LEAP 2025 ELA Grade 8 Chapter 3

LEAP 2025 ELA Grade 8 Chapter 3 Sample

Susy Clemens

1 Olivia Susan Clemens was born on March 19, 1872 in Elmira, New York. She was usually known as Susy Clemens, and she was the second child and oldest daughter of Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) and his wife Olivia Langdon Clemens. Olivia inspired some of her father’s works. She wrote her own biography of him that Mark Twain later published as part of his autobiography. Susy also left her father heartbroken when she died of spinal meningitis at age twenty-four.

2 Olivia chose not to accompany the family to Europe on Twain’s lecture tour of 1895-1896. She did not go because she was prone to seasickness. And she also stayed home to recover from an illness that left her tired and fatigued. She stayed in Elmira with her aunt Susan Crane. In August 1896, Susy Clemens developed a fever that turned into spinal meningitis. She developed delirium, at one point clutching an article of her mother’s clothing and crying because she thought her mother had died. Eventually, she lost her sight and lapsed into a coma. She died on August 18, 1896, and her family was devastated. Twain later described his favorite daughter as intelligent, thoughtful, sensitive, and vivacious.

Excerpt from My Biography by Mark Twain

1 Susy was born the 19th of March, 1872, and passed from life in the Hartford home, the 18th of August, 1896. With her, when the end came, were Jean and Katy Leary, and John and Ellen (the gardener and his wife). Clara and her mother and I arrived in England from around the world on the 31st of July, and took a house in Guildford. A week later, when Susy, Katy and Jean should have been arriving from America, we got a letter instead.

2 It explained that Susy was slightly ill, nothing of consequence. But we were disquieted, and began to cable for later news. This was Friday. All day no answer and the ship to leave Southampton next day, at noon. Clara and her mother began packing, to be ready in case the news should be bad...I waited in the post-office that night till the doors were closed, toward midnight, in the hope that good news might still come, but there was no message…That was the 15th of August, 1896. Three days later, when my wife and Clara were about half-way across the ocean, I was standing in our dining-room thinking of nothing in particular, when a cablegram was put into my hand. It said, "Susy was peacefully released today." "She was full of life, full of activity, full of fire, her waking hours were a crowding and hurrying procession of enthusiasms ... Joy, sorrow, anger, remorse, storm, sunshine, rain, darkness –they were all there."

3 It is one of the mysteries of our nature that a man, all unprepared, can receive a thunder-stroke like that and live. There is but one reasonable explanation of it. The intellect is stunned by the shock, and but gropingly gathers the meaning of the words. It will take mind and memory months, and possibly years, to gather together the details, and thus learn and know the whole extent of the loss.

1 pt

Both passages are about

Excerpt from the book The Earthly Paradise by William Morris

Psyche was a king’s daughter who was thought to be more beautiful than Venus. Venus becomes enraged that people think Psyche is more beautiful than her, so Venus unleashes her fury and vows to destroy Psyche. However, some of the other gods and goddesses decide to help Psyche by using their powers to protect her from being harmed. Eventually, Venus forgives Psyche, and Psyche becomes an immortal goddess.

"The Story of Cupid and Psyche" In the Greek land of old there was a King Happy in battle, rich in everything; Most rich in this, that he a daughter had Whose beauty made the longing city glad. She was so fair, that strangers from the sea Just landed, in the temples thought that she Was Venus visible to mortal eyes, New come from Cyprus for a world’s surprise.

She was so beautiful that had she stood On windy Ida by the oaken wood, And bared her limbs to that bold shepherd’s gaze, Troy might have stood till now with happy days; And those three fairest, all have left the land And left her with the apple in her hand. And Psyche is her name in stories old, As ever by our fathers we were told.

All this beheld Queen Venus from her throne, And felt that she no longer was alone In beauty, but, if only for a while, This maiden matched her god-enticing smile; Therefore, she wrought in such a wise, that she, If honored as a goddess, certainly Was dreaded as a goddess none the less, And midst her wealth, dwelt long in loneliness.

1 pt

Which form of literature did this poem draw from?

Passage 1 - Excerpt from The Adopted Son by J. H. Willard

1 Abraham, a descendant of Shem, one of the sons of Noah, was the father and founder of the great Israelitish, or Hebrew, nation . . . Abraham had a son named Isaac, who became the father of Jacob, and Jacob was the father of twelve sons, among whom was Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his brothers when but a boy. Joseph was taken to Egypt and in time rose from a slave to be the governor of that country under Pharaoh, its king.

2 Jacob, with his eleven sons and their families, settled in Egypt at the invitation of Pharaoh, and after the death of their father his sons continued to live there, and became prosperous . . . They lived in towns and villages in the land of Goshen, on the eastern border of Egypt, industrious and contented. The king who had been so friendly to Joseph was now dead, and another Pharaoh ruled the land. He watched with much distrust the growing wealth and greatness of the children of Israel and determined to prevent any possible harm they might do him by making them work for him instead of for themselves. . .

3 But in spite of their hardships the Israelites increased in numbers, and, to further crush them, Pharaoh ordered that all their boys should be destroyed as soon as they were born. But the people would not obey this order, and then Pharaoh commanded that all boys should be flung into the Nile, the sacred river of Egypt, immediately after their birth.

4 At this time a child was born among the Israelites whose life was to be one of the most remarkable that history has recorded for us. His father’s name was Amram and his mother’s Jochebed, and they belonged to the tribe of Levi, the third son of Jacob.

5 The mother of this little boy managed to keep him out of sight for three months, and then she made a little boat of the water-reeds called papyrus, fastening them together with clay and pitch. It was not much more than a basket, but she put the baby into it and placed it among the rushes at the edge of the river Nile . . .

6 While Miriam was watching the little boat and its precious burden, the daughter of Pharaoh, with her attendants, came to the river to bathe. She saw the little boat floating among the rushes and ordered it to be brought to her. As she looked down at the baby it cried, and, while she must have known that it was the child of Israelitish parents, her heart went out to it in pity, and she declared that she would bring it up as if it had been her own child.

7 Miriam then came forward and asked if she might find a nurse for the child. The princess sent her on this errand and the little girl hastened to bring her mother. Then the princess gave the baby into the charge of its own mother, and promised her that she should be paid for taking good care of the child.

8 When the baby had grown to be quite a boy the princess took him to her palace and treated him as if he had been a son of her own. She named him Moses, which means "drawn out," because she had taken him from the water.

Passage 2 - Excerpt from The Babe in the Bulrushes by Amy Steedman

1 Many long years had passed since the days when Joseph’s brothers and their families had settled in the land of Egypt. They were a great nation in numbers now, but the Egyptians still ruled over them, and used them as servants. The Pharaoh who had been so kind to the shepherds from Canaan was dead long ago, and the new kings, or Pharaohs as they were called, hated foreigners, and began to treat the Israelites very harshly. There were too many of them, they said; it was dangerous to have so many strong, powerful slaves. They must be kept down, and made to work from morning till night, and be beaten if they did not work fast enough.

2 That was very hard for the poor people; but worse was to come. An order was issued one day which spread sorrow through all the land of Goshen, where the Israelites lived. Every baby boy that was born was to be thrown into the river. Girl babies might be allowed to live, for they would be useful as slaves, but boys might grow up to fight for their country, and so they must be destroyed.

3 In one little house, not far from the great river Nile, a woman sat holding her tiny baby in her arms, while the tears ran down her cheeks. He was such a beautiful baby, so strong and fair and healthy; but the king’s order was that he was to be thrown into the river, where the cruel, hungry crocodiles were waiting to snap up everything they could find for a meal. Jochebed, the poor mother, held her baby closer in her arms. No, she could not obey the king’s order. She would try and hide the baby for a little while, at any rate. It was easy to hide a baby while he was still tiny and slept most of the day; but when he grew bigger it was much more difficult. His sister Miriam did her best to help her mother; but any day, now that the baby was three months old, he might be discovered, and something must be done at once.

4 So Jochebed thought of a plan, and prayed to God that He would help her to carry it out. At the edge of the river there grew tall bulrushes, which, when cut down and dried, could be made into many useful things. Taking some of these bulrushes, she wove them into a little cradle with a cover to it, just like a little ark, and this she covered with a kind of pitch, so that not a drop of water could come through. Inside the cradle she made a soft bed, and laid the baby there while he was fast asleep, and set the ark afloat in the water where the bulrushes were growing. She knew that presently the great princess, Pharaoh’s daughter, would come down to bathe in the river, and would notice the little ark floating there.

5 Very soon the royal procession came winding down from the palace towards the river, as the princess in her gorgeous robes made her way to bathe in the pool of the lotus flowers. But at the edge of the river she stopped. What was that among the bulrushes? It was no lotus flower, but a strange-looking covered basket, and she ordered her maidens to bring it to her.

6 The little ark was lifted out of the water and carried to the princess. There was surely something alive inside, and the princess was full of curiosity as she leaned down and lifted the cover to look in. Then she started back in amazement. The dearest little baby she had ever seen lay there, all rosy and fresh after his sleep, gazing up at her with wide-open eyes. The maidens crowded round, and the sight of all those strange faces was more than the baby could bear. He puckered up his face and began to cry.

7 The princess loved babies, and she had none of her own. That little wailing cry went to her heart. She guessed at once that this was one of the Hebrew babies which had been ordered to be destroyed, and she made up her mind that this beautiful boy should at least be saved.

8 All this time Miriam had been watching from her hiding-place close by, and with anxious, beating heart she came forward now. Could she help the princess? she asked. Should she run and find some Hebrew woman who might look after the baby?

9 Perhaps the princess guessed that the baby’s mother would not be far off, and she must have smiled a little when a nurse was so quickly found. But she took no notice of that.

10 "Take this child away," she said, when Jochebed stood humbly before her, "and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages."

11 It was merely as a nurse that the mother was hired. The great princess meant to adopt the baby as her own. But he was safe, and Jochebed’s heart was full of gratitude to God as she took her little son into her arms again.

12 As long as he needed a nurse the baby was left to be looked after by his mother in the little house by the river-side. The princess called him Moses, which means "drawn out," because he had been drawn out of the water, and she had made up her mind that as soon as he was old enough he should come to live with her at the palace, and be brought up as a prince. He would be treated just as if he was really her son.

1 pt

What is the common theme of both passages?

1 pt

Which form of literature did both passages draw from?

1 pt

In both passages, the princess is described as being