Porcupyn's Blog

September 29, 2010

Tales of Baab – Reading comprehension, or lack thereof

Filed under: Family,Humour — Porcupyn @ 7:28 pm

Baab has gotten to that level in school where he is supposed to read passages and make an intelligent guess pick the correct answer. Here is a sample passage and a sample question – please note that all names and references in the passage have been changed from the original to keep the identity of the school a secret. The passage itself has also been modified, to ensure that it has no reference to reality either.

There was an Island in the Ocean – Isla Republica – ruled by King Oosh. All the inhabitants of the island were very happy and enjoyed life and their island. One day, out of nowhere, the island was taken over by a large population of mosquitoes. When the sun set, they came out, buzzed around, bit people and even sucked blood. The people of island referred to them as Golden Bloodsuckers.

No longer were the people happy. They appealed to King Oosh to rid them of the Golden ‘suckers. King Oosh had an idea. He invited the king of the neighbouring island nation, King Arach of Isla Democratica, to come over for lunch, stay overnight in his palace, and listen to the lovely music of the little people in his nation. After a grand feast, King Oosh gave King Arach a blanket to sleep under. He also told King Arach that the little people were very sensitive; if King Arach removed the blanket or peered out from under it, the little people would immediately go away.

King Arach followed King Oosh’s advice. As he lay in bed, he heard the wonderful music of buzzing generated by the Golden ‘suckers. Next morning, he asked King Oosh for some of the little people so he could take them back to his island. By then, King Oosh had very kindly collected all of the mosquitoes in a bag which he handed to King Arach, and told him, “Please keep this bag sealed until you reach Isla Democratica, otherwise the little people will fly away!”

Once more, King Arach followed King Oosh’s advice. From that day onwards, Isla Republica was rid of the Golden ‘suckers who now harrass Isla Democratica.

Question: Suggest a different method that King Oosh could have used to get rid of the pests – he could have instead …
1) … summoned a magician to cast a spell on them so they would bite people no more.
2) … put all the Golden ‘suckers in a bag and dumped them in the ocean.
3) … taken all the people in Isla Republica and moved them to Isla Democratica.

Baab selected option 1. My reasoning is that option 1 is wrong because there is nothing in the passage that says that Oosh has any magical powers or has access to a magician. Option 3 is obviously not a good option because of the logistics – Baab got that part right.

However, Baab’s reasoning is that the passage already discusses Oosh having rounded up all the pests in a bag. Picking option 2 would be almost the same and not really a different method.

What do you think? Would you agree with me? Don’t you agree that Oosh cheated/tricked Arach (this is not part of the question that was part of the passage)?


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