Main Idea and Supporting Details Practice Exercises (page 3)

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Updated on Sep 29, 2011

Practice 3: Radio Days 

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

(1) Before there was TV, Americans gathered around their radios daily to listen to the news and more. In the 1930s and 1940s, mystery shows, like Sam Spade and The Shadow, were favorites with young and old alike. Every week people tuned in to hear the top tunes on Your Hit Parade. And on Sunday mornings, radio stars read the comics aloud to kids.
(2) Did you think soap operas were a TV phenomenon? No way! They started on radio. Do you know why they were called "soap operas"? Most shows were sponsored by soap companies and, because characters had many problems, people said the stories were like operas, most of which don't have happy endings!
(3) Because there were no pictures to show what was going on, radio required people to use their imaginations. So, as a sportscaster described the action, people had to imagine "he hits a pop fly high into the infield, the shortstop moves in . . . reaches . . . grabs it . . . throws to second . . . and he's out!" Not only did they picture it, many people cheered as if they were right there in the stadium!
11. Which best states the main idea of the article?
a. Soap operas started on TV.
b. Before there was TV, people listened to the radio a lot.
c. Quite often, operas don't end happily.
d. Top tunes were played on the radio.
12. The author says radio required people to use their imaginations because
a. radio stars read the comics.
b. people cheered as if they were at the stadium.
c. The Shadow was a mystery show.
d. there were no pictures to show the action.
13. Which could the author best use as another supporting detail?
a. Television was not in many American homes until the 1950s.
b. Many cars did not have a radio.
c. The modern home has two or more TVs.
d. Two-way radios were important during the war.


1. b
2. c
3. b
4. d
5. b
6. c
7. a
8. d
9. b
10. c
11. b
12. d
13. a
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