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Comprehending Fiction Upper

By Murray Brennan

RIC-0220 3.8/206

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R.I.C. Publications


COMPREHENDING FICTION UPPER PRIMARY

Written by Murray Brennan Illustrated by Cliff Derksen Comprehending Fiction (Upper Primary) comprises a series of 20 narratives written for upper primary school students. The comprehension questions following the story are mainly inferential; however, other question types have been used. Coded answers to these questions are at the back of the book. The key to this code appears below and will enable teachers to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses in individual students and identify class trends. The questions are designed to make students think carefully about the clues given in the text. Teachers are advised to adopt the teaching strategy that they feel most comfortable with; however, it is suggested that the story be covered in two sessions. The stories have been sequenced in difficulty.

INFERENTIAL QUESTIONS IN-1 Inferring supporting details IN-2 Inferring main idea IN-3 Inferring sequence of events IN-4 Inferring comparisons IN-5 Inferring cause and effect IN-6 Inferring character traits IN-7 Inferring outcomes IN-8 Inferring from figurative language

LITERAL QUESTIONS L-1 Recognising detail L-2 Recognising main idea L-3 Recognising sequence of events L-4 Recognising comparisons between situations L-5 Recognising cause and effect relationships L-6 Recognising character traits L-7 Recognising the difference between fact and fiction L-8 Recognising both specific and general fact L-9 Recognising inconsistencies in statements

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EVALUATIVE QUESTIONS E-1 Making judgements about reality or fantasy E-2 Making judgements about fact or opinion E-3 Making judgements about validity E-4 Making judgements about appropriateness E-5 Making judgements about acceptability

CONTENTS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9-10. 11.

The Bird Nest The Birthday The Fishing Trip Old Billy Surprise Birthday Party A Day Out in the Country Hot Air Ballooning Train Ride A Walk in the Woods Storm on the Way

12-13. 14-15. 16-17. 18-19 . 20-21. 22-23. 24-25. 26-28. 29-31. 32-33. 34-36.

View from a Hilltop Mary's Dream Flight to Remember Nesting Time The Witch Who Wasn't Scarecrow The Rainbow Brave Ben Bugsy to the Rescue World Beneath the Sea Answers


The Bird Nest Tom woke up and turned on the lamp. He pushed the sheet and woollen rugs off himself and staggered to the window, which was partly open. He looked up to see a full moon and there, in the moonlight, sitting on a nest in a massive gum tree, was a mother bird and her noisy baby chicks. The nest, made from twigs, straw, wool and dead grass, was swaying wildly from side to side. As it did so, the mother bird tried to calm her frightened young ones by chirping softly to them and keeping them snug and warm.

1. Write the words which tell us that it was cold.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons The nest made from wool, wood dead grass - True False? •was f o rr ev i etwigs, wp uand r p os es oOR nl y•

2. Write the word which tells us that the birds lived in a large tree. 3.

4. Write the word from the story which tells us the noise that birds make. 5. Tom was having an afternoon sleep - True OR False? 6. Write the word from the story which tells us that Tom was not fully awake when he went to the window.

7. Why were the baby chicks noisy? 8. Was it windy outside Tom's house? 9. How do you know? 10. It was very dark when Tom looked out the window - True OR False? 11. What were Tom's rugs made from? 12. Tom had to get out of bed to turn on his lamp - True OR False?

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THE BIRTHDAY One dark night in the middle of winter, a strange thing happened. Sam the Spider, while searching for insects, came across a large hole near the wooden bridge where he lived. He was curious and decided to enter the hole and take a look inside. Carefully, he walked through a maze of tunnels for nearly one and a half hours before coming to a large room

at the end. Suddenly, there in front of him, he saw half a dozen mice sitting around a table singing loudly. In the middle of the table was a cake made of fresh straw, seeds and strawberries with nine candles on the top and a covering of red and blue icing. Sam quickly hid behind a partlyeaten apple and watched as one of the mice climbed up onto the fruit crate, used as a table, and

1.

What caused Sam to enter the large hole?

2.

Place these events in the order they happened. (a) (b) (c) (d)

began to blow out the candles with large puffs. Soon the room became dark and Sam used this to quietly sneak away and return to his home and family.

Sam returned to his family. Sam saw nine candles on the cake. Sam walked through a maze of tunnels. Sam found a large hole.

4.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f o rdor e vi etow ur posesonl y• What types of food mice like eat?p

5.

Write F (fact) or O (opinion) in the box.

3.

What word tells us there were lots of tunnels?

(a)

Sam was a curious spider.

(b)

Sam lived near a stream or river.

(c)

Sam liked to hunt for food in the daytime.

(d)

Sam liked to eat insects.

(e)

The mouse blew out the candles in one single breath.

6.

Which word in the story tells us that Sam was probably married?

7.

What did the mice use as a table?

8.

Explain how Sam got back home without the mice seeing him.

9.

What song were the mice probably singing?

10.

What kind of food do spiders like to eat?

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THE FISHING TRIP The rooster crowed loudly as the sun peeped over the horizon, ready for another long, hot day. Inside the house, Mr Barber stirred from his deep sleep, crept out from under his sheet and tiptoed downstairs to the kitchen. It was the start of a long weekend and Mr Barber was anxious to get going on his fishing trip to Albany. Mr Barber's twin daughters were still asleep in their room upstairs. They were very tired after going to their Year 6 social the night before. Their father busily packed bread, chicken, fruit, chocolate, cheese and ham into the esky that his daughters had given to him for his thirty-eighth birthday, four years ago. Going to the garage, he collected his fishing rods and put them in the back of his ute. Soon he was off down the gravel road that joined up with the highway, leaving his wheat and sheep property behind in a trail of dust.

1.

This story probably took place in the season of

.

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2. Why do you think Mr Barber tip-toed downstairs?

3. In which state of Australia did the Barber family live? 4. How old is Mr Barber? 5. Mr Barber lived in a town. YES, NO, WE ARE NOT TOLD. 6. About how old are Mr Barber's two daughters? 7. Mr Barber had not had a good night's sleep - TRUE, FALSE, WE ARE NOT TOLD.

8. Why did Mr Barber go to the kitchen? 9. Write one word which tells us that the Barber family probably lived in a large house?

10. Mr Barber owned one esky and one fishing rod. TRUE OR FALSE 11. Write down the two days of the week when this story could have taken place. OR

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OLD BILLY Back in the 1950s, in New South Wales, an old man named Billy lived all alone in a dense forest. The hermit made a living as a woodcutter and once a week he would take his horses and cart to the nearby town of Piperidge to sell his work to the townspeople. On the way to town he would stop his wooden cart near a small creek. Over the fast-flowing creek there was a very narrow bridge. Billy would walk across the bridge and then along the stony path until he came to an old brick house surrounded by overgrown weeds and dead grass and leaves. Before knocking on the door, Billy would look up at the chimney to see if anyone was home.

1.

Once inside, he would sit down on the empty fruit crates and talk to his old friend, Tommy, as he munched away on his favourite chicken and tomato sandwiches. The two old friends would 'boil the billy' to finish their lunch, Billy would bid farewell to Tommy and then return to his cart to continue his voyage to Piperidge.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• In which country did Billy live?

2. What word in the story tells us that Billy lived alone? 3. What was Billy's cart made from? 4. Tommy did not like to work in his garden - True OR False? 5. What word tells us that the path to Tommy's house was not smooth? 6. How did Billy know if Tommy was home?

7. This story took place about (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60) years ago? 8. How many times would Billy go to Piperidge with wood in a month? 9. Why couldn't Billy take his horse and cart to Tommy's house?

10. Which word tells us that Billy lived close to the town of Piperidge?

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SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY Flies hovered around the kitchen, looking for a suitable place to land. Mrs Stevens carefully opened the hot oven and took out the two dozen small cakes inside. They were to be part of a surprise birthday party for her son, who would be home soon from school. After cooling the cakes by the open window, she began to decorate them with icing, cream and 'hundreds and thousands'. Then she put them onto a large serving plate and took them to the dining table where she covered them with a brightly embroidered cloth over the cakes. On the table were six cups and a similar number of knives, forks and serviettes. A birthday card with a picture on the front of a large cake with ten candles burning brightly sat at one end of the jarrah table. Rain began to drip slowly down the drainpipe outside as Mrs Stevens removed her apron and hurried outside to the utility in the tin shed. Soon she was speeding down the rough and bumpy road to the bus stop. She was just in time to see a happy looking Shane waving goodbye to Mrs Johnson, the bus driver. Two minutes later he was even happier as he was joined by his unexpected guests at the dining table while Mrs Stevens began to make preparations in the kitchen for the evening meal.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons Why do you think the boy's mother placed a cloth over the cakes? •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

1. The name of the boy celebrating his birthday was 2.

3. This story took place at about (9, 11, 1, 4, 7) o'clock? 4. How many surprise guests were at the party? 5. Why did Mrs Stevens open the oven carefully? 6. How old was the boy turning on his birthday? 7. It was raining heavily on the boy's birthday - True OR False? 8. Mrs Stevens was late for the bus - True OR False? 9. Write the words in the story which tell you the answer to question 8.

10. What did Mrs Stevens use to cool the cakes? 11. Why did she have to cool the cakes? 12. How many seconds did it take to drive home from the bus stop? R.I.C. Publications

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A DAY OUT IN THE COUNTRY An adult wedge-tailed eagle hovered in the sky as large, puffy clouds rolled quickly south and the day drew close to noon. It was autumn and the gum trees on the ridge were making their annual donation of brownstained leaves to the wet surface below. In the distance, a herd of cattle moved slowly in Indian file towards their favourite resting spot near the creek's edge. It was here that the Jones family were busily preparing the picnic lunch which they would share with their overdue guests, the Harris family. At 1.15 p.m., exactly 60 minutes late, Mr and Mrs Harris and their three children arrived. Mr Jones had already collected enough wood to light a fire to boil the billy. Meanwhile, as the four adults chattered around the fire site, the seven children played cricket close to the babbling water of the creek.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f o r r evi e wstory? pur posesonl y• What animals are mentioned in the

1. This story could have happened in the month of 2.

3. Write the words from the story which tell us that it had rained recently.

4. How many children are in the Jones family? 5. The wedge-tailed eagle was flying in the sky at about what time? 6. Why was the herd going to the creek? 7. At about what time was the Harris family expected to arrive? 8. Mr Jones lit the fire so they could have a barbecue lunch - True OR False? 9. From which direction was the wind blowing? 10. What would they have to drink at the picnic? 11. Was there movement in the air or was the air still? 12. Give proof for your answer to question 11.

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HOT AIR BALLOONING The excited passengers looked down and surveyed the colourful sight below. Pushed by a gently easterly breeze, they clipped along at an average speed of 12 km/h. in the early morning sunshine. Ahead, to the west, they could see the mountains looming up. In the opposite direction, they observed the wildflowers blooming into a mass of bright colours. Suddenly, Mr Burrows noahead. He swiftly pulled orange flame of the gas balloon upwards to the safety

ticed a power line looming up the steel handle and the bright burner burst into life, sending the of the open spaces.

Below, startled farm animals such as sheep and horses were running in all directions. A farmer, busy trying to measure and empty his rain gauge, looked skywards to see what was causing all the fuss. One hour and fifteen minutes after take off from the aerodrome, the balloon touched down gently in a lush green paddock. Even though my three friends and I had each paid Mr Burrows $70 for our trip, it had been money well spent.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons 7.p Write thes word which tells• us that the f o r r e vi ew pur ose o nl y 1. In which • season did this story probably passengers were probably enjoying their trip.

take place?

2. How many people were in this story? 8.

The trip began from a lush green pad dock - True OR False?

9.

What caused the animals to run in all directions?

3. How many minutes did the passengers' trip last for?

4. How much money did Mr Burrows collect altogether for the trip? 10. In which direction were they travelling? 5. In which direction could the passengers see the wildflowers blooming?

6.In the days before the trip, the weather had been fine - True or False?

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11. This story took place at about (4 a.m., 8 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m.).

12. Why did Mr Burrows use the gas burner?

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TRAIN RIDE At eight-thirty a.m., some forty-five minutes behind schedule, the old steam train struggled into Darwin station, which was built approximately thirty-five years ago. One and a half hours later, after 'refuelling' with coal and water, the aged locomotive chugged off again in a south-east direction towards the outback city of Alice Springs. On the way, many of the passengers took the opportunity to admire the colourful birds and many kangaroos as they searched for food on the drought - stricken plain. Others simply relaxed as they read or snoozed in their comfortable seats. Each carriage of the train could accommodate a maximum of twenty-five passengers and the lucky ones who had paid an extra $7.50 each were able to travel in luxury in one of the three first-class carriages. The other four carriages were called economy class, because a ticket cost only $12.00 and no food or drink service was provided. Eventually, with the sun setting on the horizon, the tired engine and its heavy load came to a welcome stop at its destination.

1.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• In which state does this story take place?

2.

What was the maximum number of passengers that could have been on the train altogether?

3.

At what time was the train expected to arrive at Darwin?

4.

Give two words used in the story which means the same as train -

5.

In about what year was Darwin's station built?

6.

The land between Darwin and Alice Springs is mainly hilly - TRUE, FALSE, WE ARE NOT TOLD.

7.

In which direction would you be travelling if you went from Alice Springs to Darwin?

8.

At what time did the train leave Darwin station?

9.

How much did it cost to travel in a first-class carriage?

10.

Why did it cost less to travel in an economy-class carriage?

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A WALK IN THE WOODS One gloomy day in the autumn of 1967, a teenager named Timothy opened the rusty gate at the front of his parents' house and went for a stroll with his pet dog, named Betsy. Fifteen minutes later they left the dirt road and headed east into the woods that the locals at the nearby settlement of Rainbow's End had called The Enchanted Forest. Meanwhile, back at home, a worried mother was calling her son for lunch. But there was no reply. Onwards they ambled, along a narrow path that the forest rabbits used when they were being hunted by the cunning old fox who lived on the bank of a nearby creek. At the top of a little hill they came to an abrupt stop. There below them, in the colourfully- flowered valley, they saw a wonderful sight. Now they could begin to understand why the forest had been given its name.

Betsy barked excitedly as she watched a trio of rabbits playing hide and seek in and out of a maze of burrows. Birds flew gracefully on the still air as they searched the land below for a tasty meal such as moths, butterflies or worms which had been dug up in the freshly-ploughed paddocks. Timothy watched a mother duck teaching her three-week-old ducklings how to swim in a newly formed pool of water.

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1. This story took place about (15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40) years ago. 2. Betsy was a male dog - TRUE, FALSE, WE ARE NOT TOLD. 3. Name three types of food that birds eat. 4. Write the word which tells us it was not a sunny day. 5. How many days old were the ducklings? 6. Name one month when this story could have taken place. 7. Which word in the story means the same as TOWN? 8. How many rabbits are in the story?

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A WALK IN THE WOODS 9. Write the words which tell us that it had been raining recently.

10. Timothy was probably about (5, 8, 10, 12, 15, 20) years old. 11. Timothy's front gate was probably made of: 12. It was a windy day - TRUE, FALSE, MAYBE. 13. Give two words in the story which mean the same as WALK OR WALKED.

14. Timothy and Betsy left home at about - (a) dusk (b) sunrise (c) late in the afternoon (d) midday (e) evening (f) 9.30 a.m. (g) 3.15 p.m.

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15. The road leading to Timothy's house was a bituminised road? TRUE, FALSE, MAYBE.

16. Why was the valley in the forest so colourful?

17. Write the words which tell us that farmers lived close to the forest.

18. Which word in the story tells us where rabbits live? 19. What food did the fox hunt? 20. There were lots of holes where the rabbits played TRUE, FALSE, MAYBE.

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STORM ON THE WAY

It was halfway through 1975 as large, puffy, black clouds loomed up over the distant horizon. The wind suddenly swung around in a full circle from its southerly direction as the forecast storms began to take shape. Not far away, there was hectic activity at the Wilson homestead as preparations were made in readiness for the weather change. David, aged fifteen and the oldest of four children, was busy locking away old brown 'Nessy' and her filly foal who was now some eight and a half weeks of age. The youngster was identical in looks to her mother, although she didn't have the large white cross which covered much of her mother's forehead. Nearby, David's father was hard at work mending the tin roof of a shed which had partly collapsed after many years of fine service. Greg, who was in the Year 3 class at the local school, had the job of stacking the mallee roots and firewood under shelter as his father encouraged him from above to work faster. Meanwhile, Mary, the only girl in the family and some three years younger than her brother in the stable nearby, was flat out shutting all the windows in the old house. Her father had built it many years ago when they had shifted from Sydney and relocated some 100 kilometres away in the quieter countryside.

1. 2.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons In which does thisv story take •season f or r e i e wplace? pur posesonl y• Approximately how many days old was the foal?

3.

Approximately how old would Greg be in 1975?

4.

How many boys were there in the family?

5.

From which direction was the storm coming?

6.

This story could have taken place in the month of:

7.

Was the foal a male or female?

8.

In which state does this story take place?

9.

What was the surname of the family?

10.

What colour was the foal?

11.

This story took place approximately (15, 20, 25, 30, 35) years ago.

12.

How old was Mary?

13.

Give another word from the story which means HOUSE.

14.

What was the shed that Father was fixing used for?

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VIEW FROM A HILLTOP

To the east she could see a trail of smoke billowing upwards from the town rubbish dump some ten kilometres away. In the opposite direction she noticed several hot air balloons drifting lazily out of sight in the sunshine. A trio of the balloons looked identical in their orange and black envelopes, which supported the cane baskets and human passengers underneath. There was also a bright yellow balloon proudly displaying its Channel 7 sponsorship logo on one side, while closer to the ground a fifth and final airship appeared to be descending slowly for a gas refill. Not far away, Marie's attention was distracted by further human activity as a family busily collected firewood in readiness for the coming winter, now only some two months away. Her shaded eyes also picked up her close neighbour, who was strolling through her paddocks to observe any possible damage that may have been done to the farm in the recent violent thunderstorm. By now the shadows of nearby trees were starting to get long and Marie began to pack up her painting and set off for home in time for her to help her mother with the evening meal of a roast and vegetables.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f ormoss-covered r evi ew r posesonl y• From the comfortable rock p on u which she was perched, Marie could see in all directions for a considerable distance. Fanning herself occasionally with a straw hat, she looked out from the hilltop and marvelled at the magnificent view before her.

1. How many balloons are there in the story?

2. Give a suitable season and month when this story might have happened.

3. Give the best clue from the story which tells us it was probably a hot day.

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VIEW FROM A HILLTOP 4. Find words in the story which mean: (a) going down (b) very large (c) now and then (d) preparation (e) to lose concentration.

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

(e) 5. Besides sightseeing, give a reason why Marie may have gone to the hilltop.

6. Marie was probably wearing sunglasses - YES/NO/PERHAPS.

7. How did Marie know it was getting late in the afternoon?

8. Why was the rock comfortable to sit on?

9. Why could Marie see in all directions clearly?

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10. In which direction was the wind blowing?

11. Marie was a stranger to the farming area - YES/NO/PERHAPS. 12. Give a reason for your answer to question 11.

13. How old would you guess Marie to be 6, 10, 14, 35?

14. The farmer inspecting paddocks was a male - YES/NO/PERHAPS.

15. In which order did Marie see the following: the balloons, the smoke, the farmer, the family.

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MARY'S DREAM It was early in May and recent rain had changed the fields from a dull brown to a refreshing green. Mary's father was up early, ploughing the fertile red soil in preparation for his barley crop. Today was the end of a weekend and Mary was anxious not to waste a minute of her time away from high school. Quickly she changed out of her nightdress and into her jeans, jumper and sneakers. On her head she fitted a warm, yellow and maroon beanie in the colours of her favourite football team, Subiaco. On the way out of the farmhouse she collected a bucket and knife - Mary was going mushroom hunting. She wandered aimlessly over the 'racetrack paddock', so called because a large, sandy training track for horses was located around the edges of the block. She had no luck there so she climbed the fence and continued her search in the 'creek paddock'. By now the sun was much stronger and she enjoyed her stroll in the sunshine along the winding edges of the creek. Using small rounded stones that lay in the creek bed, Mary slowly and carefully crossed to the other bank without getting wet. Here, a year ago she had stumbled upon bucketfuls of the delicious fungus.

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Suddenly her eyes lit up in excitement as she noticed some fifty mushrooms growing at the base of a clump of trees. The next ten minutes was spent cutting and placing thirty-five mushrooms into the rusty bucket. The remainder of them were left in the ground - some were too small, half a dozen had tiny insects living inside them and others were partly damaged by woolly creatures as they searched for green pickings of grass. Her job completed, Mary decided to relax as she sprawled out on the soft and inviting bed of warm grass. Eventually, she closed her eyes and nodded off into 'dreamtime'. She found herself in a wonderland, surrounded by huge mushrooms. In the stalk of the mushrooms was a little door and window while the top of each one acted as a roof. On top of each red roof was a chimney, with smoke gently wafting upwards from most of them. She chose one 'house'. Moving on tiptoe, she went to the door and knocked gently three times, but there was no answer. She peeped through the window to see a well kept room with layers of grass carpet covering the floor. In the brightest corner of the room a cozy fire of orange and red crackled softly with a white-coated old cat curled up asleep in front of it.

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MARY'S DREAM To her amazement, in the middle of the room she glimpsed five small, brightly clothed elves sitting and singing together around a small table as they worked at repairing people's shoes. Three of them were bearded with pointy orange hats on their heads, while the others wore no hats at all. Suddenly, their singing ceased as they noticed a face at the window.Just at that moment Mary's snoring stopped as she felt moisture on her skin. Above, a sun shower was sprinkling gently downwards. It had been a wonderful dream, but unfortunately it hadn't lasted long enough.

1.

The bucket was made of plastic - YES/NO/PERHAPS.

2.

What animal caused the mushrooms to be partly damaged?

3.

Mary found mushrooms in both the 'creek paddock' and the 'racetrack paddock' TRUE/FALSE/MAYBE.

4.

On which day of the week do you think this story happened?

5.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons Most of the elves were males - YES/NO/PERHAPS - Support your answer with proof from the story. • f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

6.

Mary was approximately (6, 8, 10, 15, 19, 21, 24) years old.

7.

Mary went mushrooming in (the morning, around lunchtime, in the afternoon).

8.

Was there water in the creek? Support your answer with proof from the story.

9.

Suggest a reason why one corner of the mushroom house was brighter than the other corners.

10.

This story probably took place on about the (5th, 12th, 15th, 20th, 25th, 30th) of May?

11.

Which word in the story tells us the creek didn't follow a straight line?

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FLIGHT TO REMEMBER

Humming like the drone of a plane engine, the alarm clock annoyed the Turner family out of their cozy beds and into action at 3.30 a.m. Approximately one and a half hours later they arrived at their destination, where they found a hive of activity. Torchlight flashed onto equipment as final checks were carried out. Instructions on safety were given to nervous but excited passengers as they huddled together for warmth, eagerly awaiting the sun to rise over the distant horizon.

From an altitude of 300 metres a colourful patchwork of paddocks could be seen below a mixture of green grazing land for sheep and cattle, crops of wheat slowly ripening from green to a golden-yellow tinge, purple fields over run with the flower called 'Paterson's Curse' and a brown border around each paddock where farmers had ploughed the soil to form a firebreak in readiness for summer. At ground level, the balloon support crew navigated their way around the dusty gravel roads as they kept in close visual contact with the airship. The support vehicle towed a trailer in which gas bottles were carried, along with a container in which the balloon would be packed once it had landed and been deflated.

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Thirty minutes after arriving, their adventure began as the balloon operator guided the massive, multicoloured vehicle up off the runway. The sun, gradually climbing out of bed for another day's work, played hide and seek in and out of the clouds as the balloon continued its journey skywards. The thick fog, looking like a giant grey snake to the five people in the balloon basket, followed the weaving Mortlock River wherever it went as the sun spread its warm tentacles across the hills and valleys surrounding the town of Northam. R.I.C. Publications

After a flight of just under one hour, the basket touched down gently among a sea of blooming wildflowers and bewildered sheep, close to the historical homestead known as Buckland. Here, amid the relaxed country setting, the city adventurers could get a chance to 'come back down to Earth' as they chattered about their experience aloft while sampling a delicious breakfast in the neatly trimmed gardens which surround the old mansion.

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FLIGHT TO REMEMBER 1. Give two words from the story which mean HOUSE.

10. Which two words in the story tell us that Buckland had been built many years ago?

2. How many people were there in the Turner family?

11. Why did farmers put a 'brown border' around each paddock?

3. What colour are crops of wheat that have not yet ripened?

12. The land around Northam is mainly flat TRUE or FALSE? Support your answer with written proof from the story.

4. In which season did this story probably take place? 13. Place these events in the order they happened. 5. The balloon trip lasted about (45, 55, 65, 75, 85) minutes.

The support crew followed the balloon.

Safety checks were made. © R. I . C.Publ i ca t i o ns passengers had breakfast. f owhich rr evbei e wfrompur poThe se sonl y• 6. Name the• colours could seen the balloon.

The balloon touched down. The alarm clock went off. The sun came up.

7. Write a passage from the story which tells us there had been no rain in the Northam area lately.

8. Work out the time that the balloon trip came to a finish and write your answer here.

14. The alarm clock made a pleasant noiseTRUE or FALSE?

15. It was a cloudy day YES/NO/PERHAPS.

9. Name the town or city in which the Turner family probably lived.

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17


NESTING TIME There was plenty of activity high up in the sturdy old red gum tree as nesting time for the crow family was here again. Joe Crow, father of the family-to-be, was busy collecting materials that could be utilised in the construction of their new home. Meanwhile, the expectant mother, Flo Crow, was perched up on a strong limb of the tree as she bent and shaped the materials already collected by her partner into a circular nest formation. With great skill the two-month pregnant female used her beak and claws to twist and place into the nest the twigs that would give great strength to the base and sides. Woven between the twigs were dried grass and black feathers from the rusty tin fowl house just a stone throw away,that Mr Stewart owned. Brownish coloured leaves were then added to these materials to give extra height to the sides so that the cold winds would flow up and over the heads of the baby crows. Wool would be added as the finishing touch to the nest when Joe Crow returned from his journey - this would give the nest the comfort and warmth it needed. Not far away a plover was preparing her nest cleverly, hidden among tufts of grass and the leftover straw from Mr Stewart's harvest of the previous year. Flo was glad her nest was up in a tree, safe from hungry enemies, such as snakes and lizards. There were other enemies, too, that could not be avoided, such as floods and fires. Flo remembered back to the previous year when lightning struck the tree they were living in, reducing it to a pile of ashes on the ground.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

A sudden flapping of wings snapped Flo out of her thoughts as Joe arrived for a safe landing, wool in beak. He had been lucky to find a sheep that had died while giving birth to twins, much to farmer Wheeler's disappointment. Some two months after the nest was completed, Flo hatched five healthy chicks, three of them males. Now exactly midway through November, Flo and Joe's attention swung from nest building to feeding babies. Each day as Flo sat guard, Joe would leave the home in search of food scraps. As he landed back in the nest with the food, the squawking would suddenly cease as stomachs stopped rumbling and appetites were satisfied. Life for Flo and Joe was busy, but they were happy.

1. Most of the baby crows were female. YES/NO/PERHAPS

2. How did the chicks tell Flo and Joe they were hungry?

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NESTING TIME 3. Mr Stewart's fowl house was probably built recently - TRUE or FALSE?

4. Besides keeping hens, name one other activity that Mr Stewart carried out on his farm.

5. Write the words from the story which tell us that the crow's nest was close to the fowl house.

6. What does the word utilised (4th line) mean? Choose from; winning,

dangerous,

used,

squashed,

understood.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

7. What material was used to give the nest the following: (a) strength? (b) warmth and comfort? (c) height for the sides? 8. What colour do you think Mr Stewart's hens were? Give proof from the story for your answer.

9. Give a suitable month and date for the birth of the five baby crows. MONTH

DATE

10. Place these events in the order they happened. Lightning destroyed the crows' nest.

The baby crows were born.

The chicks were fed food scraps.

Joe found a dead sheep.

Joe brought wool back to the nest.

Flo was busy building a new nest.

11. Name four dangers to a plover's nest.

12. Find words from the story which mean the same as: (a) building (b) round (c) halfway R.I.C. Publications

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THE WITCH WHO WASN'T Outside the run-down wooden cottage, old Mrs Taylor was busy hanging out the washing on a wire line stretching from the house to a solid looking oak tree. With warm sunshine and a soft breeze, the clothes gradually dried as a group of children lay hidden in the nearby forest, watching Mrs Taylor's every move. In their minds, she was the wicked old witch who lived alone and was best left alone. They watched closely as she took her broomstick from the side of the rainwater tank. With several sweeps she cleaned the mud and dirt from the stone steps which lead to her back door, much to the disappointment of the young audience hidden in the bushes nearby. Suddenly, the old lady's attention was taken by the cackling of a speckled hen - a sure signal that an egg had been delivered in the warm nest located on top of the haystack. Her broom, which had seen better days, was put aside as she hobbled off in the direction from which the noise was coming. At her heels followed old faithful Sooty, purring softly to herself as she struggled along on her three legs. Named because of her colour, Sooty had lost a front leg in a fox trap that her owner had set after losing six hens to the cunning animal. Mrs Taylor was lucky that her best laying fowl was the only survivor from those vicious attacks in the early hours of autumn mornings. The fox had eventually suffered a similar fate to the hens after being attacked by wild dogs who were eager to satisfy their hunger.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• Standing on tiptoes, Mrs Taylor reached up to gather one of the basic ingredients for the

cake she planned to cook in her wood stove later that day. To her surprise, she felt three eggs, one warmer and larger than the others. Placing them in the safety of her apron for transport back to the cottage, she threw some grain on the ground as a reward for a job well done by the speckled hen. Nearby, many mouse holes underneath the hay indicated that Sooty's injury made it difficult for her to keep the mice under control. Meanwhile, the children were looking for something else to do. Carefully, they emerged from their hiding spots and headed off in the direction of the river, where they would play in their cubbyhouse built high up above the water's edge. Later, they would fish for bream before packing up their gear and wandering off home for supper.

1. Explain why one egg was warmer than the others.

2. Sooty was a female. TRUE/FALSE/MAYBE?

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THE WITCH WHO WASN'T 3. What might 'bream' be? 4. What was Mrs Taylor going to do with the eggs? 5. What made the clothes dry? 6. What colour was Sooty? 7. Explain in your own words why the children emerged carefully from their hiding spots.

8. Why did the wild dogs attack the fox?

9. What type of animal was Sooty? Give a word from the story which will prove your answer.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

10. How many hens did Mrs Taylor have before the fox attacked?

11. Explain in your own words why the children were disappointed when Mrs Taylor started sweeping.

12. Mrs Taylor was a witch. YES/NO/PERHAPS

13. Write the words from the story which tell us that Mrs Taylor's broom was not in very good condition.

14. Which word from the story tells us it had probaby been raining recently.

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SCARECROW

The dawning of September 20th arrived in spectacular fashion - thunder crackled like a million rice bubbles in symphony while lightning created unusual zigzag patterns in the blackened sky. Underneath a tin shelter, the brown horse took cover from the inclement weather. In another four weeks she would become the proud mother of a little foal. Back inside the farmhouse, Jessie looked gloomily out of the upstairs window as raindrops trickled down the glass. She had been disturbed from her sleep by the noisy storm overhead. All in all, it had been a disappointing start to the school holidays for her, but things would get better. The following day was more to Jessie's liking. She could go outside and play in the puddles of water that filled the potholes on the dirt-road entrance to her uncle's farm. After getting her shoes and socks soaking wet, she returned to the house to change her footwear. Outside, in his garden, Jim was inspecting the damage done to his vegetable crop by the birds. They had partly ruined the rows of tomatoes, lettuce and © R. I . C .Publ i cat i ons pumpkin that he had spent hours nurturing to their adult and marketable stage. Jessie had an idea - she would make a •f orr evi ew pu p es onl y • scarecrow to r put ino hers uncle's backyard. Inside the shearing shed she found two old broom handles that she tied together to form the arms and legs of her scarecrow. Next, she gathered some scrap clothing from a trunk she had located in the garden and storage shed - a bright orange shirt minus a collar and a pair of brown trousers with matching boots. Returning to the garden, she took a damaged pumpkin and carved a nose, mouth and eyes into the skin. On top was placed a straw hat to protect 'him' from the flock of crows. Excitedly, she hurried to the vegetable patch before officially naming him 'Birdbrain' and placing him securely in the middle of the vegetables. The next afternoon, with the wind behind them, the crows made their daily flight from the forest near the dry riverbed to Jim's farm. The journey took only seven minutes, halving the time it usually took them to cover the distance. 'Birdbrain' was ready for them as they winged their way downwards. Just at the last moment the leader of the flock noticed the stranger in the garden and quickly swerved up and away with the others following close behind. They never bothered Jim and his vegetables again and 'Birdbrain' still stands on guard to this very day.

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SCARECROW 1. In which month would the foal be born? 2.

Jessie was probably about (6, 15, 25, 35) years old.

3.

The storm probably took place on (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday)?

4.

Explain in your own words why Jessie put a hat on 'Birdbrain'.

5.

Besides breeding horses and growing vegetables, what other farming activity did Jim carry out?

6.

How long did it normally take the crows to travel from their home to Jim's farm?

7.

Why do you think the orange shirt was put into the scrap clothing trunk?

8.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons f or r e i e w tell pusu r phad os esbeen on yfor•some time Write • the words from thev story which there probably nol rain before the storm arrived.

9.

10.

Why did the birds take only seven minutes to travel to Jim's farm?

Give the month and date when the journey to Jim's farm took the crows only seven minutes to complete. MONTH

DATE

11.

What might 'inclement' (5th line) mean?

12.

Place the following events in the order they happened:

13.

Jessie played in the puddles.

She tied two broom handles together.

She carved a face on the pumpkin.

Jessie searched through the trunk.

All of Jim's vegetables were ruined. YES/NO/PERHAPS

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23


THE RAINBOW Heavy eyelids closed down for another day as Sam snuggled up under the cozy cover of his 'Star Wars' doona, a Christmas present from his aunt about half a year ago. Physically, he was in his bedroom, but mentally he was wandering over the grassy fields as he desperately struggled to control his colourful kite in the tricky weather conditions. Suddenly, his attention was taken by a magnificent rainbow on the distant horizon. With a mixture of bright colours glistening in the sunlight, it beckoned him to take a closer look. Some fifteen minutes later he reached the hilltop where the colours of the rainbow began their journey upwards to the clouds above. To Sam's surprise he discovered that each of the colours of the rainbow had steps leading skywards. Leaving his kite at the foot of the orange band of colour, he took his first step to a wonderful new adventure. Many steps later, he stopped to take a rest. Looking down over the edge of the rainbow, he could see far and wide. What a glorious view of the countryside he had and how he wished his parents, brothers and sister were here to enjoy the scenery as well. Now it was time to go further and explore.

Suddenly, he heard a flapping of wings and as he looked up he was swept away by a huge eagle with sharp talons that had penetrated the back of his chequered shirt. The winged creature took him to a clump of large oak trees at the highest point of the rainbow and placed him gently on the ground. In a wooden chair in front of him sat the largest, strangest looking bird he had ever seen. 'My name is Hugo and I am king of this rainbow', he said. 'You are most welcome here but, unfortunately, you must return home now as this rainbow and all that goes with it will soon disappear and move on to another area where storms are passing through. My messenger who brought you here will return you safely to your parents' field where your adventure first began. Go now and may you have a pleasant trip back into the Land of Dreams'.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• It took Sam and the eagle only a short while to reach their destination at the base of the rainbow. Just above ground level, the eagle released its grip on Sam and he landed with a thud. With that, he woke from his slumber and looked around. To his amazement he was back in his blue coloured bedroom, which had recently been wall papered by his older sister and her younger brothers.

He noticed that the trees and the birds sheltering in them were orange. In fact, everything he saw seemed to be an orange colour. The shadows of the trees, now growing long, stretched out to shade the unusual grass from the warm rays of sunshine beaming down from the heavens above.

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Sam's mother entered the room, switching off the warming air of the air-conditioner at the same time as she flicked on the interior light. 'Come on, up you get Sam, you've been asleep for two hours. Your sister left an hour ago to drive to town to buy fish and chips for our supper and she should be home any minute now. While you slept you missed seeing a beautiful rainbow that appeared over on the hilltop', said his mum. Sam quickly ran to the window and peered out. He was just in time to see the 'tail' of a rainbow disappearing into the distance.

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24


THE RAINBOW 1. Sam probably went to sleep at about (6 a.m., 10 a.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 8 p.m.).

8. Give another word to take the place of: (a) slumber (b) beckoned (c) base (d) glistening

2. Explain how you got your answer to question 1.

(Do not use a dictionary) 9. Sam was taken by the messenger to Hugo (facing downwards, facing upwards, facing sideways).

3. Including Sam, there were six people in the family. TRUE/FALSE/MAYBE

4. Sam's sister was probably about (6, 9, 12, 15, 18) years old.

10. Who was the firstborn child in the family - Sam's sister, one of Sam's brothers or Sam himself?

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

5. Support your answer to question 4 with proof from the story.

11. Sam's bedroom was painted blue. YES/ NO/PERHAPS

12. Order the events: Sam's mother switched off the airconditioner. Sam arrived at a clump of oak trees. Hugo told Sam that he must leave.

6. This story probably took place in the month of -

Sam awoke from his dream.

Sam was taken by the messenger back to the field. 7. Why do you think the grass on the top of the rainbow was called UNUSUAL grass?

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Sam noticed that everything was an orange colour.

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25


BRAVE BEN Years ago, deep in a forest valley surrounded by snow-capped mountains, there lived an old woodcutter named Tommy. His little wooden cottage and well-kept garden, named 'Pass The Time', were his pride and joy and his only regular company was that of his dog Bobo and an old mare named Pippa. The forty-minute journey to the nearby town of Valley Pass with a cartload of firewood would take its toll on the ageing legs of Pippa, although the trip home was always easier and usually took only half the time. Now that summer was here, Pippa and Tommy could have more time for themselves, although not so for Bobo, who was flat out feeding a litter of puppies in the woodshed. Every third weekend, Tommy would ride to town to do his shopping and business before picking up his grandson, Ben, who was ten. Together they would return home to spend two days camping and fishing on the edge of the little brook which flowed past the front gate of Tommy's cottage on its way to the Sampson River. One weekend, Ben's grandfather didn't arrive to pick him up. After waiting patiently for what seemed like a long time, Ben became worried and asked his parents if he could ride his bike out to Tommy's place, to which they gave their permission.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f odusty rr e v i eled woutp r p os es onl yhe•crossed the Off he set down the road that of u town. Some thirty minutes later

little wooden bridge that straddled the heavily swollen stream close to his grandfather's house. Standing his bike against the side of the woodshed, Ben went to the door and knocked three times. There was no answer, so he decided to take a look inside. To his surprise, he found old Tom asleep on his bunk. In the small darkened room, Ben accidentally stumbled over a wooden fruit crate that the old man used as a seat, causing his grandfather to stir and wake. Looking as pale as a sheet, Tommy went on to explain how he had suddenly became sick and bedridden one week after Ben's previous visit. The young boy decided it was time to get medical help, but before leaving he organised food and drink for Tom. Ben's problems had only just begun, for as he reached the stream he found the bridge had been partly washed away as a result of the huge quantities of icy cold water coming down the brook after melting from the slopes of the mountains. Suddenly, Ben had an idea. Going back to the woodshed, he found an old rope hanging lazily from the wall. He tied the rope around a sturdy looking branch high up in a tree which overlooked the edge of the stream. Holding firmly onto the end of the rope, he pushed off from the tree with his feet and swung out over the swirling floodwater below. On each swing he gathered more momentum until finally, on the fifth swing, his grip on the rope was released and he crashed heavily into the grassy bank on the other side, missing the foamy water by a mere metre.

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BRAVE BEN With blood oozing from a cut to his head, he staggered off in the direction of Valley Pass. Eventually, with the sun setting behind a bank of puffy white clouds, Ben arrived home and told his parents what had happened. Quickly, they phoned the doctor, who organised for a police helicopter to take him out to Tommy's cottage. Some time later, old Tom was safe and sound in Valley Pass hospital, thanks mainly to the bravery and quick thinking of his grandson. Tom didn't forget this either as, on his discharge from hospital, he visited Ben and presented him with a brand new fishing line that would be useful in future visits to Pass the Time.

1. Ben was the only child in the family. YES/NO/WE ARE NOT TOLD

2. At about what time of day did Ben tell his parents about Tommy's sickness? Choose from (8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m., 9 p.m.).

3. How many times would Ben visit Tommy each month?

4.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons f o rr ev i ew ur pos es onl y• Heavy• rain caused the bridge to be p partly washed away - TRUE/FALSE/MAYBE

5. Explain why the trip home from Valley Pass would take only half the time to travel to Valley Pass.

6. Bobo was a male/female/we are not told? (Underline the correct answer).

7. Tommy had been sick and bedridden for about (2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20) days before Ben found him asleep on his bunk.

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BRAVE BEN 8. Explain why Pippa and Tommy might have more time to themselves now that summer had arrived.

9. Why was the water in the brook icy-cold?

10. Give two reasons why the doctor visited Tommy in a helicopter rather than an ambulance. (a)

(b)

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

11. How long did the journey take by horse and cart to go from 'Pass the Time' to Valley Pass and back home again?

12. Do you think Tommy was a wealthy man?

13. Support your answer to number 12 with proof from the story.

14. Order the following events as they happened in the story: Blood oozed from Ben's head.

Ben became worried when Tommy didn't arrive.

Tom became sick and bedridden.

A helicopter took the doctor to visit Tommy.

Ben rode his bike to Tommy's house.

Ben found the bridge partly washed away.

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BUGSY TO THE RESCUE

The light coming down the burrow was beginning to fade as a colourful sunset took shape on the tree-dotted horizon. Down inside the home of the Rabbit family there was much concern and anxiety as all attention centred on the health of Roger Rabbit. He was the youngest of four and he was suffering great pain after swallowing a poison bait which Farmer Johnson had set to kill the old lamb-eating fox who lived nearby. Roger needed help urgently or he would surely die a slow, agonising death.

The moon peeped out from its hiding spot behind a blanket of fast moving clouds, lighting up the way to go for the little rabbit. Some time later, at a large bend in the river, Bugsy alighted from his 'vehicle' and stepped ashore. Suddenly, a torch light lit up Bugsy's face and a voice hooted out from a solid looking oak tree, 'Who's there?' Bugsy gave the wise old owl his name and then went on to explain why he had journeyed over land and water to visit him. 'Hm, very interesting', came the reply from the creature with the large eyes. 'I have some medicine in my tree house that might just do the trick', he added. Bugsy was invited inside for further discussion and some delicious refreshments.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons As the owl put together the ingredients for the •f orr evi ew pur pos es onl y medicine, Bugsy munched away• happily on carrot and strawberry cake. Presently, the owl emerged from his laboratory underneath the base of the tree and handed Bugsy a glass container. 'Give your brother two teaspoons of this three times a day and continue to do so until he recovers from his sickness', were the owl's instructions.

A plan was quickly decided upon and put into action. Under cover of night, Roger's brother, Bugsy, snuck out and crept away to blend into the darkness. He followed the winding edges of the creek until it fed into a larger river. At this point he searched the surrounding area for a makeshift raft. After finding an old wooden crate, Bugsy lowered it into the swirling water, climbed on board and then raced off in the direction of the wise old owl's treehouse. R.I.C. Publications

Bugsy thanked him for his kindness and help and bade him farewell. 'Wait', ordered the aged bird. 'Have you not forgotten that, although the river brought you to my doorstep, it cannot take you home? I am too old to carry you home, but nearby lives Ernie Eagle who is much younger and stronger than I and he may be able to help you'.

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29


BUGSY TO THE RESCUE From the owl's tree, Bugsy headed in an easterly direction until he came to a forest of pine trees. Making a left turn, he ran onwards until he sighted an outcrop of huge granite rocks perched precariously on the edge of a steep cliff face. Here, in an opening in the rocks, he found Ernie, who was only too pleased to transport him back to the rabbit warren. With one paw clinging tightly to the eagle's neck and the other grasping the glass container, Bugsy was lifted skywards as the powerful wings gathered motion. The tired rabbit enjoyed the trip home as the world passed by below. Soon they arrived at their destination and made a perfect landing in the tricky weather conditions.

5.

Give two reasons why the owl could not take Bugsy home: (a) (b)

6.

What did Bugsy use to travel down the river?

7.

Underline the correct answer in the brackets. This story begins at approximately what time of day? (noon, late afternoon, early morning, early afternoon, night, mid-morning).

After thanking Ernie, Bugsy hurried downstairs to his brother's bedroom and fed Roger the old owl's remedy. Within a few hours, his condition began to improve, and five days later he had made a complete recovery from his illness. Bugsy was a hero, and that night the Rabbit family celebrated his deeds with a wonderful party in his honour.

Roger was given (how many) teaspoons © R. I . C.Pub8.l i c at i o ns of medicine each day? •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

1.

9.

Write a word from the story that tells us the river was moving quickly.

10.

Explain in your own words why Bugsy couldn't use the river to transport himself back to his home.

11.

Write the words from the story which tell us it was a windy night when Bugsy went to get the medicine.

What caused Roger Rabbit to become sick?

2.

What was in the glass container?

3.

What type of refreshments did Bugsy have?

4.

Explain in your own words why Farmer Johnson wanted to kill the fox.

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BUGSY TO THE RESCUE 11.

Write the words from the story which tell us it was a windy night when Bugsy went to get the medicine.

12.

Place the following events in the order that they happened: The owl made the medicine. Bugsy arrived at a forest of pine trees. Ernie took Bugsy home.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f o rr eav i ew ur posesonl y• Farmer Johnson set poison bait. p Bugsy was given instructions on how to use the medicine.

Bugsy followed the creek edge.

13.

Roger was given approximately (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35) teaspoons of medicine before he made a full recovery from his sickness.

14.

What helped Bugsy to see his way in the dark?

15.

What might the word 'alighted' mean?

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WORLD BENEATH THE SEA As they descended towards the ocean floor, Stephen and Amanda were surprised to find that they could breathe amid the bubbles and foam. Below them, the ocean floor suddenly opened up and they found themselves being dragged into a strange new world. Their impact softened by enormous fronds of seaweed, the two travellers picked themselves up and began to explore their new surroundings.

Sweat trickled from his sun-tanned forehead as Stephen sat uncomfortably, listening to and watching a dreary cricket announcer who was trying to convince him that the test match in Adelaide would be a draw unless the heavy rain ceased. At that moment, his sister entered the lounge-room, heavily armed with hat and sunblock cream in preparation for combat with the fiery January sun. It wasn't long before Amanda and her elder brother were off along the steaming hot footpath that led to the Indian Ocean.

sea bed in search of food to satisfy their bloodthirsty eating habits. Seaweem then handed the nervous pair a bright green stone, which was shaped like a basketball and gave off a fluorescent light. 'Follow the light of the stone and it will lead you back to your world above. Go now, as the sunlight is beginning to fade and you have a long journey ahead of you' said Seaweem. After thanking Seaweem, Amanda followed her brother and they hurried back towards the whirlpool entrance. As the last rays of light faded into semi-darkness, Amanda and Stephen arrived at the base of the whirlpool and stepped cautiously into it.

Craters of different sizes dotted the colourful landscape and gigantic rock formations could be seen in the distance. Amanda and her brother were amazed to find reefs of pure gold shimmering in the sparkling clear water, glistening in the rays of sunlight which appeared to thread their way through the limestone roof of the underwater world. Onwards they trekked in search of new discoveries. Looking into a huge crater, Stephen's attention was taken by what looked to him like a pair of strange orange eyes set against the black background.

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons •f orr evi ew pur posesonl y•

On arriving at the beach the two teenagers wasted no time in sampling the delights of the warm and choppy surf. Their interest was suddenly taken by a swirling mass of water, similar to a whirlpool, not far from where they were swimming. With curiosity gaining the better of them, they decided to investigate further. As they approached the outer edges of the whirlpool, they suddenly felt their bodies being pulled strongly towards its centre. Soon after, panic set in as they screamed desperately for assistance. More powerful became the force against them and it wasn't long before they disappeared out of view of the shocked audience who were standing or wading in the vicinity. R.I.C. Publications

'Get back', came a deep voice from behind him. Stephen swung around to find a weird, seaweed-looking creature keeping his sister company. 'Let me introduce myself. I am called Seaweem, by my people and I am ruler over all that you see. I must warn you that you are in grave danger here from creatures who make their homes in the depths of craters like this one'. Seaweem went on to explain that soon the light would disappear and the underwater world would be plunged into darkness. It was then that the creatures, who dwelt in the craters would venture out to roam the Comprehending Fiction - Upper

Within a few seconds they found themselves spiralling upwards, passing bewildered fish as they went. As they reached the ocean surface, they were greeted by loud cheering and screams of surprise. There among the rescue party of divers and volunteers, were their mother and father. With the family happily reunited, they headed off for home to catch up with the latest cricket score and a well deserved rest. www.ricgroup.com.au

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WORLD BENEATH THE SEA 1. The Indian Ocean was calm when Amanda and Stephen went for a swim. TRUE/FALSE/ MAYBE.

2.Underline the correct answer - The green stone was a (rectangular, pyramidal, square, triangular, round) shape.

8. Support your answer to question 7 with proof from the story:

14. What did Amanda use to protect herself from the sun?

15. Give another word to replace the following words as they are used in the story: 9. What colour was the inside of the crater?

(a) glistening (b) dwelt

3. As the story began, Stephen felt uncomfortable. Give a reason for this.

10. Who carried the green stone back to the whirlpool entrance?

16. Stephen and Amanda probably did not live in Adelaide. How do we know this?

11. Support your answer to question 10 with proof from the story:

© R. I . C.Publ i cat i ons 4. Stephen and Amanda • f orr evi ew pur posesonl y• walked to the Indian Ocean. TRUE/FALSE/MAYBE.

5.Underline the best answer Stephen and Amanda were probably about (4, 8, 12, 16, 20).

12. All the craters in the underwater world were huge. YES/NO/PERHAPS.

6. What was glistening in the underwater sunlight?

13. Support your answer to question 12 with proof from the story:

7. Stephen listened to the cricket on the radio. TRUE or FALSE?

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The Bird Nest 1. IN-1 He pushed the sheet and woollen rugs off himself OR keeping them snug and warm. 2. IN-1 Massive. 3. L-1 False. 4. IN-6 Chirping. 5. E-2 False. 6. IN-5 Staggered. 7. IN-5 They were frightened. 8. IN-1 Yes. 9. IN-1 The nest was swaying from side to side. 10. IN-5 False. 11. L-8 Wool. 12. IN-1 False. The Birthday 1. IN-5 He became curious. 2. IN-3 d, c, b, a. 3. IN-1 Maze. 4. IN-5 Straw, seeds, strawberries, icing, apples. 5. E-2 (a) fact (b) fact (c) opinion (d) fact (e) opinion. 6. IN-1 Family. 7. IN-1 A fruit crate. 8. L-1 When the candles were blown out, the room became dark and therefore he could not be seen as he went back home. 9. IN-5 Happy Birthday. 10. L-1 Insects. The Fishing Trip 1. IN-1 Summer. 2. IN-1 He didn't want to wake his tired daughters. 3. IN-1 Western Australia. 4. IN-1 42. 5. E-2 No. 6. IN-1 10 or 11. 7. E-2 False. 8. L-5 To pack food for the trip. 9. IN-1 Downstairs or upstairs. 10. L-1 False. 11. IN-1 Friday or Saturday.

A Day Out in the Country 1. IN-1 March, April, May. 2. L-8 Wedge-tailed eagle and cattle. 3. IN-5 Wet surface below. 4. IN-1 Four. 5. IN-1 12 o'clock or noon. 6. L-1 For a rest. 7. IN-1 12.15 p.m. 8. E-2 False. 9. IN-1 North. 10. IN-1 Tea. 11. E-2 There was movement in the air. 12. E-2 Gum trees on the ridge were making their annual donation of brown-stained leaves to the wet surface below OR puffy clouds rolled quickly south. Hot Air Ballooning 1. IN-1 Spring. 2. L-1 Six. 3. IN-1 Seventy-five. 4. IN-1 $280. 5. IN-1 East. 6. E-2 False. 7. L-4 Excited. 8. L-4 False. 9. IN-5 The hot air balloon. 10. IN-1 West. 11. E-4 8 a.m. 12. L-5 To lift the balloon above the power line. Train Ride 1. IN-1 2. IN-1 3. IN-1 4. L-4 5. IN-1 6. E-2 7. IN-1 8. IN-1 9. IN-1 10. L-5

Northern Territory. 175. 7.45 a.m. Locomotive and engine. Answers will vary depending on the date. False. North-west. Ten o'clock. $19.50. No food or drink service was provided.

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Old Billy 1. IN-1 2. L-1 3. L-1 4. IN-5 5. L-4 6. L-5 7. IN-1 8. IN-1 9. IN-1 10. L-1

Australia. Hermit. Wood. True. Stony. He would look up at the chimney to see if smoke was coming out. Answers will vary depending on the date. 4. The bridge was too narrow. Nearby.

Surprise Birthday Party 1. L-1 Shane. 2. IN-1 To keep the flies away from the cakes. 3. IN-1 4 o'clock. 4. IN-1 5. 5. E-2 So she wouldn't burn herself. 6. IN-1 10. 7. E-2 False. 8. L-5 False. 9. IN-1 She was just in time to see a happy looking Shane waving goodbye to Mrs Johnson, the bus driver. 10. L-5 Air coming through the open window. 11. IN-2 So they could be iced and decorated in time. 12. IN-1 120 seconds.

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A Walk in the Woods 1. IN-1 Answers will vary depending on the date. 2. E-2 False. 3. L-8 Moths, butterflies and worms. 4. L-4 Gloomy. 5. IN-1 21 days. 6. IN-1 March, April or May. 7. L-4 Settlement. 8. IN-1 Three. 9. IN-5 A newly-formed pool of water. 10. E-4 15. 11. IN-1 Iron or steel. 12. E-2 False. 13. L-4 Stroll and ambled. 14. E-4 Midday. 15. IN-1 False. 16. IN-5 Because of the flowers in the valley. 17. L-5 Dug up in the freshly-ploughed paddocks. 18. L-8 Burrows. 19. L-8 Rabbits. 20. IN-8 True.

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Storm on the Way 1. IN-1 59 or 60 days. 2. IN-1 Winter. 3. IN-1 8. 4. IN-1 3. 5. IN-1 South. 6. IN-8 June. 7. IN-8 Female. 8. IN-1 New South Wales. 9. L-1 Wilson. 10. IN-4 Brown. 11. E-4 Answers will vary depending on the date. 12. IN-4 12. 13. L-4 Homestead. 14. IN-1 Storing wood. View from a Hilltop 1. L-1 5. 2. IN-1 Autumn - April or March. 3. IN-5 Fanning herself occasionally with a straw hat. 4. L-4 (a) descending (b) considerable (c) occasionally (d) readiness (e) distracted. 5. IN-1 To do some painting. 6. IN-5 or IN-8 Yes. 7. IN-5 The shadows of the nearby trees were start ing to get long. 8. IN-1 It was covered in moss. 9. L-5 She was on top of a hill. 10. IN-5 From the east. 11. IN-1 No. 12. IN-1 Her close neighbour. 13. E-4 10 or 14. 14. IN-8 No. 15. IN-3 The smoke, the balloons, the family, the farmer.

13. IN-3

14. E-2 or IN-8 15. E-2 or In-8

(a) the alarm clock went off (b) safety checks were made (c) the sun came up (d) the support crew followed the balloon (e) the balloon touched down (f) the passengers had breakfast. False. Yes.

Nesting Time 1. IN-1 No. 2. IN-5 By squawking. 3. E-2 False. 4. IN-1 Harvesting crops. 5. IN-8 From the rusty tin fowl house just a stone throw away, that Mr Stewart owned . 6. IN-4 Used. 7. L-8 (a) twigs (b) wool (c) leaves. 8. IN-1 Black - black feathers from the rusty tin fowl house just a stone throw away, that Mr Stewart owned. 9. E-4 or IN-1 November 15th. 10. IN-3 (a) Lightning destroyed the crows' nest (b) Flo was busy building a new nest (c) Joe found a dead sheep (d) Joe brought wool back to the nest (e) the baby crows were born (f) the chicks were fed food scraps. 11. L-1 Snakes, lizards, floods and fires. 12. IN-4 (a) construction (b) circular (c) midway. The Witch Who Wasn't 1. IN-5 The warmer egg had just been laid. 2. IN-1 True. 3. IN-1 A type of fish. 4. IN-1 Make a cake with them. 5. L-5 Warm sunshine and soft breeze. 6. IN-1 Black. 7. IN-1 So they wouldn't be seen by the witch. 8. L-5 They were hungry. 9. IN-1 or IN-8 A cat - purring. 10. IN-1 7. 11. IN-6 or IN-1 They thought she might use the broomstick to fly off into the sky. 12. L-7 No. 13. IN-8 Her broom, which had seen better days. 14. IN-5 or IN-1 Mud.

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Mary's Dream 1. IN-8 No. 2. IN-8 Sheep. 3. L-1 False. 4. IN-1 Sunday. 5. IN-1 Yes - three of the five elves were bearded. 6. E-4 15 years old. 7. IN-1 The morning. 8. IN-1 Yes - Mary slowly and carefully crossed to the other bank without getting wet. 9. IN-5 The fire brightened up one corner. 10. E-4 5th. 11. L-1 Winding.

Flight to Remember 1. L-4 Mansion and homestead. 2. IN-1 4. 3. L-1 Green. 4. IN-1 Spring. 5. E-4 55 minutes. 6. L-1 Green, purple, brown, grey, golden-yellow. 7. IN-5 The balloon support crew navigated their way around the dusty gravel roads. 8. IN-1 6.25 a.m. 9. IN-1 Perth. 10. L-4 Historical and old. 11. L-1 or L-5 To form a fire-break. 12. IN-1 False - across the hills and valleys surrounding the town of Northam.

Scarecrow 1. IN-1 2. E-4 or IN-6 3. E-4 or IN-1 4. L-5 5. IN-1 6. IN-1 7. IN-1 8. IN-1 or IN-5 9. IN-5 10. IN-1 11. IN-4

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October. 6 years old. Saturday. To protect his head from the birds. Answers will vary - sheep shearing, goat shearing, grazing sheep, grazing goats. 14 minutes. It was of no use anymore because its collar was missing. From the forest near the dry riverbed to Jim's farm. The wind was behind them and so increased their speed. September 22nd. Bad, nasty, wintry etc.

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Scarecrow 12. IN-3

(a) Jessie played in the puddles. (b) She tied two broom handles together. (c) Jessie searched through the trunk. (d) She carved a face on the pumpkin. 13. IN-1 No. The Rainbow 1. E-4 or IN-1 4.00 p.m. 2. E-4 or IN-1 He had been asleep for two hours and his sister had left to get fish and chips for supper one hour earlier. 3. IN-1 Maybe. 4. E-4 or IN-1 18 years old. 5. E-4 or IN-1 She was able to drive to town so she was probably 18 years of age. 6. IN-1 June or July. 7. IN-1 The grass was an orange colour. 8. IN-1 or IN-4 (a) Slumber - sleep etc. (b) beckoned signalled etc. (c) base - bottom etc. (d) glistening - shining etc. 9. IN-1 Facing downwards. 10. IN-1 Sam's sister. 11. L-1 No. 12. IN-3 (a) Sam noticed that eveything was an orange colour. (b) Sam arrived at a clump of oak trees. (c) Hugo told Sam that he must leave. (d) Sam was taken by the messenger back to the field. (e) Sam awoke from his dream. (f) Sam's mother switched off the air-conditioner. Brave Ben 1. E.2 or IN-1 2. IN-1 or E-4 3. IN-1 4. L-4 5. IN-5

6. IN-1 or IN-6 7. E-4 or IN-1 8. IN-5 9. IN-5 10. IN-1 11. IN-1 12. IN-5 or IN-1 13. IN-5 or IN-1 14. IN-3

Bugsy to the Rescue 1. L-5 He swallowed a poison bait. 2. IN-1 Medicine. 3. IN-1 Carrot and strawberry cake. 4. IN-5 or IN-1 The fox had been eating Farmer Johnson's lambs. 5. L-6 (a) The owl was too old. (b) The owl was not strong enough to carry Bugsy. 6. L-8 A wooden crate. 7. E-4 or IN-1 Late afternoon. 8. IN-1 6. 9. IN-4 Swirling OR raced. 10. IN-2 or IN-5 Because the river was flowing in the opposite direction - he couldn't travel back home against the tide of the river. 11. IN-1 They made a perfect landing in the tricky weather conditions OR behind a blanket of fast moving clouds. 12. IN-3 (a) Farmer Johnson set a poison bait. (b) Bugsy followed the creek edge. (c) The owl made the medicine. (d) Bugsy was given instructions on how to use the medicine. (e) Bugsy arrived at a forest of pine trees. (f) Ernie took Bugsy home. 13. E-4 or IN-1 30. 14. IN-5 The moon. 15. IN -4 Stepped down, stepped off, stepped from etc.

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We are not told. 6 p.m. Once or twice. False. The trip home took only half the time because there was no longer a load on the cart for Pippa to haul. Female. 20. People would require much less firewood during summer. The water was previously snow which had melted from the mountains. (a) It was quicker. (b) The bridge was impassable to ground traffic. One hour. No. Tommy used a wooden fruit crate as a seat.

World Beneath the Sea 1. IN-1 False. 2. IN-1 or E-4 Round. 3. IN-5 He was hot and sweaty OR he was bored. 4. IN-1 Maybe. 5. E-4 or IN-1 16. 6. L-8 Gold. 7. E-4 False. 8. E-4 Stephen was listening to and watching a dreary cricket announcer. 9. L-8 Black. 10. IN-1 Stephen. 11. IN-1 After thanking Seeweem, Amanda followed her brother. 12. IN-1 No. 13. IN-1 Craters of different sizes dotted the colourful landscape. 14. L-8 Hat and sunblock cream. 15. IN-4 or IN-1 (a) Answers will vary - shining, shimmering, sparkling etc. (b) Answers will vary - lived, resided, etc. 16. IN-2 At the test match in Adelaide it was raining but where Stephen and Amanda were it was hot as they decided to go off along the steaming hot footpath that lead to the Indian Ocean for a swim.

(a) Tom became sick and bedridden. (b) Ben became worried when Tommy didn't arrive. (c) Ben rode his bike to Tommy's house. (d) Ben found the bridge partly washed away. (e) Blood oozed from Ben's head. (f) A helicopter took the doctor to visit Tommy.

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Comprehending Fiction: Ages 10-12  

Comprehending Fiction is a series of blackline master narratives written for primary school students. Buy now: http://www.teachersuperstore...