Question 11 - High School English II: Writing Practice Test for the STAAR test

Read the attached passage, looking for any revisions that need to be made. Then answer this and the following four questions about the passage. (You will have access to the passage for all of the questions about it.)

What is the best way to rewrite sentence 18?

Samantha’s teacher asked her to write about an experience where she learned a valuable lesson outside of school. Read Samantha’s essay and think about the corrections she should make. When you finish reading, answer the questions about her essay.


It’s Just a Skateboard

(1) Sometimes the smallest act can make the biggest difference. (2) The skills that we apply in our daily lives and the hobbies we enjoy filling our time with we can sometimes take for granted. (3) This was the lesson I learned one day last summer.

(4) I decided to skateboard over to my friend Katie’s house. (5) She lived a few streets over from me, so I grabbed one of my skateboards from the garage and hit the pavement. (6) On my way to Katie’s house I passed by a mom and her son who were sitting out front in the warm afternoon, enjoying popsicles. (7) I waved to them and said, “Hello!” as I passed. (8) The mom smiled sadly and waved back, the boy at her side dumbfoundedly staring at me as I rode by. (9) I continued on my way and didn’t think anything of it.

(10) Katie and I spent a few hours skateboarding at the neighborhood skatepark. (11) But as it grew later, I realized I was hungry. (12) I decided to head home for dinner. (13) As I skated home, I passed by the same house from earlier in the afternoon. (14) The boy and his mom were still out front, and this time the boy eagerly ran up to the fence. (15) I slowed down and said, “Hello,” but he said nothing. (16) His mom got up from her chair and joined him by the fence.

(17) “Jayson is admiring your skateboard and how well you ride!” she explained.

(18) “Oh, thank you,” I said, directing my comments to Jayson he said nothing.

(19) “Jayson is autistic and has a difficult time communicating with strangers,” she apologized. (20) “But he’s obsessed with anything with wheels and when he heard your skateboard rolling down the sidewalk again, he wanted to get a closer look.”

(21) “Oh!” I said, a little embarrassed to be the center of Jayson’s attention. (22) “Does he ride?”

(23) “No, he doesn’t ride skateboards. (24) He has a bike, but no skateboard.”

(25) “Would he like to try mine?” I offered.

(26) I heard Jayson’s voice for the first time. (27) “Yes!” he enthusiastically yelled.

(28) I smiled and waited for him to come out through his gate to try his hand at skateboarding. (29) His mom grabbed his bike helmet from the garage and Jayson tentatively stepped up on the board. (30) He was shaky at first, but soon got the hang of it and used the fence in front of his house to scoot himself up and down the sidewalk.

(31) Jayson scooted back and forth for several minutes. (32) His mom suggested he get off, but I insisted it was fine if he wanted to keep riding, despite the rumble of hunger from my stomach. (33) He looked so happy and content, I didn’t want to interrupt the fun I could see he was having. (34) He rolled up and down the sidewalk for about half an hour more, at which point his mom said, “Jayson, that’s probably enough for tonight. We need to let this nice young lady get home!”

(35) Reluctantly, Jayson dismounted the skateboard and sheepishly returned it to me. (36) “Thank you,” he quietly whispered. (37) “You’re welcome,” I responded, and waved to him and his mom as I headed home.

(38) I couldn’t stop thinking about Jayson and how happy he was to ride my skateboard. (39) To me, it was a good board, but I had others, so I made a decision. (40) The next morning, I rode back over to Jayson’s house and talked with his mom. (41) I told her that I’d like to give Jayson my board so that he could continue to practice skateboarding. (42) Tears sprang to her eyes and she enveloped me in a huge bear hug. (43) She called in to Jayson, who came to the door to find me standing there with my skateboard held out toward him.

(44) Giving Jayson a skateboard made his day. (45) I enjoy skateboarding, but I realized that my ability to spread that enjoyment to others brought an even better feeling. (46) It was a small gesture, but it left a big impact on Jayson. (47) And on me.

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