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Main Idea and Supporting Details Practice Exercises

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Updated on Sep 29, 2011

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Main Idea and Supporting Details Study Guide

Main Idea and Supporting Details Practice Exercises

Practice 1: A Musical Mouse 

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

(1) There are many different kinds of mice. Some are good swimmers; others like to swing from trees by their tails. And one kind, the white-footed mouse, is not only a good swimmer and tree climber, but it's also quite musical!
(2) This minute, furry creature's body is about 8 inches (20 cm) long, with a tail of another 3 inches (7.5 cm). It weighs only about 0.8 ounces (23 g). It's been around North America for a long time; scientists have found 40- million-year-old fossils of the tiny creature's ancestors!
(3) Some people call the white-footed mouse the "wood mouse" because it lives in so many wooded areas throughout North America. Other people call the white-footed mouse the "deer mouse." One reason is that its fur is the same colors as a deer's—soft brown on its back; white on its underside. Another reason is that the mice carry deer ticks that spread Lyme disease.
(4) The whitefoot makes its nest almost anywhere. It likes a home that is warm and dry, like a hollow tree or empty bird's nest. But most of the time the whitefoot runs along the ground looking for food. It eats seeds, nuts, leaves, bark, and insects. It sleeps by day and looks for food at night—its long whiskers and big ears help it find its way in the dark.
(5) Does the whitefoot really make music? In a way, it does because it often makes a humming sound. And it taps its little paws very fast on a dead leaf or hollow log to make a buzzing, drumming sound! Scientists aren't sure why the mouse is a drummer; it just is!
(6) So the next time you're in the woods, walk quietly. There might be a white-footed mouse nearby, and you wouldn't want to interrupt a mouse in the middle of its song . . . would you?
1. What is the main idea of this selection?
a. Deer are brown and white.
b. The white-footed mouse taps its paws in a drumming sound.
c. The woods of North America are full of mice.
d. Scientists study the habits of mice.
2. Which is a supporting detail for that main idea?
a. The white-footed mouse is also known as the wood mouse.
b. The deer mouse may carry ticks that transmit a disease.
c. The mouse taps on a dead leaf or hollow log.
d. The white-footed mouse isn't very big.
3. Which would make the best substitute title for this selection?
a. "How to Build a Better Mousetrap"
b. "Concert in the Woods"
c. "Caution: Lyme Disease Ahead!"
d. "All about Rodents"
4. What is the main idea of paragraph 2?
a. The white-footed mouse lives in Canada.
b. The white-footed mouse is also called the wood or deer mouse.
c. The white-footed mouse hums.
d. The white-footed mouse is very small.
5. Which detail in paragraph 2 is interesting, but not needed to find the main idea of that paragraph?
a. Its tail is 3 inches (7.5 cm) long.
b. Scientists found 40-million-year-old fossils of its ancestors.
c. It weighs 0.8 ounces (23 g).
d. Its body is about 8 inches (20 cm) long.
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