Reading Comprehension Lesson 12



Word List

Write the words first in your notebooks. Practice reading them.

then, usual, cousin, fireside, sewing, Katie, better, crackle, knitting, perhaps, Jane, reason, tonight, happier, instructive


One winter night, Mrs. Lord and her two little girls sat by a bright fire in their pleasant home. The girls were sewing, and their mother was busy at her knitting. At last, Katie finished her work, and, looking up, said,

Katie: “Mother, I think the fire is brighter than usual. How I love to hear it crackle!”

Mary: “And I was about to say, that this is a better light than we had last night.”

Mother: “My dears, it must be that you feel happier than usual tonight. Perhaps that is the reason why you think the fire better, and the light brighter.”

Mary: “But, mother, I do not see why we are happier now than we were then; for last night cousin Jane was here, and we played ‘Puss in the corner‘ and ‘Blind man‘ until we all were tired.”

Katie: “I know! I know why! It is because we have all been doing something useful tonight. We feel happy because we have been busy.”

Mother: “You are right, my dear. “I am glad you have both learned that there may be something more pleasant than play, and, at the same time, more instructive.”

Discussion questions:

How could instructive activities be more pleasant than play?


Reading Lesson – The Fireside


Write the words first in your notebooks. Practice reading them.

Word List

dewdrops, hopping, laziest, bends, sung, patience, instead, darling, ought, rest, slumber, myself, reply, miss, lose


1. Wake up, little darling, the birdies are out,
   And here you are still in your nest!
   The laziest birdie is hopping about;
     You ought to be up with the rest.
   Wake up, little darling, wake up!

2. Oh, see what you miss when you
     slumber so long—
   The dewdrops, the beautiful sky!
   I can not sing half what you lose in my song;
     And yet, not a word in reply.
   Wake up, little darling, wake up!

3. I’ve sung myself quite out of patience with you,
   While mother bends o’er your dear head;
   Now birdie has done all that birdie can do:
     Her kisses will wake you instead!
   Wake up, little darling, wake up!
                                        George Cooper.

Discussion questions

  1. Who wrote this poem?
  2. Who is the speaker of the poem?
  3. What is the message in this poem?


Reading Lesson – Birdie’s Morning Song


Write the words first in your notebooks. Practice reading them.

sent, store, bounce, floating, load, circle, ripples, catching, cake, blocks, strolled, however


Two fast friends were Willie Brown and his little dog Bounce. Willie could never think of taking a walk without Bounce. Cake and play were equally shared between them. Willie taught his dog many cunning tricks, and often said that Bounce could do almost anything in the world but talk.

There came a time, however, when Bounce really told Willie’s father something, though he could not talk. Let me tell you how he did this. It was on a bright summer afternoon. Willie had strolled with Bounce down to the river, which was not more than two blocks from his father’s store.

Willie began to throw stones into the water, and to watch the ripples as they made one circle after another. Bounce lay on the grass, watching the flies that buzzed around his nose, and catching any that came too near.

There were some logs floating in the river near the shore. Willie jumped upon one of them, to see if he could throw a stone across the river. He drew back, and sent the stone with all his might. Just as it left his hand, the log turned, and he fell into the water.

He was very much frightened, for he did not know how to swim, and there was no one to hear, though he called as loud as he could for help.

Discussion questions:

  1. What was Willie and Bounce doing at the river?
  2. Did Willie know how to swim?
  3. Why did Willie get frighten?


Reading Lesson – Willie and Bounce


Write the words first in your notebooks. Practice reading them.

yelp, loudly, against, looking, barking, spring, clothes, opened, distress, scratched


Poor little Bounce gave a great yelp of distress. If he had been a big water dog, he could have jumped in and brought his master out. He ran up and down the bank two or three times, barking, looking first at Willie and then around. Then he started, as fast as he could run, up the street to the store.

When he got there the door was shut, but he scratched against it and barked loudly, until some one came and opened it. He caught hold of Mr. Brown’s clothes, then ran to the door, then back again, catching at him, barking, and jumping.

A friend who was in the store said to Mr. Brown, “Something must be wrong; I would put on my hat, and go with the dog.” Bounce, seeing Mr. Brown take his hat, started for the river. Then Mr. Brown thought of Willie. As he came to the river, he saw Willie’s hat floating on the water, and his small arm thrown up.

He sprang in and caught him just as he was going down for the last time, and quickly carried him to the bank. “Willie soon got over his fright, and no one seemed to be more delighted than Bounce.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why didn’t Bounce try to save Willie?
  2. What did the dog do when he saw Willie fall into the water?


Write the words first in your notebooks. Practice reading them.

Word List

talkative, improve, obliging, written, tick-tock, clock, truthful, itself, kitchen, fear, reaches, most


1. Listen to the kitchen clock!
     To itself it ever talks,
     From its place it never walks;
   “Tick-tock-tick-tock: “
     Tell me what it says.

2. “I’m a very patient clock,
     Never moved by hope or fear,
     Though I’ve stood for many a year;
   Tick-tock-tick-tock: “
     That is what it says.

3. “I’m a very truthful clock:
     People say about the place,
     Truth is written on my face;
   Tick-tock-tick-tock: “
     That is what it says.

4. “I’m a most obliging clock;
     If you wish to hear me strike,
     You may do it when you like;
   Tick-tock-tick-tock: “
     That is what it says.

5. “I’m a very friendly clock;
     For this truth to all I tell,
     Life is short, improve it well;
   Tick-tock-tick-tock: “
     That is what it says.

6. What a talkative old clock!
     Let us see what it will do
     When the hour hand reaches two;
   “Ding-ding—tick-tock: “
     That is what it says.


Reading Lesson – The Kitchen Clock


Write the words first in your notebooks. Practice reading them.

Word List

Herbert, orange, find, post, inches, thread, beam, thick, pine, next, groove, scales, hole, peel, gimlet, ribbon

balance scale


“Herbert, will you please peel my orange?” said Lucy. Herbert was reading his new book, but he put it down at once, and took the orange from his little sister. “Shall I make a pair of scales, Lucy, for you to use when you play store?”
“Oh yes! but how can you do that’!”
“I’ll show you. First, we must take the peel off in two little cups, one just as large as the other. While I do this, see if you can find me two nice sticks about ten inches long.”

Lucy ran out to the woodhouse to find the sticks.—” Will these do?”
“No, they are too hard. Find some pine sticks if you can.”
“Here are some.”
“These will do nicely. Now I must make a scale beam and a post. Can you find me a little block for a post, Lucy’!”
“Will a ribbon block do, Herbert?”
“Yes, if it is not too thick.”
“Here is one an inch thick.”
“That will be just right. Now get the little gimlet.”


Gimlet – Hand tool with a spiraled shank, a screw tip, and a cross handle; used for boring holes.

Herbert worked away until he had made the beam and the post. Then he made a hole in the middle of the block, and put the post in. Next, he put the beam into a little groove at the top of the post, so that it would balance nicely.
“Now, Lucy, we must have a needle and some thread. We must put four threads to each cup; then we will tie the threads to the ends of the beam.
“There, Lucy, what do you think of that?”
“Why, Herbert, that is just as nice as the real scales in father’s store; and you may have all my orange for making them.”


Write the words first in your notebooks. Practice reading them.

Word List

smelt, hide, crept, laid, floor, inn, bear, fur, youngest, danced, joyfully, marched, soldiers, badly, running, eldest


In the parlor of an inn in a small town, sat a man who had been going about with a bear. He was waiting for his supper, and the bear was tied up in the yard. Up in the attic, three little children were playing together. The eldest might have been six years old; the youngest, not more than two. Stump! stump! stump! Some one was coming up the stairs.

The door flew open suddenly, and there stood the great, shaggy bear. He had got tired of waiting, and had found his way to the stairs. The children were badly frightened. Each one crept into a corner, but the bear found them all out, and smelt their clothes, but did not hurt them.

“This must be a great dog,” they said, and they began to pat him. Then the bear lay down on the floor, and the youngest boy climbed on his back, hid his head in the shaggy fur, and played at “hide and seek.” The eldest boy took his drum and began to strike it, when the bear rose on his hind legs and danced. At that the children gave a merry shout.

The two younger boys took their wooden guns, and gave the bear one. Away they all marched around the room, keeping step. Now the frightened mother of the children came to the door. But the youngest boy shouted, joyfully. “See, we are playing soldiers!” Then the bear’s master came running up, and took the bear away.


Reading Lesson – The Bear and the Children


Write the words first in your notebooks. Practice reading them.

Word List

fair, lady, drear, clinging, harebell, fled, ne’er, despair, nodding, blooming

harebell: Perennial with slender stems, dense clusters of leaves, and bell-shaped blue or white flowers — bluebell.


“Tell me, little harebell,
   Are you lonely here.
Blooming in the shadow
   On this rock so drear?”

“Clinging to this bit of earth,
   As if in mid-air,
With your sweet face turned to me,
   Looking strangely fair?”

“Lady” said the harebell,
   Nodding low its head,
“Though this spot seem dreary,
   Thought the sunlight’s fled.

“Know that I’m not lonely
   That I ne’er despair.
God is in the shadow
   God is everywhere.”


Reaing Lesson – The Little Harebell


Write the words first in your notebooks. Practice reading them.

Word List

rough, often, beneath, fiercely, seaside, twenty, timidly, compels, robber, breast, spots, mode, osprey, hooked

Osprey catching fish.


The fish hawk, or osprey, is not so large as the eagle; but he has, like the eagle, a hooked bill and sharp claws. His color is a dark brown, with black and white spots, and his length is from twenty to twenty-two inches. His breast is mostly white. His tail and wings are long.

The fish hawk is often found sitting upon a tree over a pond, or lake, or river. He is also found by the seaside. He watches the fish as they swim in the water beneath him; then he darts down suddenly and catches one of them.

When he catches a fish in his sharp, rough claws, he carries it off to eat, and, as he flies away with it for his dinner, an eagle sometimes meets him. The eagle flies at him fiercely with his sharp bill and claws, and compels the hawk to drop the fish.

Then the eagle catches the fish as it falls, before it reaches the ground, and carries it off. The poor fish hawk, with a loud cry, timidly flies away. He must go again to the water and catch another fish for his dinner. Thus you see, that the eagle is a robber. He robs fish hawks, whose only mode of getting a living is by catching fish.



Reading Lesson – Fish Hawk

Reading Leson – Review