NJ ASK Language Arts Literacy Grade 4 (REA) - Ready, Set, Go! New Jersey ASK, Grade 4 English Lang


REA … Real review, Real practice, Real results.


NJ ASK Grade 4 -- Language Arts Literacy

Fully aligned with the Core Curriculum Content Standards

of the N.J. State Board of Education


Sharpen understanding and skills

* The book's friendly practice and review covers all Reading and Writing Standards that will appear on the official NJ ASK exam.

* Easy-to-follow ...

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REA … Real review, Real practice, Real results.


NJ ASK Grade 4 -- Language Arts Literacy

Fully aligned with the Core Curriculum Content Standards

of the N.J. State Board of Education


Sharpen understanding and skills

* The book's friendly practice and review covers all Reading and Writing Standards that will appear on the official NJ ASK exam.

* Easy-to-follow lessons engage the student and strengthen reading and writing skills

* Focused drills boost confidence and proficiency

* Illustrations enliven subject review and practice

* Color icons highlight questions and tips

* Organized for efficient measurement and assessment of student progress

* Written to appeal to students at all learning levels

Practice for real

* Create the closest experience to test day with 2 full-length practice tests

* Chart performance with detailed explanations of answers

* Help reduce test-day jitters with our tried-and-true tips

Ideal for Classroom, Family, or Solo Test Preparation!


REA has helped generations of students study smart and excel on the important tests. REA’s study guides for state-required exams are teacher-recommended and written by experts who have mastered the test.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738602844
  • Publisher: Research & Education Association
  • Publication date: 3/9/2007
  • Series: Test Preps
  • Edition description: First
  • Pages: 304
  • Age range: 9 years
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Read an Excerpt



Welcome to an Educational Adventure

The New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge, or NJ ASK, is the Garden State’s answer to the federal No Child Left Behind Act, which requires that states use standards-based testing to ensure that students are picking up the skills and knowledge necessary for academic success.

We at REA believe that a friendly, hands-on introduction and preparation for the test are keys to creating a successful testing experience. REA’s NJ ASK books offer these key features:

* Clearly identified book activities

* Contextual illustrations

* Easy-to-follow lessons

* Step-by-step examples

* Tips for solving problems tailored for the proper grade level

* Exercises to sharpen skills

* Real practice

Below is helpful information for students, parents, and teachers concerning the NJ ASK and test taking in general. Organized practice is itself a prime skill for young students to master, because it will help set the tone for success long into the future as their educational adventure continues. It is REA’s sincere hope that this book—by providing relevant, standards-based practice—can become an integral part of that adventure.

What is the NJ ASK?

The New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge is a standards-based assessment used in New Jersey’s public schools. Performance on the NJ ASK test equates not with the grades students receive for teacher-assigned work but rather with proficiency measures pegged to how well students are acquiring the knowledge and skills outlined in the state’s Core Curriculum Content Standards.

Those proficiency measures fall into three broad categories, or bands: “partially proficient,” “proficient,” and “advanced proficient.”


When is the NJ ASK given?

The test is administered in early spring. Grade 3 students take the NJ ASK on three mornings, the first two in Language Arts Literacy, the final morning in Mathematics. Grade 4 students take the test on five mornings, the first two in Language Arts Literacy, the next two mornings in Mathematics, and the last in Science. Each morning’s test spans 60 to 100 minutes, not including time to distribute materials, read directions, and take breaks.


What is the format of the NJ ASK?

The NJ ASK has two types of questions: multiple choice and open ended. With multiple-choice, students are asked to choose the one correct answer out of the four choices provided. With open-ended questions, children answer with written responses in their own words. Each test section is timed, and students may not proceed to the next section until time for the current section has expired. If students have not finished a section when time runs out, they must stop and put down their pencils. There are clear directions throughout the test.

Understanding the NJ ASK and This Book



This book was specially written and designed to make test practice easy and fruitful for students. Our practice tests are very much like the actual NJ ASK tests, and our review is filled with illustrations, drills, exercises, and practice questions to help students become familiar with the testing environment and to retain information about key topics.


The NJ ASK and other state assessment tests are designed to give the school information about how well children are achieving in the areas required by New Jersey’s Core Curriculum Content Standards, which describe what students should know at the end of certain grades. This book helps children review and prepare effectively and positively for the NJ ASK in Language Arts Literacy.


Teachers introduce students to the test-taking environment and the demands of the NJ ASK tests. Teachers can use our authoritative book in the classroom for planned, guided instruction and practice testing. Effective preparation means better test scores!

Where can I obtain more information about the NJ ASK?

The New Jersey Department of Education offers four sources of information about the NJ ASK as follows:




Offi ce of Evaluation and Assessment

Telephone: 609-341-2456

Mailing address:

New Jersey Department of Education

PO Box 500

Trenton, NJ 08625-0500

Test Accommodations and Special Situations

Every effort is made to provide a level playing field for students with disabilities who are taking the NJ ASK. Most students with educational disabilities and most students whose English language skills are limited take the standard NJ ASK. Students with disabilities will be working toward achieving the standards at whatever level is appropriate for them. Supports such as large-print type are available for students who have a current Individualized Education Program (IEP) or who have plans required under Section 504 or who use these supports and accommodations during other classroom testing.

If the IEP team decides that a student will not take the NJ ASK in Language Arts Literacy, Mathematics, and/or Science, the child will take the Alternate Proficiency

Assessment (APA).

Tips for Test Taking

• Do your homework. From the first assignment of the year, organize the day so there is always time to study and keep up with homework.

• Communicate. If there are any questions, doubts, or concerns about anything relating to school, study, or tests, speak up. This goes for teachers and parents,

as well as students.

• Get some rest. Getting a good night’s sleep the night before the test is essential to waking up sharp and focused.

• Eat right. Having a good breakfast—nothing very heavy—the morning of the test is what the body and mind need. Comfortable clothes, plenty of time to get to school, and the confidence of having prepared properly are all any student needs.

• Test smart. Read the questions carefully. Make sure answers are written correctly in the proper place on the answer sheet. Don’t rush, and don’t go too slow. If there is time, go back and check questions that you weren’t sure about.

Format of the NJ ASK Language Arts Literacy

The reading portion of the test contains two passages with seven questions each. The writing portion requires students to write two essays; one in response to a picture prompt and another in response to a poem. The table below outlines the type of passage, question, writing task, and the amount of time allotted to each section.

Passage Type                                                             Grade 4 Questions             Time

1. Writing: speculate (picture prompt)                        Story                            25 minutes

2. Reading: narrative                                                           5 MC,* 2 OE*             50 minutes

3. Writing: explain (poem-linked prompt)             Composition                25 minutes

4. Reading: everyday text                                        6 MC, 1 OE                25 minutes

*MC = “multiple choice”; OE = “open ended”

For the NJ ASK, narrative text is defined as literature written primarily to tell a story. These passages will have a conflict and address common aspects of human nature. For grade 4, narrative passages of between 1,400 and 2,000 words are selected from previously published literature. Narrative passages chosen for the NJ ASK will contain the following elements:

• Significant themes that are age appropriate and grade-level appropriate

• A clearly identifiable problem/conflict and resolution

• A well-organized plot with clearly developed and meaningful events

• Well-developed characters

• Settings integral to the plot

• Literary elements, such as imagery and foreshadowing

• A range of vocabulary for which adequate context is provided

On the NJ ASK, everyday text is defined as text that people encounter in their daily lives. It is designed to convey information about a topic and/or to show how to do something. Everyday texts of varying formats will be selected and/or adapted from previously published sources such as magazines, newspapers, “how-to” books, and hands-on activity kits and workbooks. Everyday texts will range in length from 1,000 to 1,400 words for grade 4. The text will have a strong central idea or purpose and will contain the following elements:

• Engaging topics that are age- and grade-level appropriate

• A clear, positive focus

• A clearly developed explanation of ideas, activities, or action

• A clearly developed sequence of ideas, activities, or actions

• Performable activities or actions

• Vivid and clear illustrations

• A range of vocabulary for which adequate context is provided

The writing prompts will present topics that allow students to draw on material in the assessment as well as from their own prior knowledge to establish a context for their writing. In one task, students will view a picture and use their understanding of the picture to develop a story. In a second task, students will listen to a poem and then respond to a written prompt that extends an idea introduced by the poem.

Each writing task will provide space for students to plan their ideas. Students will be encouraged to use that space to organize their ideas using a prewriting strategy (e.g., making a web, a list, or some other sort of graphic organizer) of their own choosing. The instructions will direct students to write their own story or composition on the lined pages provided. This version of their writing is considered a first draft.

Each type of writing task is administered in a consistent format and in a constant time segment of 25 minutes. Students are instructed to use the first few minutes to develop ideas for their writing and the last few minutes to review and revise what they have written.

Scoring the Test

On the reading portion of the Grade 4 NJ ASK, each multiple-choice question is worth one point. Open-ended questions are scored holistically on a zero- to four-point scale. The most a student can score on the reading portion of the test is 20 points. The rubric for open-ended questions follows.

Points: 4

Criteria: A 4-point response clearly demonstrates understanding of the task, completes all requirements, and provides a clear and focused explanation/opinion that links to or extends aspects of the text.

Points: 3

Criteria: A 3-point response demonstrates an understanding of the task, addresses all requirements, and provides some explanation/opinion using situations or ideas from the text as support.

Points: 2

Criteria: A 2-point response may address all of the requirements, but demonstrates a partial understanding of the task, and uses text incorrectly or with limited success resulting in an inconsistent or flawed explanation.

Points: 1

Criteria: A 1-point response demonstrates minimal understanding of the task, does not address part of the requirements, and provides only a vague reference to or no use of the text.

Points: 0

Criteria: A 0-point response is irrelevant or off-topic.

Writing tasks are scored using a holistic scoring rubric developed specifically to focus on essential features of good writing and to assess students’ performance in composing written language. Each writing sample is scored on a 1- to 5-point scale, which is a modified version of New Jersey’s Registered Holistic Scoring Rubric.

NJ ASK Language Arts Literacy Standards


W1 Recognition of a Central Idea or Theme A central idea or theme is a statement that is broad enough to cover the entire scope of the reading passage. The central idea or theme may be stated or implied, but clues to it are found in the ideas that tend to recur in the text. Examples of a central idea or theme statement include the following:

Imagination helps us to solve problems.

Ordinary objects can be used to create unusual art.

W2 Recognition of Supporting Details These questions focus on meaningful details that contribute to the development of a character or the plot or that develop ideas and information that are essential to the central idea of a text.

W3 Extrapolation of Information These questions focus on ideas and information that are implied by, but are not explicit in, the text. For example, students may be asked to draw from cues provided in the text in order to identify how a character feels.

W4 Paraphrasing, Vocabulary These questions focus on the meaning of words used in the text and elicit students’ use of effective reading strategies to determine the meaning of the words. Targeted vocabulary always occurs within a semantic and syntactic context that students should draw on to respond to the question.


W5 Recognition of Text Organization Text organization encompasses the patterns of organization that characterize the respective genres. For the narratives, questions focus on setting, character, and plot, as well as on any distinctive pattern, such as repetition, within the story. For everyday texts, questions address structural features, such as section topics, charts, and illustrations, in addition to patterns of organization within the text (such as sequence, comparison-contrast, or cause and effect).

W6 Recognition of a Purpose for Reading These questions, which focus on the reader’s purpose, address reasons for reading a particular text. A story, for example, may convey specific information about a species of animal or a culture, although that may not be the primary purpose of the text.

A1 Questioning, Clarifying, Predicting These questions draw on students’ use of reading strategies to construct meaning. The questions introduce a focus and a context for responding (e.g., asking a question of the author or a character) and ask students to select and analyze ideas and information from the text to develop a response. Given the nature of this task, these questions are almost always open-ended items.

A2 Prediction of Tentative Meaning These questions focus on statements within the text that introduce some ambiguity: either the ideas are not fully explained or the statement uses language that can be read in two or more ways. For these questions, students use their knowledge of language and of the context within the reading passage to analyze the meaning of a particular statement.

A3 Forming of Opinions These questions elicit students’ responses to aspects of the text. The questions introduce a focus (e.g., whether the main character would make a good friend) and ask students to select and analyze ideas and information from the text to develop a response. Given the nature of this task, these questions are always open-ended items.

A4 Making Judgments, Drawing Conclusions These questions ask students to draw conclusions based on knowledge they have garnered from the ideas and information within the text. For example, students might be asked to analyze how the setting (e.g., the season of the year) affects the sequence of events within a story or to analyze the effect of skipping a step in a certain procedure.

A5 Literary Elements and Textual Conventions These questions focus on devices used by the author. Students might be asked to analyze what a specific metaphor conveys about a character in the story, or why an author uses italics for certain words.

NJ ASK Language Arts Literacy Standards*

W1            Recognition of a Central Idea or Theme             page 3

W2             Recognition of Supporting Details                          page 3

W3             Extrapolation of Information                                           page 35

W4             Paraphrasing, Vocabulary                                           page 19

W5             Recognition of Text Organization                             pages 35, 51, 81

W6             Recognition of a Purpose for Reading                        page 51

A1             Questioning, Clarifying, Predicting                                 page 67

A2             Prediction of Tentative Meaning                                   page 19, 51

A3             Forming of Opinions                                                    page 67

A4       Making Judgments, Drawing Conclusions                  page 67

A5       Literary Elements and Textual Conventions                 page 81

*The standards presented in this book were created by the New Jersey State Department of Education. For more information, visit the department’s website at www.state.nj.us/njded/ccss. Standards with W (for “working with text”) focus on ideas and information that are presenting in the text and available either literally or by extrapolation. Standards with an A (for “analyzing/critiquing text”) focus on students’ analysis of what they have read.

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Table of Contents




Welcome to an Educational Adventure 

Understanding the NJ ASK and This Book

Tips for Test Taking 

Format of the NJ ASK Language Arts Literacy Test

Scoring the Tests 

NJ ASK Language Arts Literacy Standards

Section 1: Reading


Chapter 1: Main Idea and Supporting Details


Main Idea

Supporting Details


Practice Passage: “What’s in a Name?”

Passage 1: “Reservations” 

Passage 2: “Changing the Sound of Music” 

Passage 3: “Annie and the School Shopper” 


Chapter 2: Understanding New Words


New Words

Words with More Than One Meaning

Practice Poem: “The Canary”

Passage 1: “My Bed Is a Boat”

Passage 2: “Farming Forever” Newsletter

Passage 3: Excerpt from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Chapter 3: Following Directions 



Practice Passage: ”How to Make Fresh Fruit-Sicles”

Passage 1: “Any Way the Wind Blows”

Passage 2: “Play Time”

Passage 3: “Inventing Ideas”

Chapter 4: Author’s Purpose and Prediction 



Author’s Purpose


Practice Passage: ”The Spelling Bee”

Passage 1: “The Wonders of Breakfast”

Passage 2: “New Jersey‘s Pine Barrens”

Passage 3: Excerpt from Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

Chapter 5: Conclusions and Opinions 



Practice Passage: ”Going to the Playground”

Passage 1: “A Giant Discovery”

Passage 2: “The Cape May Lighthouse”

Passage 3: “Maria Tallchief”

Chapter 6: Literature (Made-Up Stories) 






Special Language and Type

Passage 1: Excerpt from O Pioneers!

Passage 2: Excerpt from The Selfish Giant

Passage 3: “Making a Big Sound”

Section 2: Writing

Chapter 7: Prewriting 

How Can Prewriting Help?

Writing on the NJ ASK

Picture Prompts

Poem Prompts

Parts of a Writing Prompt

Ways to Prewrite

How to Prewrite for a Picture Prompt

Sample Writing Task 

How to Prewrite for a Poem Prompt

Sample Writing Task

Chapter 8: Drafting and Revising



Practice Test 1

Practice Test 2

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