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The Pineapple and the Hare. Simple reading comprehension question BAFFLES NY educators.

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posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 02:15 PM
There's so much good literature out there that could be used for a reading comprehension test: Poe, Saki, O'Henry, etc. Why would they come up with a contrived and obtuse test like this? That's what baffles me.

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 02:17 PM
The pineapple was eaten by all the animals. Its seeds will then be spread, through the animals feces, which in turn will become parent plants for more pineapples.

The pineapple tricked all the animals, reproduced without spending any energy and in the long run... won.

The pineapple was the most clever.

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 02:21 PM
reply to post by antonia

I think your answers are correct. They are the same I picked. There is nothing wrong with this question. They should have been able to get this.

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 02:21 PM
That had to be the dumbest test I ever had the misfortune of reading. The moral of the story is that Pineapples don't have sleeves? Really? Somebody's watching too much Sponge-bob. The moral of the story is to keep Daniel Pinkwater as far away from a word processor as possible. He obviously does terrible things when he's using one.

I'm all for teaching critical thinking skills but this test had none to be found. In order to give a test evaluating critical thinking skills you need to know what they are first so you can form a scenario around the definition.

This one kind of sums it all up:

"Critical thinkers do not take an egotistical view of the world. They are open to new ideas and perspectives. They are willing to challenge their beliefs and investigate competing evidence."

But the ideas and perspectives need to have some kind of basis in reality. The author took the story of the tortoise and the hare and gave it a twist that didn't make any sense at all. He was trying to be creative and failed miserably. And what's worse is that the test even made it as far as the classroom.

EPIC fail.

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 02:22 PM
Honestly, one of the stupidest questions I've ever seen on a test and Ive seen some pretty stupid test questions in my years.
They remind me of the personality and psych tests that the Govt gives you when applying for work with them.

edit on 23-4-2012 by Juggernog because: (no reason given)

edit on 23-4-2012 by Juggernog because: typo

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 02:22 PM

Originally posted by antonia
I found an interview with the author of the passage
He says that there are no answers.

I like this the best. "Wisest" is relative. You get out of a story whatever you want and youre right as long as it makes sense to you.

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 02:23 PM

Originally posted by DestroyDestroyDestroy
The owl is the wisest, every other animal is dumb.

Not to mention the saying, "wise owl."

I like this question a lot, it's much more interesting than something like, "Jack and Sally have 4 apples, Jack eats an apple, how many apples do they have?"

I agree, critical thinking is a thing of the past; kids get dumber with every passing generation.

Plus the owl's only line was the same as the moral of the story.

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 02:25 PM

The pineapple or not does not matter. It's reading comprehension and enough info isn't in the story to answer some of the questions without speculation or opinion. That is what makes it suspect.

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 02:28 PM

Originally posted by kaylaluv

Originally posted by antonia

Originally posted by shadow watcher
I chose the same answers as the op except I answered crow not owl.
If you go back, the crow had explained his thoughts better than the owl did.

I should let my 13 year old read it and see what he says.
edit on 23/4/12 by shadow watcher because: (no reason given)

The end moral is the clue as to who is the wisest.

I agree - the owl was the wisest. But, I think the animals ate the pineapple because they were annoyed. I know I was certainly annoyed. It's a goofy story, no matter how you look at it.

My question is - what the heck is a tropical fruit doing in a forest???

Nobody starred your post?
I starred it! Taking for granted the talking animals and fruits,and the absurdity of it all, they never mentioned what the hell a pineapple was doing in the forest? If it can get to the forest, then perhaps it can race a hare? They also don't really address the issue of eating something that was only moments ago conversing with them!! Seems kind of murderous and vengeful if you ask me.

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 02:28 PM
The person who wrote the question is probably a victim of the education system which is now under repair.

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 02:32 PM
To address some other comments all at once. In a reading comprehension test, you cannot make assumptions like "wise owl." You have to go by only what is in the text. The hare didn't speak anything important other than to accept the challenge. The moose ended up being wrong about the trick, so by process of elimination the owl spoke the wisest words. The words were true, and they ended up being repeated as the moral of the story. Of course it was the owl.

I was more concerned that the questions were worded so simplistically? Are they afraid to use an important vocabulary word like "chronological?" I had to re-read that question twice because it was dumbed down so far.

I agree with others, there are wonderful works of prose out there, with accepted scholarly opinion, why would they write something from scratch? Why not expose the kids to some classic literature?

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 02:36 PM
B, C, D, A, D, C.

It's a very good test.
The text is fictional and imaginary, different from a real situation like getting on a car, starting the engine, driving, stopping at a crossroads, a situation where you don't need to perfectly understand the text to understand what is happening and what is said because intuitively you already know the story.
Here, it is nonsensical and with no reference point to an intuitively known situation, you have to understand what you are reading and the sub-texts. The only material is the text you read hence a reading comprehension text.

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 02:38 PM
The answers were contained in the 2nd link:

The correct answers -- which the state agreed to released Friday -- were that the animals ate the fruit because they were annoyed, and the owl was the wisest animal.

I had figured them out before reading the whole article.

I determined the owl was the wisest because his words were the moral of the story. The other animals overthought the pineapple's motiviations and came to the wrong conclusion.

In order to figure out why they ate the pineapple, just put yourself in the shoes of the animals who had rooted for the pineapple that didn't even expend any energy or try to win. Of course you would be annoyed at the pineapple.

I have to give credit to needlenight who said the pineapple was the smartest because it dispersed its seeds by being eaten by the other animals. You get an A+++ for critical thinking on that one.

edit on 4/23/12 by FortAnthem because:
_________ extra DIV

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 02:38 PM
1) B - It seems like its listed in order the story happened

2) C - They ate the pineapple because they were expecting something but got nothing, so they were annoyed, i doubt angry..

3) B - Owl probably not the wisest, because of the term wise owl, it might be a trick because ppl will default to owl as the wisest.

4) A - They were Suspicious because what the Pineapple said was not possible, but they wanted to see how he is going to do it.

5) D - They will cheer the winner, the hare.

6) C - Tthe moose meant he is likely to fool the hare.

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 02:42 PM
In my opinion this question is far more interresting, than any question I got on a test back in school.
All I had were those basic: "This man is driving his car with 60 miles per hour while holding 5 apples. A bird flies in, eats 2 of the mans apples and because of the suprise bird, the man runs over a lady. What time is it?"

At least questions like the one OP has posted, gets some thinking going in the kids. However, the questions should not have any possible answers already written down. The students should be asked a question, and then answer it in any way they want but explain their answer. That would teach the kids some logical thinking.

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 02:46 PM
reply to post by getreadyalready

I have nothing wrong with the absurdity or the premise of the story, only with the vagueness of some of the questions with regards to the factual content.

I think the questions should be kept fairly straightforward and there is nothing wrong with similar short stories being issued on tests.

Standardized tests should have some form of rigidity though and refrain from abstract concepts that there really is no ONE answer to. (definitively).

The problem with using famous prose and literature for these tests is that every 'expert', teacher, professor, educator, have differing interpretations of various works. Comprehension and retension should be the foremost yardstick to measure.
Not determining a concrete meaning or purpose of a story because this is always open to determination. Only the author knows his true meaning and intent.

If you asked the original authors of most great works their meaning and intent, it can vary greatly from the pompous interpretation of intellectuals and agendas of varying eras.

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 02:48 PM
The story is so badly written as to be a case of 3rd grade mentality run amok. The story isn't a story, it is a condescending, half thought out, poorly framed "modern fable" who's cuteness renders the effort stupid beyond words.

The cutesy "I'm just chatting you up with a story" framework is not a test, unless you count one's ability actually read it without screaming the test. The fact that this is "age appropriate" is beyond everything decent. When I was in third grade this would have been ignored as being to stupid to waste time on.

Someone needs to read this in a HURRY, while under the pressure of the test. To make both the facts, the themes and the ideas NEW isn't the point of a test. If you gave this as an evening exam, while still a TOTAL waste of time, the process would be less reviled. The fact that this is a "test" question is just asinine and begs the question: what is actually being tested?

There are hundreds of short, brilliant, time tested fables that would serve not only the test but an enlightening experience: A man saves a snake from certain death, the snake thanks the man and then bites him. When the man asks the snake, "why did you bite me after I saved your life?" the snake replied: "It's what I do."

Why did the snake bite the man? Would the snake have bitten the man if he had not save him. Was saving a life, or doing a good deed, a factor in the story.

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 02:51 PM
reply to post by Taupin Desciple

Sorry, but not everyone in the universe is so boring to classify an entire literary movement (ABSURDISM) as garbage. If anything, putting such critical reading skills to the test on an absurdist piece, which essentially strips away elements such as mundane plotlines and traditional characters, etc., is a wonderful way to test one's critical reading abilities, since one must actually pay attention to things like structure and chronology, instead of relying on instinct and test strategy.

The modern educational system in america is utter garbage, and is trending worse, not better. Lower standards might make for better grades, but they make worse students who think that they're smarter than they are, and who cannot think about problems logically and critically, even if they had the implicitly necessary skills to solve those problems. And that is Very Damned Dangerous.

Keep in mind that these are people who will one day be tasked with running the world, and unless you think you're going to develop a taste for Brawndo (It's got electrolytes!) in old age, that should be a worrying fact.

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 02:51 PM
My answers were A,C,D,A,D,C. Not sure on that first answer, because I'm not exactly sure how one sentence is considered a paragraph. No telling where the fourth "paragraph" is supposed to be but whatever. Could be B as well I guess.

The story is funny and entertaining to read and may break up the monotony of the test. However, the test isn't supposed to be fun or entertaining. It is a serious test that should have serious and observable questions. In my opinion, it was easy, but I'm not so sure how easy it would be for 8th graders who are about 14 years old. A portion of those students probably don't even read on an 8th grade level, tbh.

posted on Apr, 23 2012 @ 02:51 PM

Originally posted by Taupin Desciple
That had to be the dumbest test I ever had the misfortune of reading. The moral of the story is that Pineapples don't have sleeves? Really?

This is what the test is about. It is not about the meaning but the comprehension. That it means something or is logical is not the point. It helps that the text is absurd, it might be absurd but it tells something and because it is absurd, you can't use logic or experience to decipher it, you need your reading comprehension skills.
This text could be based on a much more absurd story, imagine Beckett or Ionesco.

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