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Marsh

"Marsh" is another term for a wetland, a habitat comprised mostly of water and tall grasses. A marsh is created after water has covered the ground for a long period of time with no opportunity to drain. These waterlogged pastures support a wide variety of plant and animal life.

pastures support a wide variety of plant and animal life. The moist, rich soil in marshes

The moist, rich soil in marshes offers an ideal environment for plant growth. Unlike swamps, marshes do not have trees. Instead, an array of tall grasses and underwater plant life thrives in these conditions. The tiny duckweed is a small underwater plant that is very common in marshes. Often times these green, clover-like plants will grow underwater and then form a blanket on the surface of the marsh. This can be an ideal hiding place for marsh animals. Cattails are another common marsh plant. These tall grasses have a narrow stem with a tip that looks like a hot dog.

In addition to plants, the marsh is home to many animals. Small, water dependent animals such as tadpoles, catfish, shrimp, crawfish, and newts live in the waters of the marsh. Other larger animals such as beavers, raccoons, deer, and even bears make their homes in the moist areas that surround the marsh. For the smaller animals, the thick plant life and constant insect supply provide good shelter and a bountiful food source. Larger animals also benefit from the food supply and shelter provided by the marsh.

Marshes support many different species of both plants and animals, and they play an important role in the ecosystem.

1)

In the first sentence of the passage, we learn that a marsh is, "a habitat comprised mostly of water and tall grasses." Using this information, we can understand that a peanut butter and jelly

sandwich is likewise comprised of

A.

a

grilled cheese, an Italian, and a turkey club

B.

breakfast, lunch, and dinner

C.

a

knife, plate, and napkin

D.

peanut butter, bread, and jelly

2) According to the passage, a marsh is created

A. when plants grow over the surface of the water making an ideal home for small animals

B. when a natural disaster clears all of the trees out of a swampland

C. after water has covered the ground for a long period of time with no opportunity to drain

3) Which of the following types of natural disasters is most likely to create a marsh?

A.

B.

C.

D.

a

a

a

a

wildfire

tornado

flood

hurricane

4) According to the passage, swamps differ from marshes in that they

A. have trees

B. grow duckweed

C. attract large and small animals

D. are made from saltwater

5) As used in paragraph 2, which is the best antonym for thrives?

A.

multiplies

B.

grows

C.

prospers

D.

dies

6) According to the passage, which of the following types of plant life can be found in a marsh?

I.

tiny duckweed

II.

cattails

III.

sagebrush

 

A. I

only

B. I

and II only

C. II

and III only

D. I,

II, and III

7)

In paragraph 3, the author writes, “Other larger animals such as beavers, raccoons, deer, and even bears make their homes in the moist areas that surround the marsh.” Based on information

in the passage, we can understand that larger animals might make their homes in the area surrounding the marsh because

A. the marsh attracts small animals that serve as food for the larger animals

B. larger animals benefit from having a water source so close to their habitat

C. humans are less likely to disturb their habitat if they live near marshes

8) Which of these habitats differs most from a marsh?

9)

A. rich, fertile grassland

B. wet, lush rainforest

C. dry, lifeless desert

D. hot, humid swamp

a

a

a

a

Explain what a marsh is in your own words. What kinds of plants and animals live there?

Answers and Explanations

1)

D

Core Standard: Craft and Structure

comprise (verb): to consist of; to be made up of.

In the first paragraph, the author writes, “‘Marsh’ is another term for a wetland, a habitat comprised mostly of water and tall grasses.” We can use context clues—hints from known words or phrases around the unknown word or phrase—to help us figure out what comprise most nearly means. If a marsh is a habitat “comprised” of mostly water and tall grasses, since water and grass are aspects of habitats, we can conclude that a marsh must be made up of mostly water and tall grasses. At the end of the first paragraph, the author calls marshes, “waterlogged pastures,” which supports the idea that tall grasses and water make up marshes. Using this information, we can tell that comprise must mean something like to consist of, or be made up of. This lets us know that a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is comprised of peanut butter, bread, and jelly. We know this is true, because these ingredients make up this type of sandwich. Therefore (D) is correct.

The passage does not provide evidence to support choices (A), (B), or (C). Therefore they are incorrect.

2) C Core Standard: Key Ideas and Details

To answer this detail question correctly, we need to find where the author discusses how marshes are created. A good way to do this is to scan the topic sentence of each paragraph, since this sentence will likely tell us what information can be found in the rest of that paragraph. The topic sentence of the first paragraph reads: "‘Marsh’ is another term for a wetland, a habitat comprised mostly of water and tall grasses." This lets us know that the general details about marshes that we are looking for can likely be found in the first paragraph.

In the first paragraph, the author writes, “A marsh is created after water has covered the ground for a long period of time with no opportunity to drain.” This lets us know that a marsh is created after water has covered the ground for a long period of time with no opportunity to drain. Therefore (C) is correct.

The passage does not provide information to support choices (A), (B), or (D). Therefore they are incorrect.

3) C Core Standard: Integration of Knowledge

In paragraph 1, the author writes, “A marsh is created after water has covered the ground for a long period of time with no opportunity to drain.” This lets us know that we need to identify which type of natural disaster is most likely to cover the ground with water for an extended period of time. Since a flood covers the ground with water, and often times the water does not drain quickly, we can tell that

this type of natural disaster is most likely replicate the conditions that create a marsh. This means (C) is correct.

Using the above information, we can tell that we need to identify which type of natural disaster is most likely to cover the ground with water for an extended period of time, since this is what creates a marsh. A wildfire does not involve water. Often, wildfires are the result of a drought, or not enough moisture in the ground. This lets us know that a wildfire is not a natural disaster that is most likely to create a marsh. Therefore (A) is incorrect.

Using the above information, we can tell that we need to identify which type of natural disaster is most likely to cover the ground with water for an extended period of time, since this is what creates a marsh. A tornado is known for its strong, powerful winds, not for covering the ground with water. This lets us know a tornado is not a natural disaster that is most likely to create a marsh, so (B) is incorrect.

Using the above information, we can tell that we need to identify which type of natural disaster is most likely to cover the ground with water for an extended period of time, since this is what creates a marsh. A hurricane is known both for its high wind speed, and the large amount of rain it can bring. While hurricanes can cause flooding, it is not as likely that they will flood an area as an actual flood. This lets us know that a hurricane is not the type of natural disaster most likely to create a marsh. Therefore (D) is incorrect.

4) A Core Standard: Key Ideas and Details

To answer this detail question correctly, we need to find where the author discusses swamps in the passage. A good way to do this is to scan the passage for a sentence with the word swamps, since this sentence will likely tell us the information we are looking for. We can spot the word swamp in a sentence in paragraph 2, which reads: "Unlike swamps, marshes do not have trees." This lets us know that the details we are looking for can likely be found in paragraph 2.

In paragraph 2, the author writes, “Unlike swamps, marshes do not have trees.” This fact makes it clear that swamps must have trees, since the fact that marshes do not have them separates the two types of habitats. This lets us know that unlike marshes, swamps have trees, and (A) is correct.

The passage does not provide information to support choices (B), (C), or (D). Therefore they are incorrect.

5)

D

Core Standard: Craft and Structure

thrive (verb): flourish, prosper, or advance.

In the first paragraph, the author writes, “Instead, an array of tall grasses and underwater plant life

thrives in these conditions.” We can use context clues—hints from known words or phrases around the unknown word or phrase—to help us figure out what thrive most nearly means. In the sentence before this quotation, the author mentions that trees do not grow in marshes, a fact that makes marshes different from swamps. If, instead, an array of tall grasses and underwater plant life thrives, we can tell that thrive must mean something liking grow well, prosper or advance, since the word instead lets us know that something opposite of what was previously mentioned is true. Dies is a good antonym for these words. Therefore choice (D) is correct.

Choices (A), (B), and (C) all contain words that imply growth or advancement. Therefore they are incorrect.

6) B Core Standard: Key Ideas and Details

To answer this detail question correctly, we need to find where the author discusses types of plant life found in marshes. A good way to do this is to scan the topic sentence of each paragraph, since this sentence will likely tell us what information can be found in the rest of that paragraph. The topic sentence of paragraph 2 starts with: “The moist, rich soil in marshes offers an ideal environment for plant growth. " This lets us know that the information that we are looking for can likely be found in paragraph 2.

In paragraph 2, the author writes, “The tiny duckweed is a small underwater plant that is very common in marshes.” Because it is “very common,” this lets us know that the tiny duckweed is a type of plant life that can be found in a marsh. This supports option (I).

In paragraph 2, the author writes, “Cattails are another common marsh plant.” Since they are common, we can tell that cattails are a type of plant life that can be found in a marsh. This supports option (II).

The author never mentions sagebrush in his or her discussion of the types of plant life found in marshes. This eliminates option (III).

Therefore (B) is correct.

7) A Core Standard: Integration of Knowledge

In paragraph 3, the author writes, “Other larger animals such as beavers, raccoons, deer, and even bears make their homes in the moist areas that surround the marsh.” By looking at context clues from this paragraph, we can figure out why the larger animals would make their homes in the areas surrounding a marsh. In the last sentence of paragraph 3, the author writes, “Larger animals also benefit from the food supply and shelter provided by the marsh.” If the marsh provides a “food supply” for the larger animals, then larger animals that surround the habitat must eat the smaller animals that live in the marsh. This allows us to conclude that larger animals might make their homes in the area surrounding the marsh because the marsh attracts small animals that serve as food for the larger animals. Therefore (A) is correct.

The author does not provide any information to support choices (B), (C), or (D). Therefore they are incorrect.

8) C Core Standard: Integration of Knowledge

In the first paragraph, the author writes, “‘Marsh’ is another term for a wetland, a habitat comprised mostly of water and tall grasses.” This lets us know that marshes are wet places. In the last paragraph, the author writes, “Marshes support many different species of both plants and animals…” This lets us know that marshes host many different types of life. Using this information, we can tell that a habitat that differs most from a marsh would be both dry and lifeless. This means that the habitat that differs most from a marsh is a dry, lifeless desert, and (C) is correct.

Using the above information, we can tell that the habitat that differs most from a marsh would be both dry and lifeless. A rich, fertile grassland would contain grass, like a marsh. Also, since it is fertile, we can tell that this type of habitat would support many different types of life. This lets us know that a rich, fertile grassland is not a habitat that differs most from a marsh. Therefore (A) is incorrect.

Using the above information, we can tell that the habitat that differs most from a marsh would be both dry and lifeless. A wet, lush rainforest is neither dry nor is it lifeless. This lets us know that this type of habitat does not differ most from a marsh, and (B) is incorrect.

Using the above information, we can tell that the habitat that differs most from a marsh would be both dry and lifeless. In paragraph 2, the author writes, “Unlike swamps, marshes do not have trees.” This lets us know that a hot, humid swamp is very similar to a marsh, except for the fact that a swamp has trees. This means that a swamp is not a habitat that differs most from a marsh, so (D) is incorrect.