Reading Comprehension Quiz

[A new interlinear poem will be available each Monday: Weekly Interlinear Poem .]

Use the dictionary, the acronym finder, and the word origins dictionary (links above) as needed. A new quiz is available each Monday through Thursday. This is the quiz for September 22.

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (died 1723) was a tradesman and scientist from Delft, the Netherlands. He is commonly known as "the Father of Microbiology" and is considered to be the first microbiologist. He is best known for his work on the improvement of the microscope and for his contributions towards the establishment of microbiology. Using his handcrafted microscopes, he was the first to observe and describe single celled organisms, which he originally referred to as animalcules. He was also the first to record microscopic observations of muscle fibers, bacteria, spermatozoa, and blood flow in capillaries (small blood vessels).

During his lifetime Van Leeuwenhoek ground more than 500 optical lenses. He also created over 400 different types of microscopes, only nine of which still exist today. His microscopes were made of silver or copper metal frames holding hand-ground lenses. Those that have survived the years are able to magnify up to 275 times. It is suspected, though, that Van Leeuwenhoek possessed some microscopes that could magnify up to 500 times.

Leeuwenhoek's familiarity with glass processing led to one of the most significant technical insights in the history of science. By placing the middle of a small rod of lime glass in a hot flame, Leeuwenhoek could pull the hot section apart like taffy to create two long whiskers of glass. By then reinserting the end of one whisker into the flame, he could create a very small, high-quality glass sphere. These spheres could be hand-ground to make the lenses of his microscopes, with the smallest spheres providing the highest magnifications.

1. The Greek origin of bacteria meant
A. infection.
B. moving creature.
C. small rod.
D. blood component.
2. The Greek word origin of microbiology meant
A. study of small life.
B. scientific investigation.
C. animal studies.
D. plant studies.
3. Leeuwenhoek greatest technical achievement was
A. to melt glass in a flame.
B. to hand-grind lenses.
C. to see bacteria.
D. to create high magnifications.
4. It is believed that Leeuwenhoek's microscopes could magnify a maximum of
A. 275 times.
B. 500 times.
C. unknown.

The information comes from Wikipedia.

Write down your answers and then see Answer Key below.

Answer Key: 1-C..........2-A..........3-D..........4-B
Corrections? Questions? Comments? E-mail Robert Jackson at