Study Guide

Elementary Education Multi-Content: English Language Arts and Social Studies
Sample Questions

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Domain 3—English Language Arts

Competency 0008
Apply knowledge of foundations of language and literacy development.

1. A teacher gives first-grade students a worksheet with pictures of common objects and lines beneath each picture. The teacher displays the letter s and instructs students, "Say each picture name. Write the letter s under each picture whose name begins with the letter s and starts with the /s/ sound." Which of the following areas of literacy is most directly promoted by this instructional strategy?

  1. spelling
  2. letter recognition
  3. phonemic awareness
  4. letter-sound correspondence
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Correct Response: D. Letter-sound correspondence refers to the identification of sounds associated with individual letters. By prompting students to make a connection between the letter s and the /s/ sound, the teacher is promoting students' understanding of this correspondence, leading to the overlap of phonemic and orthographic awareness necessary for learning to read.

Competency 0009
Apply knowledge of vocabulary development and text comprehension.

2. A teacher is working with a small group of third-grade students who are struggling with making inferences after reading a text. Which of the following instructional practices is likely to be most effective in promoting the students' inferential thinking?

  1. asking the students to make predictions prior to reading the text
  2. having the students review key vocabulary words prior to reading the text
  3. asking the students to cite textual evidence as they read to demonstrate comprehension
  4. having the students make text-to-self connections during and after reading
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Correct Response: C. To help students make inferences, the teacher promotes the students' understanding of what they are reading by encouraging them to use evidence from the text to support their thinking about the text. The teacher can then guide the students to think inferentially by asking questions about what is not actually written in the text.

Competency 0010
Apply knowledge of comprehension, interpretation, and analysis of literary and informational texts.

3. A kindergarten teacher is planning a series of activities to promote students' ability to comprehend information displayed in picture graphs. Which of the following activities would be most appropriate for the students to engage in first?

  1. conducting a survey of their classmates' favorite foods
  2. brainstorming appropriate titles for existing picture graphs
  3. watching an animated video about creating picture graphs
  4. sorting a variety of objects according to their similarities
Enter to expand or collapse answer.Answer expanded
Correct Response: D. The ability to comprehend information presented in graphs is one component of visual literacy skills. Graphs are often used to present information that is too lengthy and complicated to present in textual form. Information depicted in picture graphs, often the first type of graph introduced to young children, usually demonstrates relationships among data such as similarities, differences, and trends. A kindergarten teacher who wants to promote students' ability to comprehend information in picture graphs should first ensure that students understand the concept of grouping objects according to their similarities. Identifying and sorting a variety of objects according to their similarities will promote students' understanding of this concept.

Competency 0011
Apply knowledge of processes, modes, and conventions of written and oral communication.

4. Read the paragraph below from a fourth-grade student's first draft of an opinion piece; then answer the question that follows.

Kids keep their phones in their backpacks all day because we're not allowed to use them during class. When the bell rings at the end of the day, everybody takes out their phones. Nobody talks. They're too busy playing games on their phones. Yes, we need our phones to call our parents and for emergencies. But kids spend more time on their phones than they spend talking to each other. If you have a phone, you should think about how you use it.

Which of the following revisions would be most appropriate for the student to make to strengthen the opinion piece?

  1. replacing the word kids with the word students throughout
  2. adding an opening sentence that states a clear position
  3. spelling out "we're" as "we are" and "They're" as "They are"
  4. describing one game that students play on their phones
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Correct Response: B. Adding a clear position statement to the beginning of the draft would provide readers with context for the supporting information that follows. For example, the student could begin the opinion piece by stating, "Our phones should not be the most important thing in our lives."

Domain 4—Social Studies

Competency 0012
Apply knowledge of documents, principles, and processes of government.

5. The decision to ratify the U.S. Constitution in 17 87 through 17 90 was advanced by promises to add which of the following provisions to the document?

  1. an enumeration of individual rights
  2. an electoral college to choose the president
  3. a clarification of the supremacy of the federal government
  4. a statement against entangling alliances with foreign powers
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Correct Response: A. The U.S. Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation, which had established a weak central government on a group of still largely autonomous states. Many people opposed the move toward a more powerful central government on the grounds that it posed a greater threat to individual liberties. Advocates of the new Constitution addressed those concerns by promising to add amendments to form a written Bill of Rights.

Competency 0013
Apply knowledge of historical inquiry and the history of Missouri and the United States.

6. A fourth-grade teacher is selecting primary and secondary history sources for a unit on interactions between European immigrants and Native Americans in North America in the eighteenth century. In selecting the sources most effective for promoting the students' skills in interpreting historical evidence, the teacher should:

  1. choose only materials that contain verifiable information.
  2. rely primarily on the perspectives of Native Americans.
  3. give strong preference to materials written recently.
  4. be attentive to the possibility of cultural stereotypes.
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Correct Response: D. Many historical sources, including both visual and written sources, from the eighteenth century and for a long time thereafter were produced by and for people of European origins operating under their own cultural assumptions and mores. This means that such sources run the risk of promoting cultural stereotypes that work against the interests of Native Americans. Teachers need to be cognizant of the need to select culturally appropriate, non-stereotypical sources.

Competency 0014
Apply knowledge of economics, geography, the environment, culture, and society.

7. A first-grade teacher is considering different strategies for introducing economics concepts to the class. Which of the following approaches would be most appropriate for introducing economics to a first-grade class?

  1. seeking donations for a fundraiser to obtain supplemental books and classroom supplies
  2. instituting a system in which students earn tickets for various tasks to redeem for prizes
  3. collecting money from students to put into a bank to purchase food for a classroom pet
  4. asking students to list the items that they would purchase if given a specific amount of money
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Correct Response: B. Economics is fundamentally a system connecting people and their decisions about dealing with a world of scarcity, where a choice to have or do one desirable thing requires giving up the chance to have or do other desirable things. A system of tickets for prizes allows for children to see that the tickets need to be earned in some way, and that the choice to redeem tickets for one prize means foregoing one or more other prizes that would have also been desirable.

Multiple Competencies

Read the excerpt below from a speech delivered by Benjamin Franklin to the Constitutional Convention in 17 87; then answer the questions that follow.

Much of the strength and efficiency of any government, in procuring and securing happiness to the people depends on opinion, on the general opinion of the goodness of that government as well as of the wisdom and integrity of its governors. I hope therefore that for our own sakes, as a part of the people, and for the sake of our posterity, we shall act heartily and unanimously in recommending this constitution, wherever our influence may extend, and turn our future thoughts and endeavors to the means of having it well administered.

[Source Reference: (Public Domain) Franklin, B. (2001) Speech to the Constitutional Convention. In Suzanne McIntire (Ed.), American Heritage® Book of Great American Speeches for Young People. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 26. (Original speech delivered 1787)]

Competency 0011
Apply knowledge of processes, modes, and conventions of written and oral communication.

8. Which of the following activities would most likely promote fifth-grade students' ability to identify the main ideas and key details in the excerpt?

  1. researching the lives of delegates to the Constitutional Convention
  2. brainstorming questions they wish they could ask Benjamin Franklin
  3. drafting original speeches in favor of adopting the U.S. Constitution
  4. paraphrasing the excerpt using contemporary language and syntax
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Correct Response: D. The formal language and complex syntax in the excerpt would most likely pose a significant challenge for fifth-grade students. Paraphrasing the excerpt using contemporary language and syntax would promote the students' comprehension. The paraphrasing activity would most likely require the teacher's guidance, and the students could support each other by working in pairs or small groups. After paraphrasing the excerpt, the students would be better prepared to identify the main ideas and key details.

Competency 0012
Apply knowledge of documents, principles, and processes of government.

9. The excerpt most clearly reflects the influence of the European Enlightenment on the drafting of the U.S. Constitution in its advocacy of which of the following priorities?

  1. a strong and efficient government
  2. the happiness of the people
  3. actions for the sake of posterity
  4. a unanimous recommendation
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Correct Response: B. Many of the founders of the United States, including Benjamin Franklin, were well educated in the principles of the Enlightenment, a broad-based philosophical movement current in Western Europe in the eighteenth century. Among its several strands, the Enlightenment stressed advancement and progress, often toward ideals such as the pursuit of happiness and the greatest happiness for the greatest number. In the first sentence of this excerpt, Franklin reveals that he shares the assumption that the purpose of government is to secure the happiness of the people, which was not an assumption widely held before the Enlightenment.