DIRECTIONS: In the passages that follow, some words and phrases are underlined and numbered. In the answer column, you will find alternatives for the words and phrases that are underlined. Choose the alternative that you think is best, and fill in the corresponding bubble on your answer sheet. If you think that the original version is best, choose “NO CHANGE,” which will always be either answer choice A or F. You will also find questions about a particular section of the passage, or about the entire passage. These questions will be identified either by an underlined portion or by a number in a box. Look for the answer that clearly expresses the idea, is consistent with the style and tone of the passage, and makes the correct use of standard written English. Read the passage through once before answering the questions. For some questions, you should read beyond the indicated portion before you answer.
Playing with Piñatas
While the history of the piñata is somewhat murky. Most Q1 scholars believe that the piñata originated in China and later became popular in Europe. Some historians believe that the modern version of the piñata was created centuries ago in China, where most Q2 of them were made to resemble animals. These animal figures were covered with colorful paper and filled with seeds, rather than candy or toys as is customary today. Q3 Once the seeds were spilled, they were gathered and burned as a ritualistic practice. The ashes of the seeds were in keeping Q4 until the end of the year and were thought to bring good luck to their owners.
The Italian, explorer, Marco Polo, Q5 is probably responsible for bringing the Chinese piñata to Europe. The piñata quickly became associated with religious ceremonies and was also used in celebrations. Q6 Often, the piñata was made into the shape of a star, which represented the Star of Bethlehem. During this time in Italy, the piñata was often made of fragile clay that broke easily. Q7 In fact, the Italian word pignatta translates to “fragile pot.” The clay pots would be hung Q8 from a tree or a pole and a stick would be used to hit the pot until it broke. The broken pots dispensed of Q9 tiny treasures that would fall to the ground, where eager children and adults would quickly gather them up. With colorful ribbons and paper, these clay pots could be unadorned or decorated. Q10
In the United States, piñatas’ Q11 are generally made either of papier-mache or a cardboard-type material. American piñatas come in almost every shape and design imaginable. Every holiday has their Q12 own host of possible choices and themes. In America, baseball bats Q13 are the preferred tool used to break open the piñata. In general, using a baseball bat should make it simple to break open the piñata, laden Q14 with pounds of candy and toys; however, each person attempting the feat is first blind-folded and then spun around several times, which presents a challenge.
Onlookers will generally try to help the participant by offering suggestions, but the audience most enjoys watching the blindfolded person Q15 swing mightily at nothing but thin air. Everyone wins when the broken piñata spills its contents, and onlookers scramble to collect the fun surprises.