Reading Cause and Effect Practice Exercises (page 2)

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Updated on Sep 29, 2011

Practice 2: The Planet Changes 

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

(1) Look at Earth's landscape today. Then look at it next month. See the difference? Well, maybe not. Earth is constantly changing, but some changes are slower than others. Here are a few examples of how our planet changes every day.
  • Deep inside Earth is a huge pool of magma— melted rock and gas. If the pressure underground builds up, the magma moves up and out of an opening in Earth's crust. The liquid spills or explodes as lava, then flows downhill, destroying everything in its path. When the lava cools and hardens, it enlarges old land or creates new islands in the sea!
  • Heavy rainfall can weaken soil and rock. If this happens on a hillside, the soil and rocks can break loose and slide all the way down. A landslide can topple trees, demolish houses, and dump soil to build up Earth's surface in a new location.
  • Sometimes piles of snow loosen and quickly tumble down a mountain, picking up rocks as they go. Avalanches scrape the surface of the mountain and change it forever. The rocks and soil pushed along with the snow build up Earth's surface below, once the snow melts.
  • Every year we hear of places where heavy rainfall or melted ice and snow run into rivers, causing them to overflow. The ensuing floods flow across the land, washing away rich soil and sometimes changing the path of the river itself.
  • Earthquakes very quickly destroy some landforms and create others. Undersea earthquakes can cause tsunamis, or tidal waves, with water reaching as high as 50 feet (15 m). When the water reaches land, it crashes ashore and rearranges the landscape.
  • Even lightning, tornadoes, and hurricanes quickly change Earth's surface. Lightning may cause forest fires that burn down trees and homes, and destroy land. Windstorms like tornadoes and hurricanes blow away soil and rip up trees, flattening or tearing away the land around them.
  • As you see, nature is always changing Earth's surface somewhere. Some changes are big. Some are little. But all can be seen, if you look hard enough!
5. What causes magma to move up and out of Earth as lava?
a. heavy rains and winds
b. snow and ice
c. pressure build-up underground
d. pressure from strong wind
6. Which is an effect of an avalanche?
a. Lava flows downhill, destroying everything in its path.
b. Once the snow melts, rocks and soil pushed along build up Earth's surface.
c. The water reaches land, crashes ashore, and rearranges the landscape.
d. Forest fires burn down trees and homes, and destroy land.
7. How can windstorms change Earth's surface?
a. by blowing away soil
b. by ripping away trees
c. by flattening and tearing away land around trees
d. all of the above
8. Heavy rainfall on a hillside can cause
a. a hurricane.
b. an avalanche.
c. a tsunami.
d. a landslide.
9. When heavy rain or melting snow and ice run into a river, they can cause
a. a flood.
b. an earthquake.
c. a hurricane.
d. a tornado.
10. Which can you most likely predict?
a. There will be an earthquake today.
b. In five years, Earth's surface will look different than it does today.
c. Earth's surface will always look the same.
d. In five years, Earth's surface will look exactly as it does today.
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