Reading ESL stories and readings in English for ESL learners

slices of watermelon

Watermelon

Watermelon is a delicious fruit. It is called watermelon because it is mostly water. In fact it is 92% water.

It’s usually round and green on the outside. When you cut open a watermelon it’s red or yellow inside. Sometimes there are black seeds inside and sometimes the watermelon is seedless.

Watermelons are grown all over the world. The largest producer of this fruit is China. More watermelons are grown in China than anywhere else in the world. Many people like to eat watermelon, especially on a hot summer day!

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 outside of a watermelon is red. Yes or no?

2. When a watermelon has seeds they are usually black. Yes or no?

3. Some watermelons have no seeds. Yes or no?

4. Most people don't like to eat watermelon. Yes or no?

5. Watermelon is a fruit that is mostly water. Yes or no?


Fill in the Blanks:

6. Watermelons are 92% _________________.

7. Watermelon is a ________________ that grows in most countries.

8. The ___________ of a watermelon is green.

9. The ____________ of a watermelon can be red or yellow.

10. More watermelons are ________ in China than in any other country.

11. Watermelons are usually a ____________ shape.

>> Answers
coffee in a  mug with some coffee beans beside it.

Coffee

If you are like a lot of other North Americans, you like to start your day with a cup of coffee. Coffee contains a substance called caffeine. In humans caffeine is a stimulant. It makes you feel more awake and alert. Many people start their day with a cup of coffee because of the stimulant effects. In fact, about 90% of North Americans drink coffee.

Coffee is the third most popular drink in the world. Only tea and water are more popular than coffee. Coffee beans are actually the seeds of coffee cherries that grow on coffee plants. The beans are green when they are picked. Most of the coffee that is sold in coffee shops and grocery stores is brown. It is brown because the beans have been roasted at high temperatures. The roasting gives the beans their different flavours. Some coffees are darker and stronger tasting than other coffees. You can buy green coffee beans from some stores if you want to roast your own beans.

In North America, a latte is coffee that has steamed milk added to it. A cafe mocha is coffee with steamed milk and some chocolate added to it. Sometimes whipped cream is put on the top of a cafe mocha. Coffees with different flavours added to them are very popular.

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. Coffee beans are green before they are roasted. Yes or no?

2. Many North Americans have coffee in the morning. Yes or no?

3. Not very many North Americans drink coffee. Yes or no?

4. In North America, a latte has chocolate in it. Yes or no?


Fill in the Blanks:

5. Coffee beans turn _______________ when they are roasted.

6. Roasting coffee beans needs high _______________________.

7. A cafe mocha is coffee with ___________________ milk and _______________________ added to it.

8. Both tea and _______________ are more popular drinks than coffee.

9. The caffeine in coffee is a ______________________. It makes you feel more awake.

>> Answers
pieces of chocolate in a bowl

Chocolate

What is your favorite way to enjoy chocolate? Is it a mug of hot chocolate on a cold day?  Is it a piece of a good chocolate bar? Perhaps you like the a taste of chocolate ice cream.  Is your favorite dessert a piece of dark chocolate cake with lots of creamy chocolate icing? Chocolate is one of the world’s favorite flavours.

Chocolate comes from the cacao tree which is native to Mexico, Central America and South America. People have been growing and using the cacao tree to make chocolate for at least 3000 years. In ancient times chocolate was not sweetened. It was a bitter drink. Today we like our chocolate sweetened. We like chocolate with sugar added to it. Chocolate has spread throughout the world. It has become one of the most popular foods in the world.

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. People have been eating or drinking chocolate for a very long time. Yes or no?

2. Chocolate has always been sweetened. Yes or no?

3. Chocolate is not very popular. Yes or no?

4. Chocolate can be used to flavour many things. Yes or no?


Fill in the Blanks:

5. Most people like their chocolate with ______________ added to it. They like it to taste sweet.

6. Chocolate comes from the __________________ tree. It is native to Mexico, Central America and _______________________

7. In ancient times, chocolate was a ___________________ drink.

8. The sweet creamy layer that is sometimes found on the top of a cake is called the ____________________.

9. Chocolate is popular all over the ___________________.

10. Chocolate is one of the world's ____________________ flavours.

Answers
 french fries

French Fries

When was the last time that you ate french fries? French fries are just slices of potato that are fried in vegetable oil. They are sprinkled with salt before they are eaten. This simple food is very popular. On average, each North American eats more than 30 pounds (about 14 kg) of french fries a year. We buy a lot of french fries at fast food restaurants.

About 400,000 acres of farmland in Canada is used for growing potatoes. More than half of those potatoes are used to make french fries. The potatoes are sliced and then frozen in factories. The frozen fries are then shipped to grocery stores and restaurants across Canada. Canada also exports more than a million tonnes of frozen french fries to other countries.

 [1 tonne = 1000 kg]

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. About 400,000 acres of farmland is used for growing potatoes in Canada. Yes or no?

2. Canada exports lots of frozen french fries. Yes or no?

3. French fries are made from potatoes. Yes or no?


Fill in the Blanks:

4. French fries are sprinkled with ____________ after they are fried.

5. ____________________________ restaurants sell a lot of french fries.

6. Canada exports about a __________________ tonnes of frozen french fries.

7. Frozen french fries can be bought in _____________________ stores.

8. French fries are _____________ of potato that are _______________ in oil.

9. On average, each North America eats __________________ of french fries a year.

>> Answers
 four wine bottles

Wine

People have been making and drinking wine for at least 8000 years! That is a lot of wine!

Wine is an alcoholic beverage that is made of fermented fruit juice. Many different fruits can be used to make wine but grapes are the most common. Grapes grow on vines. These grape vines grow best where the days are warm and the nights are cool. In the autumn, ripe grapes are picked from the grape vines.

If you want to make wine, first you crush the grapes into mush. This mush is then fermented. To make white wine remove the grape skins before fermentation. Leave the skins in the mush if you are making red wine. Fermentation needs yeast. Yeast turns sugar into alcohol. The yeast uses the sugar in the grape mush to make alcohol. Fermentation takes several weeks. After fermentation, the liquid part is removed and stored in barrels. This liquid is wine but it needs to age in the barrels for at least a year before it is drinkable.

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. Wine is only made out of grapes. Yes or no?

2. Grapes grow where the days are warm and the nights are cool. Yes or no?

3. Remove the skins of the grapes if you want to make red wine. Yes or no?

4. Yeast uses sugar to make alcohol. Yes or no?


Fill in the Blanks:

5. To make wine, first you __________ the grapes into mush.

6. Fermentation takes ____________ weeks.

7. Many different _____________ can used to make wine.

8. After fermentation, the __________ is stored in barrels.

9. Wine is an ________________ drink.

10. Wine needs to ________ for at least a year before it is _________________.

>> Answers
 a slice of pizza

Pizza

Many countries have foods that start with a flat bread. Pizza is one of these foods. You can find pizza in almost every country in the world including Canada. Here pizza also starts with a flat bread bottom. It is usually round.

Almost anything can be put on a pizza! What is your favorite pizza? Do you like pizza with chicken on it? Maybe you like pizza with just tomato and cheese on it.

Most pizza in Canada starts with a layer of tomoto sauce on the bread. Toppings are then added. Vegetables such as mushrooms, olives, green peppers and onions are popular toppings. Different meats can also be used as toppings such as pepperoni, ham, bacon or sausage. Herbs such as oregano or basil can be used. Cheese is then usually put on top before the pizza is baked in the oven.

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. Pizza is found only in Canada. Yes or no?

2. Pizzas usually have a flat bread bottom. Yes or no?

3. People like different things on their pizza. Yes or no?

4. Cheese is usually put on the top of a pizza. Yes or no?


Fill in the Blanks:

5. Most pizza in Canada starts with a layer of tomato __________ on the bread.

6. Some pizza toppings are _______________ like mushrooms, olives and onions.

7. Other toppings are different __________ like ham, chicken, pepperoni or bacon.

8. ______________ is a food that is found in most countries of the world.

9. Pizzas are _______________ in the oven.

>> Answers
 a child eating a chocolate ice cream cone

Ice Cream

Do you like ice cream in a bowl or do you prefer to eat it as an ice cream cone? Have you eaten an ice cream cone on a hot day? If you have, then you know you need to eat it quickly. If you are too slow, the ice cream melts and starts to drip down the side of the cone! What a mess that makes!

Ice cream in a bowl is not as messy. You can put chocolate or caramel sauce on top of the ice cream. You can also put fruit like strawberries or mangos on top. Some people like nuts on their ice cream. In fact, you can eat ice cream with anything you want!

Ice cream is usually made from frozen dairy products like milk and cream. Fruit is sometimes added or other flavours like chocolate or vanilla are added. As the cream freezes, it needs to be stirred slowly. This helps make the ice cream smooth and creamy. Before people had refrigerators, ice cream was a luxury. It took a lot of work and a lot of time to make. Now grocery stores sell many different flavours of ice cream. Ice cream is a delicious dessert at the end of a meal or a great snack when you’re hungry

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. Ice cream is usually made with cream or milk. Yes or no?

2. Ice cream needs to be stirred as it is freezing. This keeps it smooth. Yes or no?

3. You can buy different flavours of ice cream at the grocery store. Yes or no?

4. Ice cream has always been easy to make. Yes or no?


Fill in the Blanks:

5. Some people like chocolate or caramel ____________ on top of their ice cream.

6. Ice cream is usually cold. When it starts to get warm it ____________.

7. Ice cream is a _________________ dessert!

8. You can also eat ice cream as a snack when you are _____________________.

9. Ice cream cones can start to drip and make a ____________ if you eat them too slowly.

10. Strawberries and mangos are two kinds of __________________.

>> Answers
 a blue teapot, a mug of tea, and a couple of tea bags









Tea

Tea is easy to make.  You just pour hot water over some dried tea leaves and let it steep for a minute or two.  Milk, sugar, honey and lemon are some things that people put in their tea.   On a hot day it is nice to have a drink of iced tea. 

Tea is one of the oldest and most popular drinks in the world. There are different types of tea such as green tea, white tea and black tea. They are all made from the leaves of the tea plant. Tea plants grow in the warmer parts of the world.

Some people like to drink flavoured tea. Earl Grey is a popular black tea that has had bergamot added to it. Jasmine tea is a green or white Chinese tea with jasmine flowers added to it. Jasmine tea has been popular in China for more than a thousand years. Mint tea is popular in northern Africa and in Arab countries. It is made with green tea, fresh mint leaves and sugar.

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. People have been drinking tea for a very long time. Yes or no?

2. Tea plants can grow in cold places. Yes or no?

3. Iced tea is hot. Yes or no?

4. There are many different kinds of tea. Yes or no?

5. Not many people drink tea. Yes or no?


Fill in the Blanks:

6. Mint tea is usually made from water, mint leaves and _______________.

7. Tea leaves come from tea __________________.

8. Bergamot is added to tea to make ______________________ tea.

9.  Hot water is poured over _______________ tea leaves to make tea.

10.  Some people add milk, sugar or ___________ to their tea.

11. One of the popular flavoured teas in China is _________________ tea.

>> Answers
 a pile apples in a grocery store

Apples

Hold a whole apple in your hand and eat it. Munch... crunch... when you eat a crisp apple you make noise! Red apples, green apples and yellow apples... all apples are fun to eat! You can eat the skin of the apple. Some people like to peel the apples first and just eat the white flesh of the apple. You can eat them whole or you can cut the apples into slices. Dip the apple slices in honey for a treat! Remove the apple core and the seeds first!

Bobbing for apples is an old party game. People have been playing it for a long time. It used to be a popular game. It is easy and fun to bob for apples if there is a group of people playing the game. First, fill a large bowl with water. Put some apples in the water. The apples will float on top of the water. Take turns trying to pick up an apple with only your teeth. Keep your hands away from the apples! You’ll probably get wet because it isn’t easy to pick up an apple with your teeth!

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. Apples can have red, yellow or green skin. Yes or no?

2. It's easy to pick up apples with only your teeth. Yes or no?

3. You can eat the skin of an apple. Yes or no?

4. Bobbing for apples is an old party game. People have been playing it for a long time. Yes or no?

5. Bobbing for apples used to be more popular. Yes or no?


Fill in the Blanks:

6. You ___________ an apple when you remove the skin of the apple.

7. The ______________ of an apple is white.

8. Apples ___________ in water. They stay near the top of the water.

9. Usually when you eat an apple, you make ___________.

10. A ___________ apple is an apple that has not been cut.

11. The black seeds of an apple are found in the ________ of the apple.

>> Answers
 two fried eggs, sunny side up




 Eggs

What came first the chicken or the egg? Many people have argued that question for many years. They will probably be arguing about it for many more years! Birds have been laying eggs for a very long time and people have been eating eggs for almost as long.

All female birds lay eggs but in Canada most of the eggs that we eat are chicken eggs. Female birds are called hens. The largest egg in the world is laid by the ostrich. This very large African bird lays an egg that weighs about 3 pounds (or 1.5 kilograms).

All eggs contain a yellow or orange yolk. The yolk is surrounded by the egg white which is only white after it is cooked. The egg shell holds everything together. If you crack the egg shell it can be messy! Like Humpty Dumpty, eggs can’t be put back together again! Humpty Dumpty is a character in a well-known  nursery rhyme. He was a big egg who sat on a wall. He had a great fall, he cracked, and he couldn’t be put back together.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses
And all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

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. Cracked eggs can be messy. Yes or no?

2. Ostrich eggs are small. Yes or no?

3. Female birds lay eggs. Yes or no?

4. Male birds are called hens. Yes or no?


Fill in the Blanks:

5. Most of the eggs that we eat in Canada are ______________ eggs.

6. The female chicken is called a ______________.

7. The egg _______________ surrounds the egg yolk and the egg ______________.

8. Humpty Dumpty fell off a ________________. He cracked. He _____________ be put back together.

9. Humpty Dumpty is a ________________ in a children's nursery rhyme.

10. Ostriches are big African ______________.

11. Egg whites turn white when they are ___________________.

>> Answers

Answers:


Watermelon

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

6. water, 7. fruit, 8. outside, 9. inside, 10. grown, 11. round

Back ^


Coffee

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

5. brown, 6. temperatures, 7. steamed/chocolate, 8. water, 9. stimulant

Back ^


Chocolate

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

5. sugar, 6. cacao/South America, 7. bitter, 8. icing (or frosting), 9. world, 10. favorite

Back ^


French Fries

1. yes, 2. yes, 3. yes

4. salt, 5. fast food, 6. million, 7. grocery, 8. slices/fried, 9. 30 pounds (or 14kg)

Back ^


Wine

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

5. crush, 6. several, 7. fruits, 8. liquid (or wine), 9. age/drinkable

Back ^


Pizza

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

5. sauce, 6. vegetables, 7. meats, 8. pizza, 9. baked,

Back ^


Ice Cream

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

5. sauce, 6. melts, 7. delicious, 8. hungry, 9. mess, 10. fruit

Back ^


Tea

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

6. sugar, 7. pants, 8. Earl Grey, 9. dried, 10. honey or lemon, 11. jasmine

Back ^


Apples

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

6. peel, 7. flesh (or inside), 8. float, 9. noise, 10. whole, 11. core

Back ^


Eggs

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

5. chicken, 6. hen, 7. shell/white, 8. wall/couldn't, 9. character, 10. birds, 11. cooked

Back ^