Bo and the New Baby
Reading Comprehension Activity

Bo is a loyal Dalmatian who loves to sit on the couch with Max and Mary. Now that there’s a new baby in the house, things are changing. Will he be able to adjust? Students will read the story and answer follow-up questions about character, plot, and setting.

Topic(s): Science Fiction / Fantasy. Skill(s): Character Traits, Context Clues, Story Elements. Genre(s): Prose

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Bo was a white dog with black spots. He lived in a red house with Max and Mary. Max and Mary were grown ups who liked to take Bo on long walks. They would play Frisbee in the park with Bo evening. After their walks, they all sat on the sofa and watched the news. Bo liked to put his head in Mary’s lap.

One day, Mary and Max were late coming home. Mrs. Smith, the nice lady from next door, came over to feed Bo. “Max and Mary will be home in a few days. I’ll be visiting you until then” she said.

Bo sat on the sofa alone and waited. He could not turn on the TV, so the house was very quiet.

Just when Bo thought he couldn’t wait any longer, the front door opened. Max and Mary came in the door. She was carrying a big blanket. Bo jumped up to see what she had brought him, but she snatched it out of the way. “Down, Bo!”

Bo sat and waited. He was a good dog and always did what Mary said.

Max took the bundle of blankets from Mary and showed it to Bo. “Meet the baby, Bo,” said Max.

Bo looked at the blanket and was surprised to see a very small face. He wagged his tail and licked the baby’s nose.

The baby cried.

“No, Bo!” said Max. “No licking!”

Licking? That was a kiss, thought Bo. He stopped wagging his tail and walked away.

For the next two weeks, Bo didn’t go on many walks. When he did, it was with either Max or Mary, never both. They didn’t play Frisbee or watch the news anymore. Worst of all, he wasn’t allowed to sit on the sofa when the baby was there.

One day, Mary put the baby in a special seat. The seat had funny toys that would dance when Max or Mary tapped them. The baby was sleeping.

Then Bo heard a funny sound. The baby was waking up, and she started cry. Mary was still in the bathroom.

Bo walked over to the chair. He knew he should not lick the baby. He looked at the funny toys and bumped them with his nose. They danced, just like when Max and Mary tapped them.

The baby stopped crying. She looked at the toys. Bo bumped them again. Every time the toys stopped, Bo bumped them with his nose so they would dance again.

Mary came out of the bathroom and picked up the baby. She saw that Bo was helping keep the baby happy. “Thank you, Bo. You are a very good dog.” She gave Bo a pat on the head.

Bo looked up at the baby. The baby giggled. Maybe the baby wasn’t so bad after all.

Comprehension Questions

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