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6. If Asimov had lived into the 21st century he probably would have A B C D

decided to return to teaching chosen another career path become a successful doctor been interested in space exploration

7. The purpose of this passage is to A B C D

explain why Asimov became a writer persuade people to read science fiction showcase a man’s accomplishments compare science and science fiction

8. How can this passage be best described? A B C D

It It It It

is is is is

an example of science fiction. a biography. an example of realistic fiction. an autobiography

9. Isaac Asimov was an unusual man. Explain why using details from the passage.



Asimov—Science Influences Science Fiction Isaac Asimov was a popular writer of science fiction stories and nonfiction science books. His science fiction stories, of course, were completely make-believe. However, Asimov was a true scientist as well. He earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry. That means he studied both chemistry and biology and how these two sciences relate to each other. He used his background in science and his understanding of human behavior, or how people interact with each other, to write his science fiction stories. Asimov grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where his parents owned a small candy store in which he worked as a young man. There he began reading science fiction magazines and telling stories. He was a good storyteller, but he had to learn how to become an effective writer. While he was learning to write, he was going to school and earning his doctoral degree. In 1949, he was hired to teach at Boston University’s Medical School. Isaac was a brilliant man. While working at the medical school, he continued writing. Later, he had to make a difficult decision as his writing began to consume more of his time. Did he want to continue teaching, or should he become a fulltime writer? He decided to quit teaching and GO ON

© RALLY! Education

Kit G



G athering ÷ O rganizing ÷ A nalyzing ÷ L inking ÷


concentrate his efforts towards writing full time. He felt that writing was similar to teaching but would enable him to reach a much larger audience. Asimov became interested in robots and wrote a novel from the point of view of the robot. The novel was titled I, Robot. In the book, the robots could not harm human beings and were required to follow orders given by the humans. Some of Asimov’s books and short stories were turned into motion pictures. The creator of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry, was a friend of Asimov’s. He often turned to Isaac for advice on science fiction plots. Since Asimov was a scientist, he also wrote nonfiction books about science. Asimov was curious about many things and wrote about past civilizations as well as future travel in space. Surprisingly, he did not like to travel himself and was fearful about flying. When he did travel, he preferred to travel on cruise ships instead of airplanes. Some people considered Asimov strange. While many people are uncomfortable in tiny, cramped places, Asimov was the opposite. He was a claustrophile, a person who enjoys being in very small, contained places. As a child, he dreamt about owning a small newspaper stand in a subway station where he would stay enclosed, listening to the sound of the trains while he read. Of course, he did much more, and that is why he is remembered today.

Directions: Write your answers to the following questions in the student answer book. 1. The main idea of the third paragraph is that Asimov A B C D

worked with the creator of Star Trek wrote famous science books wanted to own a newspaper stand had to make a difficult decision

2. The word claustrophile in the last paragraph means A B C D

a a a a

person person person person

who who who who

is afraid of small places is happiest in the dark prefers to be in tight places likes to read science fiction

3. Before Asimov started writing as a career, he A B C D

taught medical school students helped write a television show worked in a newspaper stand flew to many different countries

4. Asimov thought that one important difference between writing and teaching is A B C D

writing writing writing writing

doesn’t pay as well as teaching reaches more people than teaching is more difficult than teaching requires better public speaking skills than teaching

5. Isaac Asimov can be best described as A B C D

odd, but intelligent smart, but shy curious and unpopular lonely and unfulfilled GO ON

Kit G

© RALLY! Education

Gr. 7 Rally Reading Cards Fluency/Comprehension