Third Grade

Welcome to the ELA Practice Page!

ELA stands for English Language Arts Assessment.  This New York State assessment is taken in grades 3-8 and focuses on reading, writing and listening skills.  The test is designed to show which students are performing at grade level and which students need further assistance.  This ELA practice page will help you prepare for the reading part of the assessment.

Read the story below and then answer the multiple choice questions to test your knowledge about the story. Click on the answer that you think is correct and see if you got it right! Good luck!


Read this story. Then answer questions 1 through 5.

A Winter Surprise
by Deborah Hopkinson

One cold day, Mariko and her dad were walking to the store.
“I’m tired of winter,” said Mariko.
Dad waved at their neighbor. “I bet Mr. Hill wishes spring would come too.”
Mariko looked up to see Mr. Hill in his window. He waved, and she
waved back.
“Mr. Hill loves his garden,” said Mariko. Mr. Hill had the prettiest spring
flower garden. It was full of tulips and daffodils.
Dad nodded. “Yes, he does. And since he is old, it is hard for him to go
outside in winter. The streets are too icy.”
At the store, Mariko helped Dad choose milk, bread, and carrots.
“You may choose a treat for yourself, Mariko,” said Dad.
Mariko thought an apple would taste good. But suddenly something else
caught her eye.
She pulled on Dad’s sleeve. “Oh, Dad, look, daffodils!”
Dad smiled. “Is that the treat you want?”
Mariko nodded.
Mariko couldn’t stop looking at her daffodils all the way home. But when she
got to Mr. Hill’s house, she stopped. She looked up at the window.
“Wait here, Dad, please,” she said. “I’ll be right back.”
Mariko rang the doorbell.
When Mr. Hill came to the door, Mariko held out the daffodils.
Mr. Hill’s face lit up like the sun.
“What a wonderful winter surprise!” he cried. “You have brought me spring!”


1. What is this story mostly about?
  A shopping for groceries
B walking to the store
C being nice to a neighbor
D working in the garden




2. Why does Mariko most likely choose the daffodils?
  F Her garden needs new flowers.
G The flowers are colorful.
H Her father will like the flowers.
J The flowers remind her of spring.

3. Read this sentence from the story.

Mr. Hill’s face lit up like the sun.

  This sentence means that Mr. Hill is
  A kind
B shy
C happy
D confused

4. Mariko is best described as someone who
  F wants to please her father
G is kind and thinks of others
H complains a lot about winter
J likes pretty things like flowers

5. Which detail about Mr. Hill is most important to the story?
  A He is older than Mariko.
B He is Mariko’s neighbor.
C He likes daffodils.
D He likes gardening.



Read this story. Then answer questions 6 through 12.

A Long Winter’s Nap
by Jan Black
  Wouldn’t it be funny if your mom said to you, “It’s time for bed, Honey.
It’s almost November!” Well, if you were a bear cub, your mother might be
getting you ready to go into a deep sleep around October.

That “deep sleep” is called “hibernation.” Bears who live where it is cold go
into hibernation to survive the winter. By taking this long nap, they can get
through the chilly and snowy months when the food they eat, like berries and
nuts, cannot be found.

Have you ever heard someone say they are as hungry as a bear? Bears need
to eat a lot of food before hibernation. They eat so much that they may gain up
to forty pounds of fat in a week.

During the winter, bears will live off the fat stored in their bodies. Bears are
able to do that because their bodies use a lot less energy during hibernation.
That is because their heartbeats slow down. Their breathing slows down, too.
Their bodies don’t grow and body temperature drops.

If you were going to sleep all winter, wouldn’t you want to be in a safe,
protected place? That is what a bear wants, so it will look for a cave or a hollow
tree to use as its den. It makes a bed using grass, leaves, and twigs. The bear
may start to hibernate as early as October and might not wake up until April
or May, when the weather is warm again.

When the bear awakens, it will have lost much of the fat that was gained.
But springtime will bring a fresh supply of berries and nuts to enjoy until it is
time to hibernate again in the fall.


6. This article is mostly about how bears
  F gather their food
G look for dens
H sleep during winter
J make their beds

7. According to the article, what do bears like to eat?
  A grass
B honey
C leaves and twigs
D berries and nuts

8. According to the article, what happens right before a bear goes into hibernation?
  F The bear eats a lot of food.
G The bear’s heartbeat slows down.
H The bear’s body temperature drops.
J The bear loses a lot of weight.

9. Read the chart below. Fill in the chart to show two other things that happen to bears while they hibernate.
(Ask your teacher, parent, or older sibling to check your answers!)

What happens while bears hibernate?

1. They use less energy

10. According to information in the article, what will a bear most likely do when spring comes?
  F continue to sleep
G search for food to eat
H look for other bears
J build a new den

11. The author most likely wrote this article to
  A give readers information about a bear cub
B tell readers a funny story about a bear cub
C explain how bears survive cold winters
D describe what food bears like to eat

12. The article says that spring brings “a fresh supply of berries and nuts” for bears.

The word “fresh” most likely means

  F smart
G clean
H bright
J new



Read this poem about a girl and her favorite sweater. Then answer questions 13 through 16.

My Favorite Sweater
by Bonnie Highsmith Taylor

  My favorite sweater grew too small.
I loved that sweater best of all.
My grandma made it when I was three.
She made that sweater just for me.

I picked the yarn, a special blue.
The color of bluebells, wet with dew.
When I was three I was very small
But now I’m five and much too tall.

I have a new jacket now that’s green
So I gave my sweater to our cat Queen.
Queen just had kittens out in the shed.
My favorite sweater is now their bed.


13 What is the most likely reason the sweater is the girl’s favorite?
  A The girl’s grandma made it.
B The girl got it at the age of three.
C The yarn is the color of bluebells.
D The cat uses it for the kittens.

14 Why does the girl give the sweater away?
  F The girl is tired of the sweater.
G The girl wants her grandma to make a new sweater.
H The girl likes her new jacket better than the sweater.
J The girl thinks the sweater is too small.

15 What will most likely happen to the green jacket?
  A The jacket will become too small.
B The kittens will use the jacket for a bed.
C The jacket will become the girl’s favorite.
D The girl will trade the jacket for the sweater.

16 Read this line from the poem.

My favorite sweater grew too small.

  What does this line mean?
  F The girl likes small sweaters.
G The girl became too big for the sweater.
H The girl’s grandma made a small sweater.
J The girl’s sweater became smaller than it once was.



Read this article. Then answer questions 17 through 21.

You Can Make a Windsock!
  Have you ever seen a windsock blowing in the wind? Well, you can make one of your own! This is a fun project that you can do with things you may have at home.
You just need to follow a few easy steps.

You will need:
• one piece of heavy colored paper
• five ribbons
• strong tape
• a string
• a pencil

What to do:
Step 1: First, decorate the paper. You can
draw pictures on it. You can write your name.
Do anything that will make it special to you.

Step 2: Roll the paper into the shape of a
tube. Hold one of the shorter edges over the
other. Then tape the tube together at each end
and in the middle.

Step 3: Use a pencil to poke a hole into both
sides of the tube. The holes should be only on
one end of the tube. Pull the string through
both holes. Then tie the ends of the string

Step 4: Now poke five holes around the top
of the other end of the tube. Put a ribbon
through each of the holes. Tie a knot in the
ends. Make sure the knots are bigger than
the holes.

Now your windsock is ready to use, but how does it work? Wind flows through
the tube and makes it fly and dance around. Hold the windsock up in the air by its
string and run around. It will fly behind you. You can also hang it outside and watch
it dance around on its own!

17 Which of these items do you need for Step 2?
  A tape
B ribbons
C a pencil
D a string

18 What do you do right after you put ribbons through the holes in the tube?
  F Poke holes in the tube.
G Tie knots in the ribbons.
H Tape the tube together.
J Put a string through the hole.

19 Read this sentence from the article.

This is a fun project that you can do with things you may have at home.

  The word “project” most likely means
  A game
B story
C show
D task

20 What is the main purpose of this article?
  F to teach an important lesson
G to tell an interesting story
H to explain how to do something
J to give information about wind

21 What is probably most important to how a windsock works?
  A its shape
B its decorations
C the size of the tape
D the color of the paper


The stories and questions on this page are taken directly from the NYSED website of sample ELA assessment for use by educators and citizens of New York State.
Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on