Sosa – Close Reading: Presidential Protectors

Teacher: Sosa (


Read the following text to answer the questions provided at the end. Send your answers to your teacher in an email or ClassDojo inbox.

Presidential Protectors

Informational Text by Patrick Daley

Keeping the president safe is a tough job. The men and women of the Secret Service are up for the challenge.

Secret Service director says agency running out of money ...

1. The Secret Service is a federal agency. It is based in Washington, DC. Secret Service agents have many duties. One of the most important is to guard the US president. Agents guard the White House 24/7. They protect the president’s car. They keep threatening people away. They even make sure the president’s food is safe!

2. Where was the Secret Service when President Abraham Lincoln was shot? He was shot on April 14, 1865. Believe it or not, there was no Secret Service then. No special security force protected the president. In fact, Lincoln had no protection at all when he was shot! A police officer was supposed to guard him at Ford’s Theater. But the officer left his post. Assassin John Wilkes Booth was able to walk right in. The rest is history.

3. Plans to create a Secret Service were under way before Lincoln’s death. Lincoln had signed a law establishing the service. He signed it the same day he was shot! The Secret Service was up and running by July 1865. But back then, its purpose was to investigate money crimes. That changed after another president was killed. President William McKinley was killed in 1901. From then on, the Secret Service protected the president around the clock.

4. Today, the Secret Service protects the president. Agents also protect the president’s family. They protect the vice president and his or her family. They guard visiting world leaders. They provide lifetime protection to former presidents.

5. The president is the commander in chief. Most people cannot order the president around. But members of the Secret Service can. They are the only Americans who can give the president a direct order. That’s because the United States needs the president to stay alive. If Secret Service agents think the president is in danger, they take charge. The president must do what they say until the danger has passed.

6. Suppose Secret Service agents had been at Ford’s Theater the night Lincoln was shot. American history might be very different. The Secret Service might have saved Lincoln’s life.


Close Reading Questions

1. Key Idea
What is this informational text mostly about?

2. Central Idea and Details
How does the Secret Service protect the president? Identify two ways.

3. Vocabulary
What is the meaning of establishing in paragraph 3? Why was the Secret Service first established?

4. React and Write
Suppose President Lincoln had been protected by Secret Service agents. What might have happened when John Wilkes Booth tried to enter the president’s box at Ford’s Theatre?


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