# Understanding Retrieval Questions 1

In this worksheet, students will practice how to answer a specific question type in the SATs Reading paper; retrieval questions.

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Exam-Style Questions: SATs English

Curriculum subtopic:   Exam-Style Questions: Retrieval Questions

Difficulty level:

### QUESTION 1 of 10

Welcome to this SATs reading practice activity.

In this activity, you will practice how to answer retrieval type questions for the SATs reading test.

These texts will be varied, they could be fictional, factual or poetry.

Retrieval questions come in different forms and will often begin with: 'who, what, where, when, why or how.'

When answering a retrieval question, you may find the answer very easy to find, you may have already text marked it or you may need to search a little harder.

Top Tips when answering retrieval questions:

• Use your textmarking! Especially names, places, dates, years, these could all be useful!
• Do not guess!!  It can be so easy to guess when answering this type of question but you MUST check back in the text again.
• A retrieval question could begin with 'who' if it does, it is asking for a person, 'where' means it is asking for a place etc.
• Don't be fooled into thinking that all retrieval questions are literal and easy to answer...you will probably have to look in detail at the text to find the answer.

Over to you now to spend some time practising how to answer retrieval questions based on different types of texts...good luck!

What type of design are the crop circles?

Amazing, strange crop circles have been appearing frequently in grain fields all over the earth during the last few decades. They appear suddenly, usually at night. At first they were simple, straight forward circles of bent-over grain stalks. Soon a new crop of more detailed, geometric designs appeared.

Straight Lines

Multi-coloured

Geometric

Square

Read the passage carefully, choose the correct ending for the statement:

Strange crop circles usually appear in...

Amazing, strange crop circles have been appearing frequently in grain fields all over the earth during the last few decades. They appear suddenly, usually at night. At first they were simple, straight forward circles of bent-over grain stalks. Soon a new, novel crop of more detailed, geometric designs appeared.

grain fields

in the ocean.

when it is a full moon.

by accident.

Why do cereologists think that whoever makes the crop circles is very intelligent?

Some cereologists (people who study crop circles) say that these crop circles must be created by intelligent, gifted alien beings from elsewhere. The crop circles must be made in a very short amount of time so cereologists see this as evidence that the aliens must be very intelligent and much more advanced than we are. That's mere guesswork, of course.

Read the passage carefully. What does 'baffle' mean?

Crop circles are a mystery and there are lots of theories about where they come from...not all of them include aliens! They could be a hoax, created by humans, they could be created by the military for a secret operation or they could be caused by a whirlwind. Whatever the theory, crop circles, certainly continue to baffle us!

Delight

Confuse

Worry

Help

Read the passage carefully. Write down two things you have learnt about crop circles.

Why should bright, intelligent aliens travel huge, vast distances across the galaxy just to doodle randomly in our grain fields? What a crazy idea! No one has ever genuinely seen them doing it, have they? Usually there aren't even any U.F.O. sightings associated with the circles, except for those reported after the fact, by people with overactive, vivid imaginations. Surely intelligent aliens have better things to do? The true origin of crop circle designs may be nearer to home. What do you think?

Read this report based on a mysterious event.

Who wrote the report?

A REPORT ON THE BLUE RIDGE MANOR MYSTERY

Date: 9th September 1990

Author: Samuel Smith, Paranormal Investigator

INTRODUCTION

This is a report on my investigation into the Blue Ridge Manor mystery. The report is published by the Earl of Blue Ridge who asked me to investigate a strange phenomenon that has been troubling him recently.

What job does Samuel Smith have?

A REPORT ON THE BLUE RIDGE MANOR MYSTERY

Date: 9th September 1990

Author: Samuel Smith, Paranormal Investigator

INTRODUCTION

This is a report on my investigation into the Blue Ridge Manor mystery. The report is published by the Earl of Blue Ridge who asked me to investigate a strange phenomenon that has been troubling him recently.

Can you match the statements correctly?

BACKGROUND

Blue Ridge Manor was built in 1750 but fell into disrepair in the early years of this century. However, in the 1980s, Lady Lucy of Blue Ridge, the Earl’s wife, spent a great deal of money restoring and redecorating the house. Sadly, soon after her plans were completed she was murdered in the course of a break-in. The Earl suffered a nervous breakdown and gave up his public duties.

## Column B

When was Blue Ridge Manor built?
His public duties.
When did Lady Lucy restore the house?
1750.
She was murdered.
What did the Earl give up?
1980's

Read this next extract about the mystery at Blue Ridge Manor and write down two things you learn from it.

THE PHENOMENON AT BLUE RIDGE MANOR

The first occurrence of the phenomenon took place a few months ago- the Earl can’t remember the exact date. Recently, the phenomenon has been observed more and more frequently. The only eye-witnesses are the Earl and one of his servants. They state that, on the night of a full moon, a ghostly skull is seen floating down the corridors. The skull is said to make an ear-piercing scream as it floats along, and though no one else has seen the ghostly skull, many people, even passers-by, claim to have heard its scream. The Earl tried everything to end the haunting. He even asked Rev. Smith, rector of the parish church, if he would conduct a service of exorcism, but the Reverend said the church no longer conducted such ceremonies. He gave the house a blessing instead, but the haunting continued.

Read this final part of the report about Blue Ridge Manor. Why did the Earl leave his manor?

When I explained to the Earl that I was unable to explain the phenomenon, or offer a solution, he decided that he had no option but to leave Blue Ridge Manor before he finally went mad. He is now living at 10 Main Street and is offering a large reward to anyone who can rid his ancestral mansion of its terrible curse.

I am convinced that there is something strange taking place at Blue Ridge Manor, though it may not necessarily be supernatural. However, as solve the mystery, I am making this report available, along with all the other papers I collected during my enquiry, to anyone who can perhaps do better.

Because he found a nicer home to live in.

Because he decided to change area.

Because no one can explain the phenomena.

Because he wanted to sell the Manor.

• Question 1

What type of design are the crop circles?

Amazing, strange crop circles have been appearing frequently in grain fields all over the earth during the last few decades. They appear suddenly, usually at night. At first they were simple, straight forward circles of bent-over grain stalks. Soon a new crop of more detailed, geometric designs appeared.

Geometric
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do with this first question? Did you notice that the question began with 'what'? Whenever you are answering a retrieval question, always make sure you check the text, don't guess!
• Question 2

Read the passage carefully, choose the correct ending for the statement:

Strange crop circles usually appear in...

Amazing, strange crop circles have been appearing frequently in grain fields all over the earth during the last few decades. They appear suddenly, usually at night. At first they were simple, straight forward circles of bent-over grain stalks. Soon a new, novel crop of more detailed, geometric designs appeared.

grain fields
EDDIE SAYS
Take a deep breath, you've got this! Did you spot that the full, correct statement is: 'Strange crop circles usually appear in grain fields'? In this type of retrieval question, you need to read through all of the options carefully and then compare each to the text to work out the correct answer. Keep this up- you are putting in great practice!
• Question 3

Why do cereologists think that whoever makes the crop circles is very intelligent?

Some cereologists (people who study crop circles) say that these crop circles must be created by intelligent, gifted alien beings from elsewhere. The crop circles must be made in a very short amount of time so cereologists see this as evidence that the aliens must be very intelligent and much more advanced than we are. That's mere guesswork, of course.

EDDIE SAYS
To gain the mark for this question, the pupil will need to retrieve the information that cereologists think that whoever makes the crop circles must be very intelligent as they make them in such a short amount of time. It is important that the pupil only refers to this correct detail and does not add extra information. Adding in further detail would demonstrate a lack of understanding of both the question and the text.
• Question 4

Read the passage carefully. What does 'baffle' mean?

Crop circles are a mystery and there are lots of theories about where they come from...not all of them include aliens! They could be a hoax, created by humans, they could be created by the military for a secret operation or they could be caused by a whirlwind. Whatever the theory, crop circles, certainly continue to baffle us!

Confuse
EDDIE SAYS
Keep going until you get it right! Did you spot that 'baffle' means 'confuse'? Retrieval questions can require you to know a variety of words with the same meaning (synonym). By reading the sentences around the word, you can have a good guess at what it means. You are really making progress now- keep going!
• Question 5

Read the passage carefully. Write down two things you have learnt about crop circles.

Why should bright, intelligent aliens travel huge, vast distances across the galaxy just to doodle randomly in our grain fields? What a crazy idea! No one has ever genuinely seen them doing it, have they? Usually there aren't even any U.F.O. sightings associated with the circles, except for those reported after the fact, by people with overactive, vivid imaginations. Surely intelligent aliens have better things to do? The true origin of crop circle designs may be nearer to home. What do you think?

EDDIE SAYS
Don't panic if you found this difficult, it is a challenge to write the answer in your own words! To gain both marks in this question, the pupil will need to provide two separate details retrieved from the text. This can include from this passage and the related passages in the earlier questions. For example, some people believe that aliens create crop circles whereas others believe it is the military making them due to a secret operation.
• Question 6

Read this report based on a mysterious event.

Who wrote the report?

A REPORT ON THE BLUE RIDGE MANOR MYSTERY

Date: 9th September 1990

Author: Samuel Smith, Paranormal Investigator

INTRODUCTION

This is a report on my investigation into the Blue Ridge Manor mystery. The report is published by the Earl of Blue Ridge who asked me to investigate a strange phenomenon that has been troubling him recently.

Samuel Smith
EDDIE SAYS
Did you manage to spot that 'Samuel Smith' wrote the report? Retrieval type questions often need a time/ date/ name answer. You may have already text marked it when you first read through. Remember, don't guess! Take your time to read through carefully to answer accurately. You are trying hard- keep it up!
• Question 7

What job does Samuel Smith have?

A REPORT ON THE BLUE RIDGE MANOR MYSTERY

Date: 9th September 1990

Author: Samuel Smith, Paranormal Investigator

INTRODUCTION

This is a report on my investigation into the Blue Ridge Manor mystery. The report is published by the Earl of Blue Ridge who asked me to investigate a strange phenomenon that has been troubling him recently.

Paranormal investigator
EDDIE SAYS
Great job if you wrote 'paranormal investigator'. This type of job means hunting for ghosts! Remember to copy down words exactly as they appear in the text.
• Question 8

Can you match the statements correctly?

BACKGROUND

Blue Ridge Manor was built in 1750 but fell into disrepair in the early years of this century. However, in the 1980s, Lady Lucy of Blue Ridge, the Earl’s wife, spent a great deal of money restoring and redecorating the house. Sadly, soon after her plans were completed she was murdered in the course of a break-in. The Earl suffered a nervous breakdown and gave up his public duties.

## Column B

When was Blue Ridge Manor built?
1750.
When did Lady Lucy restore the ho...
1980's
She was murdered.
What did the Earl give up?
His public duties.
EDDIE SAYS
Are you feeling more confident? Hopefully, you matched each pair correctly by retrieving the information from the text. You are making fantastic progress, keep it up!
• Question 9

Read this next extract about the mystery at Blue Ridge Manor and write down two things you learn from it.

THE PHENOMENON AT BLUE RIDGE MANOR

The first occurrence of the phenomenon took place a few months ago- the Earl can’t remember the exact date. Recently, the phenomenon has been observed more and more frequently. The only eye-witnesses are the Earl and one of his servants. They state that, on the night of a full moon, a ghostly skull is seen floating down the corridors. The skull is said to make an ear-piercing scream as it floats along, and though no one else has seen the ghostly skull, many people, even passers-by, claim to have heard its scream. The Earl tried everything to end the haunting. He even asked Rev. Smith, rector of the parish church, if he would conduct a service of exorcism, but the Reverend said the church no longer conducted such ceremonies. He gave the house a blessing instead, but the haunting continued.

EDDIE SAYS
To gain 2 marks for this retrieval question, the pupil will need to retrieve 2 different pieces of information about the mystery at the manor. For example, only the Earl and one of his servants have witnessed the phenomena. The witnesses claim to see a ghostly skull floating along when it is a full moon. There are other details in the text that could also be used to gain a mark. You are making fantastic progress, one more question to go!
• Question 10

Read this final part of the report about Blue Ridge Manor. Why did the Earl leave his manor?

When I explained to the Earl that I was unable to explain the phenomenon, or offer a solution, he decided that he had no option but to leave Blue Ridge Manor before he finally went mad. He is now living at 10 Main Street and is offering a large reward to anyone who can rid his ancestral mansion of its terrible curse.

I am convinced that there is something strange taking place at Blue Ridge Manor, though it may not necessarily be supernatural. However, as solve the mystery, I am making this report available, along with all the other papers I collected during my enquiry, to anyone who can perhaps do better.

Because no one can explain the phenomena.
EDDIE SAYS
Brilliant job if you chose 'Because no one can explain the phenomena.' Amazing work you've completed another activity! We hope you feel more confident to answer retrieval style questions in the SATs reading test.