(1) Why was the question asked in ASSET test?

This simple question tests whether children are able to read a passage and reproduce the facts mentioned in it. The basic ability to decode a sentence and diligence in reading the passage are sufficient to answer this question.

(2) What did students answer?

52% of 6,579 children chose the correct option B, “every ten minutes”. 22% of children chose option D, “fifty times a second” which was the most common wrong answer.

Possible reason for choosing A:  Children have probably been impatient and chosen the first option, not trying to confirm their answer by going back to the passage.

Possible reason for choosing C:  Only a few children chose this option; it is possible that they may have guessed the answer and not tried to verify their answer.

Possible reason for choosing D:  There are two time frequencies mentioned in the passage – “the humming bird moves its wings fifty times a second”, “the humming bird eats every ten minutes.”

Children probably selected option D because “fifty times a second” was the first number they came across, not realizing that it referred to the “flapping of wings”. It is possible that they stopped reading the passage after that, and did not reach the sentence “They eat every ten minutes”.

(3) Learnings

From the student response data, it appears that children do not have the habit of reading a passage in its entirety. In this case, the question was very simple and direct. Yet a substantial percentage of children have not been able to answer the question correctly. It indicates that children need to be actively taught to read the passage fully and verify their answers.

4) How do we handle this?

  • Use the same passage in class. Ask children to read it carefully.
  • Draw four boxes on the board and label them as – description, flying habits, eating habits, cleaning habits.
  • Ask children to list all the information about humming birds. Ask them under which box should a characteristic be written.
  • Look at the figure below to see how the diagram on the board will emerge. This will help children to list all the facts and see that the two characteristics of flapping wings fifty times a second and eating every ten minutes fall under two separate categories.
  • You can use short passages about birds and animals of 75-100 words and repeat the exercise in class from time to time.




Useful links: 

1. http://www.fctel.uncc.edu/pedagogy/basicscoursedevelop/BloomWritingObjectives.html (Bloom’s Taxonomy – Objectives of Reading and Writing from basic to complex)

2. http://edhelper.com/language/Reading_Skills.html (a website with exercises on reading comprehension skills)


For more information about ASSET, write to us at info@ei-india.com


Educational Initiatives

Educational Initiatives

Founded by a group of IIMA alumni, with ample personal experience of educational institutions, Educational Initiatives (EI) is an effort to ensure every child learns with understanding.

Established in 2001, Educational Initiatives believes in making a difference in education through personalized learning and ensuring that students learn with understanding.

EI has over 15 years of expertise in education, with a deep understanding of child psychology and efficient methods of teaching, based on detailed research and a formidable database of student learning through ASSET.

Our detailed research has proven that children today respond to rote-based questions relatively well, however, they fail to answer unfamiliar or application based questions due to unclear core concepts.
Educational Initiatives