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Teacher Lesson Return to "Removing the Mask"
Removing the Mask
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English Regents Practice Test:
Exploring Masculinity

• Students will take an exam in order to analyze specific writing and assess an author’s tone and style.
• Students will improve skills needed to do well on the Regents reading section: Making inferences, identifying the tone of a piece of writing, recognizing key facts and the main point in a text, understanding the purpose of individual sentences, etc.

The Regents English exam has a section that requires students to read a passage between 400 and 600 words long, and answer several multiple-choice questions.


Instructions: Before the class, make copies of the multiple-choice questions and hand them out. Next, put these directions on the board or read them slowly: “Read the story. After you complete the story, begin the multiple-choice section. Read each question and all the answers. Then choose the best option for each question.”

Answer Key: 1-4; 2-2, 3-2, 4-3, 5-2, 6-1

1. Option 4 is correct. All the other options are directly mentioned in the story as pressures faced by young men.
2. Option 2 is correct.
3. Option 2 is correct. The notion that boys should naturally excel at certain subjects in school (in the story, the author gives the examples of math, science, and engineering) is a generalization, a stereotype based on gender.
4. Option 3 is correct. The author does not indicate that he is more angry at/alienated from his father after his acting experience than before; in fact, he appears to be motivated to understand his father as a result of the experience.
5. Option 2 is correct. “Bottled up” feelings suggests someone who holds in his feelings without acknowledging and feeling them. Although Option 1 is a possibility, “bottled up feelings” is not the same as invented or manufactured feelings.
6. Option 1 is correct. Immediately following the conversation with his director, the author indicates relief when he realizes that he is not alone or strange in his struggle to understand himself.

Aligned with Common Core Standards for English Language Arts 9-12

Common Core Standards for Reading:
Key Ideas and Details
RL.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says.

RL.2 Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

Craft and Structure
RL.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language of a court opinion differs from that of a newspaper).

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
RL.10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.

Common Core Anchor Standards for Language:
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
L.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 9–10 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

Regents Practice Question Sheet


1) Which of the following is not something the young men in the neighborhood feel pressured to do or have in their quest to be “manly?”
1) Have facial hair
2) Have money
3) Pursue girls
4) Be emotionally open

2) In the article, the term “valiant” means:
1) Persistent
2) Courageous
3) Tough
4) Stubborn

3) The author says that he wasn’t interested in any of the subjects in school that boys were “supposed” to like. The notion that there are certain subjects that boys are supposed to like or for which they are supposed to have a special aptitude is an example of:
1) Simile.
2) Stereotype.
3) Hyperbole
4) Rhetoric.

4) Which of the following is not a result of the author’s acting experience?
1) He becomes more aware of when he is acting and when he is truly feeling his emotions.
2) He concludes that he doesn’t want to hold in his true feelings for the sake of appearing more “manly.”
3) He feels more angry and alienated from his father.
4) He concludes that he wants to be accepted for his true self, regardless of whether this fulfills traditional expectations of manhood.

5) The author states: “That person with bottled-up feelings is lost.” Considering the context in which this statement appears, which of the following best conveys the author’s meaning?
1) A person who manufactures his feelings will never know himself.
2) A person can’t understand his true feelings if he refuses to feel them.
3) Losing oneself in anger or aggression will come to no good.
4) Losing oneself in negative emotions will cause one to explode.

6) What is the predominant emotion experienced by the author after talking to his director?
1) Relief
2) Anger
3) Frustration
4) Envy

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