Factual Passages: Unseen Passages for Practice English Grammar

What are Factual Passages? Simply put, factual passages are those passages, which let the readers imagine and feel the factual qualities of a topic as mentioned in the passage. The topic can be about a place, person, thing or event. A factual passage tells the reader about the consecutive things related to the topic in detail, occurring in an orderly manner.


Factual Passages


Factual Passage -1

1. Read the following passage carefully. [CBSE OD 2020] 8 Marks

  1. Caged behind thick glass, the most famous dancer in the world can easily be missed in the National Museum, Delhi. The Dancing Girl of Mohenjo-Daro is that rare artefact that even school children are familiar with. Our school textbooks also communicate the wealth of our 5000 years heritage of art. You have to be alert to her existence there, amid terracotta animals to rediscover this bronze image. 
  2. Most of us have seen her only in photographs or sketches therefore the impact of actually holding her is magnified a million times over. One discovers that the dancing girl has no feet. She is small, a little over 10 cm tall – the length of a human palm – but she surprises us with the power of great art – the ability to communicate across centuries. 
  3. A series of bangles – of shell or ivory or thin metal – clothe her left upper arm all the way down to her fingers. A necklace with three pendants bunched together and a few bangles above the elbow and wrist on the right hand display an almost modern art. 
  4. She speaks of the undaunted ever hopeful human spirit. She reminds us that it is important to visit museums in our country to experience the impact that a work of art leaves on our senses, to find among all the riches one particular vision of beauty that speaks to us alone. 

On the basis of your reading of the above passage answer the following questions. 

(A) The dancing girl belongs to
(i) Mohenjo-Daro (ii) Greek culture
(iii) Hom sapiens (iv) Tibet

(B) In the museum she’s kept among
(i) dancing figures
(ii) bronze statues iii) terracotta animals
(iv) books

(C) Which information is not given in the passage?
(i) The girl is caged behind glass
(ii) She is a rare artefact.
(iii) School books communicate the wealth of our heritage.
(iv) She cannot be rediscovered as she’s bronze.

(D) ‘Great Art’ has power because:
(i) it appeals to us despite a passage of time.
(ii) it is small and can be understood.
(iii) it is seen in pictures and sketches.
(iv) it is magnified a million times.

(E) The jewellery she wears:
(i) consists of bangles of shell, ivory or thin metal.
(ii) is a necklace with two pendants.
(iii) both (i) and (ii) are correct.
(iv) neither (i) nor (ii) is correct.

(F) She reminds us:
(i) of the never say-die attitude of humans.
(ii) why museums in our country are exciting.
(iii) why she will make us come into money.
(iv) of dancing figures.

(G) The synonym of the word ‘’among’’ in para 1 is …………….

(H) The size of the dancing girl is equal to the length of human palm. (True/False)


Answers:

(A) (i) Mohenjo-Daro.

(B) (iii) terracotta animals.

(C) (iv) she cannot be rediscovered as she’s bronze.

(D) (i) it appeals to us despite a passage of time.

(E) (i) consists of bangles of shell, ivory or thin metal.

(F) (ii) why museums in our country are exciting.

(G) amid

(H) True


Factual Passage -2

2. Read the following passage carefully. [CBSE 2020] 12 Marks

  1. As the family finally sets off from home after many arguments, there is a moment of lull as the car takes off. “Alright, so where are we going for dinner now?” asks the one at the driving wheel. What follows is a chaos as multiple voices make as many suggestions.
  2. By the time order is restored and a decision is arrived at, tempers have risen, feelings injured and there is at least one person grumbling.
  3. Twenty years ago, you would step out of home, the decision of meal and venue already made with no arguments or opposition and everybody looked forward to the meal with equal enthusiasm. The decision was made by the head of the family and the others fell in line. Today every member of the family has a say in every decision which also promotes a sense of togetherness and bonding.
  4. We empower our kids to take their own decisions from a very early age. We ask them the cuisine they prefer, the movie they want to see, the holiday they wish to go on and the subjects they wish to study.
  5. It’s a closely connected world out there where children consult and guide each other. A parent’s well-meaning advice can sound like nothing more than unnecessary preaching. How then do we reach our children through all the conflicting views and make the voice of reason be heard? Children today question choices and prefer to go with the flow.  
  6. What then is the best path to take? I would say the most important thing one can do is to listen. Listen to your children and their silences. Ensure that you keep some time aside for them, insist that they share their stories with you. Step into their world. It is not as complicated as it sounds; just a daily half an hour of quality time would do the trick. 

2.1 On the basis of your reading of the above passage, answer the following questions in 30 – 40 words each:

(a) Write one advantage and one disadvantage of allowing every family member to be a part of the decision-making process.
(b) In today’s world, what are parents asking their kids?
(c) Which two pieces of advice does the writer give to the parents?
(d) The passage supports the parents. How far do you agree with the author’s views? Support your view with a reason.

2.2 One the basis of your reading of the above passage, answer the following:

(A) The synonym of ‘hurt’ as given in paragraph 2 is ______.

(B) The word which means the same as ‘a style or method of cooking in paragraph 4 is
(a) cuisine (b) gourmet
(c) gastric (d) science

(C) The antonym of ‘agreeable’ as given in paragraph 5 is _________.

(d) The antonym of ‘simple’ as given in paragraph 6 is
(a) difficult (b) complicated
(c) easy (d) tricky


Answers

2.1

(a) (i) The advantage is that when everyone in the family has a say in every decision it promotes presence of togetherness and bonding.
(ii) Disadvantage is that feelings are injured, tempers have risen and there is at least one person grumbling.

(b) They empower their kids to take their own decision from a very early age.

(c) Parents should step into their children’s life by listening to them and their silences, and should also insist them to share their stories. Parents should also give at least half an hour of quality time to their children.

(d) Yes, the passage supports the parents. It describes about how parents can develop a friendly relation with their kids, and how they can bridge the generation gap between them as in everybody’s life there comes a time when they need to lessen the gap. Being parents, they only think about the betterment of the children so one step should be taken by the kids and one by the parents. There is no comparison, no ego, and no support and against in the relationship between parents and children.

2.2

(A) injured
(B) (i) cuisine
(C) conflicting
(D) (ii) complicated


Factual Passage – 3

3. Read the following passage carefully. [CBSE Delhi 2019] 8 Marks

  1. Few guessed that this quiet, parentless girl growing up in New York City would one day become the First Lady of the United States. Even fewer thought she would become an author and lecturer and a woman much admired and loved by people throughout the world.
  2. Born Anna Eleanor Roosevelt in 1884 to wealthy, but troubled parents who both died while she was young, Roosevelt was cared for by her grandmother and sent to school in England. In 1905, she married her distant cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She and her husband had six children. Although they were wealthy, her life was not easy and she suffered several personal tragedies. Her second son died when he was a baby. In 1921, her strong athletic husband was stricken with polio, which left him physically disabled for life.
  3. Eleanor Roosevelt was a remarkable woman who had great intelligence and tremendous strength of character. She never let things get her down. She nursed her husband back to good health and encouraged him to remain in politics. She then helped him to become Governor of New York, and in 1933, President of the United States.
  4. While her husband was President, she took a great interest in all the affairs of the country. She became her husband’s legs and eyes; she visited prisons and hospitals; she went down into mines, up scaffoldings and into factories. Roosevelt was tireless and daring. During the depression she travelled all over the country bringing goodwill, reassurance and help to people without food and jobs. During World War II she visited American soldiers in camps all over the world. The United States had never known a First Lady like her.
  5. Roosevelt also kept in touch with the American people through a daily newspaper column called ‘My Day’. She broadcast on the radio and delivered lectures, all first for a First Lady. 

3.1 On the basis of your understanding of the above passage answer the following questions: (any eight)

(a) How was Eleanor Roosevelt’s personality in contrast to what she became?  

(b) Apart from being the First Lady what else did she have to her credit?  

(c) What challenges did she face in her personal life but remained unfazed?  

(d) Eleanor was a strong woman who helped her husband become the President of America. How?  

(e) What does the statement: ‘she became her husband’s legs and eyes’ mean?  

(f) What was her special contribution during the depression?  

(g) How did she motivate soldiers during World War II?  

(h) What did she do for the first time as a First Lady?  

(i) What side of her personality is reflected in this passage? 


Answers

(a) As a child Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was a quiet, parentless girl who grew up to become a remarkable woman, an author, lecturer and the First Lady of the United States. 

(b) Apart from being the First Lady, she was an author, lecturer and a woman much admired by people. She visited prisons and hospitals, went down into mines, etc. 

(c) Anna was born to wealthy, but troubled parents who died while she was young. Her second son died when he was a baby and then her physically strong husband was stricken with polio. But she remained unfazed and handled every situation with poise. 

(d) Roosevelt nursed her husband back to good health and encouraged him to remain in politics. She helped him become the Governor of New York and then, the President of the United States in 1933.  

(e) ‘She became her husband’s legs and eyes’ means she visited prisons, hospitals, went into mines and factories on his behalf to help him in his job. She also interacted with people and brought feedback to her husband about the state of affairs.  

(f) During the Depression she travelled all over the country bringing goodwill, reassurance and help to people without food and jobs.  

(g) During World War II, she visited American soldiers in camps all over the world to motivate and empathise with them.  

(h) She kept in touch with the American people through a daily newspaper column called ‘My Day’. She broadcast on the radio and delivered lectures, all first for a First Lady.  

(I) Anna Eleanor Roosevelt comes across as a helpful, caring, intelligent, benevolent and a strong woman of substance through the paragraph. 


Factual Passage – 4

4. Read the passage given below carefully and answer the questions that follow: [12 marks] (Delhi 2019)

  1. Overpowering prey is a challenge for creatures that do not have limbs. Some species like Russell’s viper inject poison. Some others opt for an alternative non-chemical method- rat snakes, for instance, catch and push their prey against the ground, while pythons use their muscle power to crush their prey to death. But snakes can’t be neatly divided into poisonous and non-poisonous categories.
  2. Even species listed as non-poisonous aren’t completely free of poison. The common Sand Boa, for instance, produces secretions particularly poisonous to birds. So, the species doesn’t take any chance – it crushes its prey and injects poison as an extra step. 
  3. Do vipers need poison powerful enough to kill hundreds of rats with just one drop? After all, they eat only one or two at a time. 
  4. While hunting animals try their worst to kill most efficiently, their prey uses any trick to avoid becoming a meal, such as developing immunity to poison. For instance, Californian ground squirrels are resistant to Northern Pacific rattlesnake poison. 
  5. Competition with prey is not the only thing driving snakes to evolve more and more deadly poison. Snake also struggle to avoid becoming prey themselves. 
  6. Some snake killers have partial immunity to poison. Famously, mongooses are highly resistant to cobra poison, and with their speed and agility, kill snakes fearlessly. It would be the death of cobras as a species if they didn’t evolve a more deadly poison to stop mongooses. 
  7. Poison has another important role. It’s an extreme meat softener; specific enzymes break up the insides of the prey. Normally, a reptile depends on the sun’s warm rays to aid digestion. 
  8. But I wonder if we cannot use venom in our favour. In remote parts of India, local hospitality often involves leather tough meat. I chew and chew until my jaws ache. If I spit it out or refuse, our hosts would be offended, I swallow like a python stuffing a deer down its throat and hope I don’t choke. If only I had poison. 

4.1 Read the questions given below and answer any four in 30–40 words each.

(a) Russell’s viper and rat snake have different methods to attack their prey. How?
(b) How does Sand Boa kill its prey?
(c) There is a constant tussle between the hunting animal and its prey? Why?
(d) What makes mongoose a snake predator?
(e) What difficulty does the writer face when he is entertained in the remote parts of India?

4.2 One the basis of your reading of the above passage fill in any two of the following blanks.

(i) Overpowering …………..is a challenge for creatures that do not have limbs.
(a) killer
(b) humans
(c) python
(d) prey

(ii) Poison ……….. meat
.
(a) enhances taste of
(b) hardens
(c) softens
(d) breaks down

(iii) Californian squirrels are ……….. rattlesnake poison.

(a) afraid of
(b) helpless against
(c) resistant to
(d) indifferent to

4.3 Find words from the passage which mean the same as: (any two)
(a) Another (para 1)
(b) Liquid substances released from glands (para 2)
(c) Particular (para 7)


Answers:

(a) Russell’s viper inject poison whereas the rat snakes catch and push their prey against the ground.

(b) The common Sand Boa produces secretions particularly poisonous to birds. They generally don’t take any chance and crush their prey and inject poison as an extra step.

(c) Hunting animals try their worst to kill most efficiently, their prey on the other hand use any trick to avoid becoming a meal, such as developing immunity to poison. This marks the constant tussle between the hunting animal and its prey.

(d) Mongooses are highly resistant to cobra poison and with their speed and agility, kill snakes fearlessly.

4.2 (i) (d) prey (ii) (c) softens

4.3 (a) alternative; (b) secretions


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