Word Meanings from Context

Use the meaning of each selection to help determine the definition of the highlighted words.

1. Poor Farmer Chevez labors sixteen hours a day and never has time for a vacation. He deserves better! Everyone should have at least one day a week for rest and relaxation.

A. plays
B. eats
C. works
D. unions

Note: The word “labor” is spelled “labour” in some parts of the world such as the United Kingdom.

2. It's not that I'm unfriendly, but sometimes I want to leave society behind and be alone for awhile.

A. people living as members of a group
B. homes with messy floors
C. the fastest runners
D. people who are afraid of Girl Scouts

3. Our new alarm system will wake up the entire neighborhood if an intruder gets in the house.

An intruder is someone who intrudes. To intrude is to __________.

A. paint or repair old buildings
B. wear ones shoes on the wrong feet
C. go where one is not wanted or doesn't belong
D. be very noisy

4. Those scientists want to hear what our professor thinks about their theory because he is the foremost expert in their field.

A. The first or main one
B. craziest
C. least informed
D. loudest

What Is the Topic?

The topic of a reading selection is, quite simply, what it's ALL about. What is the topic of each of the following short excerpts from the works of some great poets?


There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,

by Lord Byron

                         The topic is _________________________.



THE mountain held the town as in a shadow
I saw so much before I slept there once:
I noticed that I missed stars in the west,
Where its black body cut into the sky.
Near me it seemed: I felt it like a wall
Behind which I was sheltered from a wind.

by Robert Frost

                         The topic is the _________________________.



But the poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his master's own,
Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Unhonour'd falls, unnoticed all his worth--
Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth:

by Lord Byron

                         The topic is _________________________.



Behold, we know not anything;
I can but trust that good shall fall
At last—far off—at last, to all,
And every winter change to spring.

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

                         The topic is _________________________.


Read the article first without stopping to find the missing words. Then read it again and choose the correct missing word from the numbered choices below the article.


When does one penny equal 170 million pennies? In Time for Kids, Suzanne Zimbler __1__ that a 1943 U.S. penny that was made at the Denver Mint has sold for $ 1.7 million. That single coin is thought to be the __2__ copper coin made in Denver that year. Only a handful of copper pennies were made at the other mints that same year.

Pennies were made of steel in 1943 because copper was in short supply for use in equipment to help wage World War ii. That was the only year that Lincoln pennies were not made of __3__.

A wealthy coin collector was eager to pay the huge sum for the coin because it was one of a kind and that collector already had a 1943 copper penny from each of the other two U.S. Mints in Philadelphia and San Francisco.

You might be surprised to learn what some of your own coins are worth. The more scarce any collectible item is, the higher the __4__ tends to be. It's not likely, but it is possible that you might have a small __5__ sitting in your pocket right now!

You can read the article from Time for Kids online at
a. pleads
b. asks
c. allows
d. reports

a. biggest
b. only
c. cheapest
d. chubby

a. copper
b. gold
c. plastic
d. silver

a. building
b. stack
c. ladder
d. price

a. spider
b. fortune
c. tooth
d. dollar

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