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Summarizing Text Practice Exercises (page 2)

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Updated on Sep 29, 2011

Practice 2: Water, Water, Everywhere! 

Read the selection; then answer the questions that follow

(1) Is a flood ever good news? How can it be? When river water overflows and floods the land, people can lose their homes . . . even their lives! So to people who live in flood-prone areas, a flood is always bad news. But in ancient Egypt, things were different. The people looked forward to a yearly flood and saw it as good news!
(2) Many Egyptians lived and farmed by the Nile River, which flooded every summer. They eagerly anticipated the event because they knew that when the water receded,the land would be better for crops. That's because floodwaters carry along washed-away soil and sediment, then drop it somewhere else. There, the nutrients in thesediment sink into and nourish the land. Then the farmland is richer and ready for crops.
(3) The Egyptians weren't sure why the flood came each year. Many believed it was a gift from the spirits, who sent great clouds of rain to fall near the source of the Nile. But actually, that wasn't the case. The annual flood was caused by natural events that began high in the mountains of Ethiopia.
(4) In June, strong winds from the South Atlantic Ocean blow over the rainforests of Africa. When the winds reach Ethiopia's mountains, some of which are 13,000 feet (4,000 m) high, giant rain clouds drop their contents in huge thunderstorms. The rain continues and mountain streams fill to the brim. Then the streams join together to form a sizeable river. It speeds along to meet the Nile, carrying lots of soil and sediment with it. By July, the rushing water reaches Egypt, where it produces a flood in the Nile.
(5) The yearly flooding of the Nile wasn't all good news. Sometimes buildings and fences were swept away and property lines disappeared. But landowners just marked off their territories and put up new fences for another year.
(6) Today, floodwaters from Ethiopia are stopped soon after they reach Egypt. A large dam on the river holds back the rushing, rising water and forms a large lake. This is good news. Now buildings and fences aren't swept away. And today farmers can plant two crops a year instead of just one.
(7) But the dam is bad news, too. The waters of the yearly flood always kept the fields fertile. Today, farmers use fertilizers that get into the mud and water of the Nile. Fish that once thrived in the Nile are gone. And a serious disease is spread by snails that live in the slow-moving waters of the great river.
(8) So back to our original question: Is a flood ever good news? As you can see, it can be, if the good benefits outweigh the bad.
6. Which is the best one-sentence summary for paragraph 2?
a. A yearly flood in Egypt did a lot of damage.
b. A yearly flood in Egypt brought sediment that helped the land.
c. A yearly flood brought more people to Ethiopia.
d. A yearly flood in Egypt was caused by rain over the Pacific Ocean.
7. Which is the best summary for paragraph 4?
a. Winds from the Atlantic drop rain on Egypt at the source of the Nile. The rain floods large cities near the river.
b. Rain over the Atlantic comes on shore in Egypt and floods the Nile.
c. Rain in France forms a river that travels to Egypt and dumps into the Nile. Then the Nile floods Egyptian farmland beside the river.
d. Winds from the Atlantic drop rain on Ethiopia and rain-filled streams form a river. It dumps into the Nile, which floods Egyptian farmland beside the river.
8. Which would be an important detail to include in a summary of the article?
a. The Nile River is in Egypt.
b. People sail boats on the Nile.
c. The capital of Ethiopia is Addis-Ababa.
d. The Mississippi River also floods sometimes.
9. Write a summary of the whole article. Try to summarize in just two or three sentences.

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