total amount of CO2 and its equivalents added to the atmosphere because of any entity
b)      The print marks left by people in a CO2 rich environment
c)      The carbon removed from the atmosphere through afforestation by humans
3.      While calculating any individual’s carbon footprint
a)      All activities are taken into account
b)      Only certain activates are taken into account
c)      None of the activities are taken into account
4.      What is the process, by which plants absorb CO2 to produce food, known as?
a)      Transpiration
b)      Photolysis 
c)      Photosynthesis
5.      What practices can people who own cars follow to lessen their carbon footprint?
a)      Be more discerning while accelerating
b)      Be serious about the maintenance of their cars
c)      Both
6.      How much more CO2 do non-vegetarians add to their carbon footprint compared to their vegetarian counterparts on account of their diet
a)      3000 kg
b)      3000 pounds
c)      3000 liters
7.      What is the importance of knowing about one’s carbon footprint, as per the author?
a)      Become more aware about how their lifestyle choices impact the environment by adding greenhouse gases
b)      Enhanced awareness makes it easier to find remedy to such actions
c)      Both 

The Truth about Pirates
Almost everyone at some in their childhood had dreamt of growing up to become a fearsome pirate, with command over vast expanses of the ocean, while charting a majestic pirate ship. A major reason behind the growing prominence of the pirates among the popular culture has been because of their somewhat romantic portrayal in books and movies, where they epitomized free spirit and a ‘never say die’ attitude. However, along with the romanticism of the pirates, a number of myths and misconception about the pirates have crept into the popular beliefs as well. A number of surprising facts is sure to clear lot of those misconceptions while also providing interesting information for trivia quizzes.
1.      One major view that people have developed about the life of piracy on the high seas is that it was bereft of any type of rules and regulations. It seems as if the pirates had no rules other than to attack rich Spanish galleons filled with gold, and drink rum and sing songs while they were not attacking unsuspecting merchant ships. However, this was far from the truth, and the pirates had to agree upon and sign upon the necessary documents as a proof of their acknowledgement. Breaking the rules such as stealing from the ship, or lying to the fellow pirates attracted penalty. Moreover, they were forbidden from fighting onboard even though they were free to do so while on land.
2.      Another major misconception is that major pirates sued to captain their ships for many years, which was not true at all. In fact, the truth is that even the best among them could only expect to be at their top game for two to three years at a maximum, and even during the so-called ‘Golden Age of Piracy’ that lasted from 1700 to 1725. This was the case with even the most celebrated names in the history of piracy such as Bartholomew Roberts, and the feared Blackbeard.  In fact, Bartholomew Roberts was able to lead a life of active piracy for only three years, from 1719 to 1722, even though it was considered long and successful by the contemporary standards.
3.      However, the mother of all myths about the pirates is about the buried treasure, which has fired the imagination of countless souls down the centuries. This has been primarily because of the picture painted by the popular novel, ‘The Treasure Island’, which was about the quest to find a buried treasure. However, the truth is that most of the items looted by pirates consisted of perishable items such as cocoa and cotton, which would get spoiled if left buried. Moreover, the pirates led a fast and reckless life, and saving would not have been consistent with their lifestyle. However, certain exception were there such as Captain William Kidd who buried his treasure on the way to New York to turn himself in and possibly clear his name in the process.
4.      The myth about pirates punishing people making them walk the plank is largely a figment of imagination as well. However, that does not mean that the pirates lacked means of punishing those held guilty of infraction or other serious charges. The guilty could be marooned on a deserted island, whipped, or even tied to a rope and thrown overboard to be dragged to one side of the ship and under it before being hauled up the other side.
5.      Finally, the myth about pirates being nothing more than thieves or criminals with no discipline is not true either, because a ship could only sail when it had clear division of labor under a firm and capable captain.
1.      What has led to the infusion of pirates, as per the author, into the mainstream popular culture?
a)      An interest in leading the life of an outlaw
b)      A romantic portrayal of the life of a pirate
c)      An increase in the spirit of adventure among the general populace
2.      What, according to common belief, was/were the major activities of pirates?
a)      Attacking gold-filled Spanish galleon
b)      Singing and drinking rum during leisure
c)      Both
3.      What were some of the acts the pirates were forbidden from doing while onboard a ship?
a)      Stealing or lying to fellow pirates
b)      Fighting
c)      Both
4.      Which period was termed as the ‘Golden Age of Piracy’?
a)      1700 – 1720
b)      1700 – 1725
c)      1700 – 1730
5.      Which pirate led a successful life on the high seas from 1719 to 1722?
a)      Sir William Kidd
b)      The Blackbeard
c)      Bartholomew Roberts
6.      Which among the following options is synonymous with the phrase ‘walking the plank’?
a)      Forced to walk towards own death
b)      Forced to display balance by walking on a narrow piece of wood
c)      Forced to improve one’s woodworking skills
7.      What does the author allude towards the nature of the men who lived onboard the pirate ships?
a)      That they were nothing more than cutthroats having utter disregard for rules or authority
b)      That they were men with clear division of labor and reasonable regard for authority, in the form of the Captain
c)      That they were solely interested in looting others and not in the proper running of their ships 

The Seven Wonders of the Natural World
The Seven Wonders of the natural World are –
1.      The Grand Canyon, 446 km long, up to 29 km wide and over a mile in depth is one of the most emblematic landmarks of the United States of America, and is in present in the state of Arizona in Southwestern USA. River Colorado and its tributaries has cut through layers upon layers of rock to expose nearly two billion years of geological history, while the Colorado plateau uplifted at the same time.  River Colorado has been following this course for at least 17 million years, while it been continuously inhabited by the Native Americans ever since the first humans established communities in the area.
2.      The Great Barrier Reef, located off the coast of Queensland, Australia, is the largest coral reef system in the world with its full extent covering over 344,400 km2. The reef consists of more than 2,900 individual reefs, as well as, 900 islands that stretch for over 2,300 km.  The reef is home to a mindboggling variety of animal species, and it has been a World Heritage Site since 1981. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park forms a part of the reef, and promotes controlled tourism while limiting the impact of human activities.
3.      The Guanabara Bay is an oceanic bay, which is present in the state of Rio de Janeiro in the southeastern coastal region of Brazil. Its name derives from the local Tupi language in which it stands for a bay that resembles a sea. It is the second largest bay in terms of area in Brazil, with its full extent covering an area of 412 km2, and a perimeter of 143 km. The city of Rio de Janeiro is situated on the western shore of this bay.
4.      Mount Everest, located in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas, at a height of 8,848 m or 29,029 feet, is the highest mountain peak in the world. It was named after the erstwhile Surveyor General of India, Sir George Everest in 1865. However, it has a number of local names as well, such as Sagarmatha in Nepal, and Chomolungma in Tibet. The first successful climb atop the highest peak was conducted by Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tensing Norgay, and since then countless mountaineers have strived to win the loftiest of all mountain summits in the world.
5.      An Aurora is the display of natural light in the sky, which is visible only from the high latitude regions, such as the ones lying well within the Arctic and Antarctic circles in the two polar regions of earth. The name comes from the Latin word ‘aurora’, which stands for both the Roman goddess of Dawn, as well as, sunrise. Solar wind, cosmic rays, and various other types of electromagnetic radiations cause ionization and excitations of various constituents of the atmosphere to create the light emissions that result in such cathartic display.
6.      Paricutin Volcano is located in the near the city of Uruapan in the Mexican state of Michoacán, and about 322 km west of Mexico City. This volcano is special to the geologists because it provided the first opportunity to modern science to document the full life cycle of any volcanic eruption of this kind when it erupted in 1943. The volcano has a cone 424 m high, but it has been lying dormant in the recent years.
7.      Victoria Falls, also known as Mosi-oa-Tunya, is a World heritage Site, and among the most well known waterfalls in the world. It was first exposed to the view of a European on November 16, 1855 when Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingstone gazed upon it, and named it after Queen Victoria.
1.      The Grand Canyon formed as a result of –
a)      The action of River Colorado and its tributaries on the riverbed
b)      The upward movement of the Colorado Plateau
c)      Both
2.      The role played by the Great Barrier Reef Marine park has been to –
a)      Promote controlled tourism
b)      Limit the impact of human activities in the area 
c)      Both
3.      What is the meaning of Guanabara in the local Tupi language?
a)      A large oceanic bay
b)      An oceanic bay of exceeding beauty
c)      A bay that resembles the sea
4.      What is the name of the highest mountain summit in the world in Nepali language?
a)      Mount Everest
b)      Sagarmatha
c)      Chomolungma
5.       The natural phenomenon Aurora derives its name from the Latin Word ‘aurora’ which mean/s –
a)      The Roman Goddess of Dawn
b)      Sunrise
c)      Both
6.      What is so special about the Paricutin Volcano?
a)      It is the largest volcano in the world
b)      It offered the opportunity to the geologists to study an entire cycle of eruption from the very beginning
c)      It is the most unusual volcano in the world in terms of its volcanic activities
7.      Who named the famed Victoria Falls after Queen Victoria?
a)      Missionary and explorer David Livingstone
b)      Officer of the Royal Navy David Livingstone
c)      Officer of East India Company David Livingstone

The history of ice cream
1.      The ice cream has been among the most popular of comfort food for people from across the world, and this has led to multiple countries laying claim to its invention. However, the history of ice cream is quite messy to say the least, even though there are mentions of Alexander the Great enjoying ice and snow flavored with honey and nectar. Moreover, the Roma Emperor, Nero Claudius Caesar, is said to have sent runners to the mountain to fetch snow that was mixed with honey, nectar, and fruit pulp to create a delicious mix, even though it is now discarded largely as a myth.
2.      Among the earliest concrete evidence about the existence of this popular dessert lies with the T’ang dynasty of China who ruled between the seventh and tenth century A.D. it was from the Far East that the famed explorer Marco Polo returned with the recipe for a dish now closely resembled by the Sherbet. It was during the 16th century that the big revolution in ice cream making took place in Europe with England and Italy, as well as, France through the Italians, with the frozen desserts appearing regularly on the dinner tables of the royalty and nobility.
3.      The next big step in the history of ice cream was its introduction to the New World through the Armenian colonists who brought over its recipe from Europe. One of the earliest recorded instance of ice cream being part of the dining table was from May 19, 1744 when the then Governor of Maryland Thomas Bladen hosted a bunch of VIPs at his home. The guests described the new frozen dessert as a delicious mix of strawberries and milk, which gained immense popularity among the people lucking enough to be able to taste it within a very short time.
4.      The production of ice cream remained pretty much the same until September 9, 1843, with the established ice cream making method being described as the ‘Pot Freezer Method’. However, on that eventful day, the history of ice cream making was about to go for a sea of change, all thanks to the efforts of one Nancy M. Johnson of Philadelphia, who got her unique ‘Artificial Freezer’ technique patented. This technique consisted of a design featuring a tub, cylinder, lid, dasher, and a crank. The ingenuity and simplicity of this design has made it ubiquitous with the process of ice cream making, and it remains widely in use even today.
5.      However, the first commercial ice cream factory came up a few years later, in 1850 through the enterprising efforts of one Baltimore dairyman by the name of Jacob Fussell. He built an ice cream factory in the Seven Valleys, Pennsylvania, and in time emerged as the father of wholesale ice cream industry.
6.      Among the most celebrated of ice cream variants, the ice cream sundae has multiple claimants to the fame of having invented it, with Buffalo, New York; Ithaca, New York; and Two River, Illinois, all laying claim to the fame.  However, the story behind its invention is quite funny, with church authorities not subscribing to the consumption of sinful ice cream sodas on Sundays. Thus, ice cream makers had to come up with ice creams san sodas, which gave rise to the variant called Sunday that was later changed to Sundae to remove all connection with the Sabbath.
7.      The earliest recorded application for patenting the ice cream cone was made by Italo Marchiony in 1903. Since then the ice cream has grown in popularity in leaps and bounds, having played a significant role in the two World Wars, and has now become an ubiquitous part in people’s lives.
1.      What was the name of the Roman Emperor associated with the myth of enjoying frozen desserts?
a)      Julius Caesar
b)      Augustus Caesar
c)      Nero Claudius Caesar
2.      The earliest recorded instance of use of frozen desserts similar to present-day ice cream comes from the era of
a)      T’ang Dynasty of China
b)      Ming Dynasty of China
c)      Manchu Dynasty of China
3.      Who brought the recipe of recipe of a dish resembling modern Sherbet from the Far East to Europe?
a)      Nicola Conti
b)      Marco Polo
c)      Ferdinand Magellan
4.      Who brought the recipe of ice cream to the New World?
a)      The Irish Colonists
b)      The Armenian Colonists
c)      The Italian Colonists
5.      Where was the first commercial ice cream factory first set up?
a)      Seven Valleys, Pennsylvania
b)      Ithaca, New York
c)      Two River, Illinois
6.      The name of Ice Cream Sundaes were changed from the initial Sunday in order to
a)      Make it sound more pleasing to the consumers
b)      To remove all associations with the Sabbath day
c)      To make it harder for the little children to spell it correctly
7.      Which, among the following words, describe ‘ubiquitous’ the best in the given context
a)      Omni-present
b)      Necessary
c)      Indispensable 
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World were –
1.      The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest of all the wonders of the ancient world, and it has survived the longest the vagaries of time as well. It is also the largest of the three pyramids that form part of the Giza Necropolis, and is the only of the ancient wonders that is still present in a relatively intact condition. The pyramid is believed to have been built as a tomb for Pharaoh Khufu of the Fourth Dynasty somewhere around 2560 BC. The Great Pyramid, at a height of 481 feet, also held the distinction of being the tallest manmade structure in the world for nearly 3800 years.
2.      The Hanging Gardens of Babylon was an ascending series of tiered gardens with rows of trees, shrubs, and bushes, and one of the most widely known wonders of the ancient world, even though its exact location is not known till date. In fact, there has been no extant Babylonian text, which definitively has any information about the existence and location of the gardens. However, according to the common belief, it was probably build by the Neo-Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II sometime between 605 and 562 BC.
3.      The Temple of Artemis was a Greek temple, dedicated to the Goddess Artemis, and was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The temple was completely rebuilt thrice in total, and it was located in Ephesus near the modern town of Selcuk in Turkey. The earliest of the structure dated back to the Bronze Age, while the latest of the sanctuaries stood intact till its eventual destruction several centuries later.
4.      The Statue of Zeus at Olympia was one of the grandest statues in the ancient world, and this huge seated figure was around 13 m tall. It was sculpted around 435 BC at the sanctuary of Olympia in Greece by the sculptor Phidias. The statue consisted of wooden framework with ivory plates and gold panels over it and intricate cedar wood throne along with ornamentation in the form of gold, ivory, ebony, and precious stones. The statue was a visual spectacle till its destruction in the fifth century AD.
5.      The Tomb of Mausolus or the Mausoleum at Helicarnassus was a tomb built by Artemisia II of Caria for her brother and husband Mausolus, who was a satrap in the Persian Empire. The mausoleum, which means any over-ground tomb in the modern parlance, was built between 353 and 350 BC by following the design of the Greek architects Satyros and Pythius of Priene. The mausoleum had a height of approximately 45 m, and contained sculptural reliefs on foresides by one of four Greek sculptors – Timotheus, Scopas of Paros, Bryaxis, and Leochares.
6.      The Colossus of Rhodes was a gigantic statue of the Greek titan-god of the sun, Helios, which was erected in the city of Rhodes, which was on the Greek island of the same name somewhere around 280 BC. The statue was erected by Chares of Lindos to celebrate the victory that Rhodes had gained over the ruler of Cyprus, Antigonus I Monophthalmus. The statue stood over a height of 30 m till it was destroyed by an earthquake in 226 BC.
7.      The Lighthouse of Alexandria, also known as the pharos of Alexandria, was built by the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt somewhere between the years 280 and 247 BC. The lighthouse stood at a height of between 393 and 450 feet, which made it one of the tallest manmade structures in the world for many centuries. The lighthouse was badly damaged by three earthquakes between 956 and 1323 AD, while some of its remnants have been discovered on the floor of Alexandria’s Eastern harbor.
1.      The Great Pyramid was built as a –
a)      Pleasure palace for the Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu
b)      Tomb for Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu
c)      Resting place for the Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu
2.      What was the Hanging Gardens of Babylon?
a)      A hanging building resembling a garden
b)      A garden hung from a superstructure
c)      A tiered garden with rows of trees, shrubs, and bushes
3.      The earliest sanctuary of the temple of Artemis was built during the –
a)      Bronze Age
b)      Iron Age
c)      Classical Age
4.      The statue of Zeus at Olympia consisted of –
a)      Wooden framework with ivory plates and gold panels over it
b)      Cedar wood throne along with ornamentation
c)      Both
5.      Artemisia II of Caria built the Mausoleum at Helicarnassus for the Persian Satrap Mausolus who was her –
a)      Father and commander
b)      Brother and husband
c)      Neither of the two
6.      The Colossus of Rhodes was built to commemorate –
a)      The defeat City of Rhodes handed to the King of Cyprus
b)      The defeat City of Rhode suffered at the hand of the King of Cyprus
c)      As a tribute to Helios, the Greek Titan-God of the Sun
7.      The Lighthouse of Alexandria was built by the –
a)      The Berber kingdoms of North Africa
b)      The Ptolemaic Empire of Egypt
c)      The Arab Empire of Egypt