Tuesday, June 9, 2015



The STAAR reading passages are written with a concentration of tier 2 and tier 3 key academic testing vocabulary! STAAR Literary Nonfiction reading test passages help students analyze, make inferences and draw conclusions about theme, authors purpose/ point of view, and genre. These are teacher made STAAR reading tests and they are beta versions.

 Advanced STAAR reading students can identify text genres, word meanings, and idiomatic expressions; support multiple generalizations from details, determine cause/effect relationships; interpret literary allusions; infer by visualizing actions; synthesize figurative language to make connections/draw conclusions; evaluate/make inferences to determine author’s background, purpose, tone, theme, and style in complex literature; analyze sophisticated stylistic techniques with examples; draw conclusions from multiple sources; and locate information from a variety of media, determining relevance for a specific purpose.  

HOT Academic Vocabulary | Discussion Ideas 
environment, equate, equivalent, establish, evaluate, and evident, compare, bias, contrast, opinion, fact, cause, effect
Renewable Resources, Wind Solar and Hydroelectric:
Renewable or green energy resources are a sustainable solution for the world's future energy needs. Greenhouse gases could be a factor in rising global temperatures and a reduction or secession is warranted. How can we be certain that human-released greenhouse gases are causing global warming? Politicians and a few scientist have debated against the rising tide of evidence that greenhouse gases are the cause of global warming. The facts are, we have polluted the atmosphere; the question is what is the consequence?  Ever since the inception of the industrial revolution and the consequent rise in the use of nonrenewable fossil fuels like oil and coal, most climate scientists believe this is a possible precursor to a drastic change in climate. A possible lack of adroit awareness concerning the importance of switching to renewable green resources is the prime reason behind its lack of urgency to implement sustainable solutions. However, the uses of the alternate sources of energy are on the rise, and a few interesting facts and statistics can help in providing a better insight into what its true potentials are.
  1. Wind energy is one of the most abundant forms of energy on the planet, and a single wind turbine is capable of producing enough electricity to run around 300 homes on average. Windmills have been around for more than two millennia, and they were used by ancient civilizations for myriad uses from drawing water to crushing grains.
  2. However, the modern wind turbine to generate electricity was first installed by Siemens more than three decades back, and it produced just 30 kilowatts of power. The latest wind turbine from the same company produces 6 megawatts, which is 25,000 more than the earlier amount, and is enough to light up more than 6,000 homes. Wind is a result of the uneven heating caused by the solar radiation of the earth’s surface.
  3. The earth absorbs only a small portion of the incident solar radiation, while reflecting everything else back. However, only 0.30% of the earth’s surface would be needed for setting up solar panels that could provide enough electricity to meet the energy needs for every human on earth.
  4. Pound for pound, advanced silicon-based solar panels are capable of producing the same amount of electricity as the nuclear rods. However, since every part of the solar panels is recyclable, they have a negligible impact of the environment. On the other hand, nuclear power generation has the associated issue of hazardous radioactive waste products.
  5. Earth receives more solar energy per hour than all humans can use in an entire year. In fact, solar panels and wind turbines provide more than 100 times better energy yields compared to the non-renewal energy resources.
  6. The manufacturing of solar cells is much less taxing on the environment compared to manufacturing of conventional energy technologies because it emits 90% less pollutants. Moreover, solar energy can also serve as a considerable source of employment generation. This is because for every 10 megawatts of solar energy generated annually anywhere on the planet, anywhere between 200 to 400 individuals receives employment in the various sectors of solar energy industry such as research, development, manufacturing, and installation.
  7. While larger countries such as USA, China, and India are the leading producers of pollutants and greenhouse gasses such as CO2, smaller countries have at taken the lead and are at the forefront of utilizing non-renewable energy resources. Thus, Iceland receives its entire energy supply from geothermal energy sources, while Paraguay receives 90% of its energy requirements from the Itaipu Dam.
  8. Hydroelectric power generation has been one of the oldest forms of harnessing of renewable energy resources by humans. Its cost of generation per unit is among the lowest, while it also helps in cutting down carbon emission. Dams built for hydroelectric electricity generation also has a number of additional uses such as irrigation, navigation, and shipping.
  9. The share of hydroelectric power’s contribution to world energy requirements stands at around 20%, and it has remained steady at this level for quite some time. Several factors discouraging its widespread utilization are the mammoth initial investment and adverse impacts on the local population by causing dislocation and flooding.
DOK Level 2 and 3 Reading Comprehension Questions 

1. What conclusions can you draw from the article

a. Global warming is debated as a political hoax
b. Renewable resources are not coast effective
c. Solar power is inefficient and only works in full sun
d. Green energy is possible solution to the increased levels of greenhouse gasses such as CO2

2. What facts would you select to support the theory that renewable energy is a sustainable choice? 

a. Paraguay receives 90% of its energy requirements from the Itaipu Dam.
b. Pound for pound, advanced silicon-based solar panels are capable of producing the same amount of electricity as the nuclear rod. 
c. Nuclear power generation has the associated issue of hazardous radioactive waste products.
d. Hydroelectric power generation has been one of the oldest forms of harnessing of renewable energy resources by humans. 

3. What examples are used to ague that Climate changes is caused by the burning of fossil fuels? 
  1. According to the author, what role can renewable energy resources play in saving the earth’s environment?
  1. Renewable energy resources can help in cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions
  2. Renewable energy resources are limited in amount and will end before causing any harm to the atmosphere
  3. Renewable energy resources do not require any investment for developing technologies compatible to it
  1. What was the power generation capacity of the oldest commercial wind turbine set up by Siemens?
  1. 30 kilowatt
  2. 30 megawatt
  3. 30 gigawatt
  1. How much of earth’s surface is adequate for setting up solar panels to meet earth’s energy consumption?
  1. 0.03%
  2. 0.3%
  3. 3%
  1. Solar panels and wind turbines provide __ times better energy yield compared to non-renewable energy sources
  1. 10
  2. 100
  3. 1000
  1. According to the author, development of solar technology is better for the environment because
  1. It emits 90% less pollutants than conventional technologies
  2. The people involved are highly skilled
  3. Solar panels take less space compared to conventional power generation equipment
  1. Share of hydroelectric power in total power output is around
  1. 20%
  2. 22%
  3. 25%
  1. What is/are the probable cause/s behind the limited popularity of hydroelectric power generation?
  1. Mammoth initial investment required
  2. Adverse impacts on the local population such as dislocation
  3. An adverse impact on the local population by causing flooding.
  4. All of the above
Our Earth is capable of fulfilling all our needs but none of our greed. Thus, it has become important that recycling take precedence over-exploitation of newer resources in a bid to provide a more comfortable life to the people.
  1. Almost 60 to 70% of the waste materials that reach the dumps are of a recyclable nature that people can reuse with productive outcome. Similarly, more than half of that same waste can be composted to enhance fertility of soil and increase crop production without the need of using chemical fertilizers.
  2. Plastic is often the nuisance number one when it comes to non-biodegradable wastes since it takes almost 700 years to dispose naturally in a landfill. Moreover, it constitutes more than half of the total recyclable wastes that are present in the dumps. In fact, we are dumping more than 250,000 plastic bottles, and the recyclable plastics kill hundreds and thousands of sea creatures every year.
  3. Famous chocolate brands from across the world uses aluminum to wrap their products to make it more presentable and attractive to their customers. People enjoy these products but do not think twice about recycling the aluminum wraps, which almost always ends in the dustbin. However, the energy, manpower, and money required for manufacturing these wraps from virgin material is almost hundreds that from recycled aluminum metal. Most people are unaware of the monetary and environmental benefits of recycling these seemingly insignificant items such as aluminum wrappings around their favorite chocolate products.
  4. Recycling of paper is fortunately more popular than that of most other materials. Even then, trees felled for the purpose of manufacturing of paper and various allied products is going on at an unimaginable rate of more than 100 acres of wooded land per minute. This alarming rate of deforestation is leading to further skewing of balance between the production and absorption of carbon dioxide on a global scale. Recycling of paper is the only way to put a cap on this alarming development.
  5. A fully-grown tree can yield around 700 paper grocery bags on an average, which an average supermarket can consume in less than an hour. On the other hand, it takes around a minimum of 15 to 20 years for a tree to reach its maximum size. Therefore, one single supermarket can consume a whole trees within an hour, which took nearly a couple of decades to grow.
  6. On the other hand, recycling a ton of paper can help in saving 17 trees, 350 pounds of limestone, 275 pounds of sulfur, 9,000 pounds of steam, 60,000 gallons of water, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space, and 225 kilowatts of water. Moreover, recycling of paper consumes energy which is nearly 70% less compared to what making paper from virgin wood and other raw materials would have required. In fact, by recycling paper that is worth saving 14 trees, recyclers can reduce air pollutants by a whopping amount of 165,142 tons.
  7. Glass is among the few items that are completely recyclable while takes the maximum time to decompose in landfills. However, the tragedy lies in the fact that most of the glass items end in landfills instead of being recycled because of lack of awareness. Even then, there is a distinct rise in the demand for cullet or the recycled glass because of the less consumption of electricity in their processing compared to manufacturing of virgin glass.
  8. Styrofoam items such as coffee cups have become immensely popular, but these are not biodegradable. The discarded Styrofoam items end in landfills and remain there for centuries. Thus, it is essential to say no these products and instead opt for biodegradable options such as paper and clay cups.
  1. According to the author, why does recycling need to take precedence over exploring new resources?
  1. Because recycling is the latest in-thing
  2. Because the earth can only fulfill our needs but not our greed
  3. Because recycling has been made mandatory by international law
  1. What is the percentage of recyclable waste materials that are dumped?
  1. 60 – 70%
  2. 65 – 75%
  3. 30 – 60%
  1. Dumping plastic indiscriminately into landfills is not a good idea because
  1. Plastic is practically non-biodegradable and remains in landfills for hundreds of years
  2. More plastic items are dumped than can be disposed of without causing harm to the environment
  3. All of the above
  1. The act of cutting down tree for various industrial purposes can be summed into a single term
  1. Reforestation
  2. Deforestation
  3. Afforestation
  1. Recycled glass is known by the term of
  1. cullet
  2. green glass
  3. glass aggregates
  1. What are the best substitutes to the use of Styrofoam coffee cups according to the author?
  1. Paper and clay cups
  2. Plastic containers
  3. Glass bottles
  1. According to the author, what is the main reason behind the limited popularity of recycling?
  1. Lack of proper awareness
  2. Because people are lazy, careless, and callous about nature
  3. Because recycling is not a profitable or coast effective option

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you!