Chronological Order in Reading Practice Exercises (page 2)

Updated on Sep 29, 2011

Practice 2: Get on Track! 

Read the selection, and then answer the questions that follow.

(1) In ancient times, humans walked to get where they wanted to go. Later, they rode domesticated animals, like camels, horses, and mules. People had to carry their belongings themselves or on an animal's back. Later, people dragged objects on a travois, a kind of platform tied between two long poles. Then came the discovery of the wheel, and new technology changed everything.
(2) People rode and carried goods in carts and wagons pulled by animals. The larger the wagon and the more animals, the more people and goods could be moved. By 1662, the first horse-drawn buses were running regular routes through busy city streets.
  In 1814, the first steam-powered engine was fired up. Soon trains burned wood or coal to create steam that put the wheels in motion, rolling along tracks laid on the ground to create a "road" from place to place. The powerful engines pulled many cars full of people and goods. One engine did the work faster than a team of horses, so people called the machine the "Iron Horse."
(3) Steam trains were crucial to the growth of America. People moved west and built towns near the train tracks. Railroad owners became rich as more people traveled and shipped goods by rail. Soon hundreds of locomotives chugged across America, spewing out clouds of thick, black smoke.
(4) In 1918, a train was first powered by a diesel engine, which produces electricity to move a train. Diesels were faster and more powerful, and they didn't pollute the air. Before long, most steam engines were replaced by diesels. Next came even faster, quieter electric trains that were powered by overhead cables or electrified rails. Those led to the growth of commuter and subway trains that are still used by millions every day.
(5) By the 1960s, there were new high-speed, electric trains, called "bullet trains" because of their shape and speed. They were the fastest until the 1980s, when the maglev, or "magnetic levitation" train, was introduced. It doesn't run on rails; it floats between them! Electromagnets imbedded in the train and the track repel, lifting the train and pushing it forward. Today maglevs continue to get faster and faster. Right now the Japanese maglev holds the speed record, 361 mph (581 km/h)!
6. Before the discovery of the wheel, how did people travel?
a. on foot
b. riding camels
c. riding mules
d. all of the above
7. According to the article, by 1662 some cities had
a. subways.
b. steam trains.
c. horse-drawn buses.
d. commuter trains.
8. Steam trains were probably important to America in the 1800s because
a. they made the sky dark with smoke.
b. people moved west and built new cities that helped the country grow.
c. they used wood or coal.
d. people could tell time by a train's schedule.
9. Most steam engines were replaced by diesels that
a. produced electricity to power the train.
b. were not as powerful.
c. produced even more smoke pollution.
d. were first available in 1603.
10. Which was invented first?
a. the diesel engine
b. the bullet train
c. the maglev
d. the travois
11. The chart lists train engine types in sequence by
a. importance.
b. year invented.
c. speed.
d. size.
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