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Reading Comprehension Story "Playing The Blues"


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Reading Comprehension Story "Playing The Blues"

  1. 1. Playing the Blues
  2. 2. Artavia Crosby sat in the back seat watching the sun fade from the sky. The horizon above the trees was pale pink dotted with fluffy purple clouds that gradually darkened in the twilight. Presented by Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  3. 3. In the front seat her older brother sat beside their father. Their saxophones were in the trunk. Isaac was playing in a talent show. Mr. Crosby, a professional jazz musician, was going to be his accompaniment. Artavia was going along as part of the audience. Presented by Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  4. 4. The wind was beginning to pick up. Fallen leaves swooshed across the street. Several swirled up into the path of the car, brushing across the windshield. Artavia hoped they would make it to the show before the storm broke.
  5. 5. As she watched the shadowy trees sway, Artavia became aware of a change in the car. It seemed to be shaking slightly. Then came a loud and scary sound, going thumpa-thumpa-thumpa. The car slowed as Mr. Crosby stepped on the brakes and pulled into a Laundromat parking lot.
  6. 6. "Daddy, what's wrong?" Artavia asked urgently.
  7. 7. "It sounded like a flat tire," Isaac said. Presented by Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  8. 8. "I hope the spare isn't flat," their father said.   "Dad!" Isaac moaned. "I'll be late to the show!"   "Then you'll really be playing the blues!" Artavia quipped.  
  9. 9. Father and son climbed out of the car and went to look in the trunk. They removed their big, black saxophone cases and sat them on the pavement.   Mr. Crosby pulled out the spare. "Watch out," he warned Isaac as he let it drop.   "Ow! Dad!"   The tire had targeted Isaac's foot as a landing spot. Artavia giggled. She watched as the men of the family worked to replace the flat tire. Presented by Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  10. 10. "Hey, look out!" Isaac said. "You almost hit me with that!" After a moment in which Artavia couldn't hear anything, Isaac spoke out again. "Come on, Dad. Let me have the lug wrench. You can take the pry bar and remove the hubcap."      Artavia began to imagine this night lasting for the rest of her life. How long was it supposed to take to change a tire? Would Isaac lose this chance to play his saxophone in front of an audience? "Hurry up, guys!" she called out the window. Presented by Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  11. 11. "What do you think we're doing?" Isaac asked with irritation in his voice. "Sipping tea with the queen of Egypt?"    "We're almost through, baby girl," her father replied.   Finally they were back on the street, racing to beat the clock. The tires squealed as they swung into a parking space. All three jumped out of the car.   "You go get cleaned up!" Mr. Crosby ordered. "Artavia and I will bring the instruments!"
  12. 12. Later that evening, Isaac was introduced and appeared on stage with his father. He approached the microphone.   "I wrote the piece I'm about to play," he told the audience, "but I changed the title."   Artavia's eyebrows shot up. This was new!
  13. 13. "Originally I called it ‘The Empty Pocket Blues,' because I never seem to have any cash when I need it. Tonight I came up with a better title. The song I'm about to play is now known as ‘Changing a Flat Tire While Dodging a Lug Wrench Blues.' I hope you enjoy it!"
  14. 14. Artavia laughed along with the crowd. She loved it!
  15. 15. Which word in paragraph 2 means ‘back-up'? Presented by Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  16. 16. Name the characters in the story. Presented by Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  17. 17. What does Isaac want to be when he grows up?   A jazz musician   Answer not given   Famous   A mechanic Presented by Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  18. 18. What was the conflict in the story?   The Crosbys struggling to get to the talent show on time   Answer not given   Isaac trying to avoid injury by his clumsy father   Artavia and Isaac trading insults Presented by Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  19. 19. Which word best describes Artavia?   Talented   Solemn   Clumsy   Observant Presented by Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  20. 20. List the reasons that support your answer to question #5. Presented by Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  21. 21. What got dropped on Isaac's foot?   The spare tire   The lug wrench   Answer not given   The saxophone case Presented by Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)
  22. 22. Rewrite the last sentence to imply that Artavia didn't like her brother's new song title, without saying that she didn't like it. Presented by Brent Daigle, Ph.D. (ABD)