Reading ESL stories and readings in English for ESL learners

stuffed animal toy rat on a kitchen floor

Rat!

One evening last week I was working in the kitchen.  I thought I saw a small grey furry animal run under the kitchen cupboard. A rat!  I phoned the landlord and told him what I saw. He put a trap in the kitchen to try to catch the animal. The next morning we found a dead rat in the trap! It was big! The landlord left two more traps in the kitchen just in case there were more rats but we haven’t caught any more.

Vocabulary help:

More vocabulary?  Click on the icon that looks like a book, to the left

Comprehension Check:

Did you understand the story? Are these sentences true?

1. The rat was grey and furry.

2. Three rats were caught in traps.

3. The rat was in the kitchen.

4. The landlord put traps in the kitchen to catch the rats.


Fill in the Blanks:

5. I was ____________ in the kitchen when I thought I saw a rat.

6. The rat was ______________ in the trap and it died.

7. We found the dead rat in the trap in the ________________ .

8. We only caught ___________ rat.

>> Answers
many birthday candles on a cake.

Birthday candles burning in the dark.

 

Tom's Birthday

Last week was my husband Tom’s fortieth birthday. We invited some of our friends to our house for dinner to help celebrate his birthday. Many of the guests brought birthday presents for Tom. Mike and Annie brought a bottle of wine. Ivan and Sophie brought some silly paper party hats for us to wear during dinner.

I cooked some of Tom's favorite food for the main part of the meal. We all talked and laughed a lot while we ate. For dessert we had a big chocolate birthday cake. I put forty candles on the cake. Everyone sang "Happy Birthday". Tom made a wish and blew out all the candles before the heat from all the burning candles melted the icing on the cake! We had such a good time that Tom and I will probably host another party next year to celebrate Tom’s forty first birthday

Vocabulary help:

More vocabulary?  Click on the icon that looks like a book, to the left

Comprehension Check:

Did you understand the story? Are these sentences true?

1. Tom just turned forty years old. Yes or no?

2. The birthday dinner was fun. Yes or no?

3. Mike and Annie brought paper hats to the party. Yes or no?

4. Ivan and Sophie were the hosts of the party. Yes or no?

5. Nobody brought birthday presents for Tom. Yes or no?


Fill in the Blanks:

5. Tom is now ___________ years old.

6. For dinner we had Tom's ______________ food.

7. Tom _____________ out the candles.

8. During dinner we ___________ silly paper hats on our heads.

9. We had fun. We talked and ___________ while we ate.

10. Some guests brought a ______________ of wine when they came for dinner.

>> Answers
a white goose standing beside a pond

Domestic Goose, by Maxwell Hamilton, from flickr

The Golden Goose

There is a famous collection of stories, or fables, that comes from ancient Greece. These stories are known as Aesops fables. They are famous short stories and each one has a lesson to teach the reader. They were written many centuries ago, but their lessons are still meaningful. One of these fables is about greed and how greed is not good.  This is the story....

One day a farmer discovered that his goose had laid a glittering yellow egg. It was heavy. He was angry because it wasn’t a real egg. He was going to throw it away. When he looked at it more closely, he saw that it was pure gold. Every morning the goose laid another golden egg. The farmer became rich by selling his eggs. He became rich and he became greedy. He wanted even more. He thought that the goose must be full of gold if it could lay golden eggs. The farmer wanted all that gold so he killed the goose. When he opened up the dead goose he found that there was no gold inside at all. The goose was dead so it couldn’t lay any more golden eggs. Because the farmer had been too greedy, there were no more eggs.

There is now an idiom, “Kill the goose that lays the golden egg” that means to destroy something that benefits you.

Vocabulary help:

More vocabulary?  Click on the icon that looks like a book, to the left

Comprehension Check:

Did you understand the story? Are these sentences true?

1. A fable is a long story. Yes or no?

2. The goose laid one golden egg a day. Yes or no?

3. There was no gold inside the goose. Yes or no?

4. The farmer became rich because he sold the goose. Yes or no?

5. The farmer became rich because he sold the golden eggs. Yes or no?


Fill in the Blanks:

6. Aesops fables is a _________________ of stories.

7. These stories were _____________ a long time ago.

8. The farmer discovered that his goose laid eggs that were _________ gold.

9. After the farmer sold the eggs he  __________ rich and greedy.

10. The greedy farmer wanted more gold so he ______________ the goose.

11. Each Aesops fable has a _____________ that it tries to teach the reader.

>> Answers

Answers:


Rat!

1. yes, 2. no, 3. yes, 4. yes

5. working, 6. caught, 7. morning, 8. one

Back ^


Tom's Birthday

1. yes, 2. yes, 3. no, 4. no, 5. no

6. 40 (forty), 7. favorite, 8. blew, 9. wore, 10. laughed, 11. bottle

Back ^


The Golden Goose

1. no, 2. yes, 3. yes, 4. no, 5. yes

6. collection, 7. written, 8. pure, 9. became, 10. killed, 11. lesson

Back ^