If

Words: 201-300

Skills: Figurative Language

Grades: 5th 6th 7th 8th

Topics: Realistic Fiction

Genres: Poetry

Lexile Range: 1060L - 1290L

Lexile Measure: 1260L

CCSS: Reading: Literature

Themes:

If


by Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If” was published in 1910. It was written as a father’s advice to his son.

Reading Comprehension Passage

If

by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
   Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
   But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
   Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
   And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
   If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
   And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
   Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
   And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
   And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
   And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
   To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
   Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
   Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
   If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
   With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
   And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son.

Passage Only

Reading Comprehension Questions

Write an example from the poem of each of the following figures of speech below.

1. Personification



2. Metaphor



3. Alliteration



4. Hyperbole


Vocabulary List

Vocabulary List

Each of the vocabulary words below are used in the reading passage. As you read the passage, pay attention to context clues that suggest the word’s meaning.

  1. allowance
  2. knaves
  3. sinew
  4. virtue
  5. foes

Context Clues

Context Clues

Using context clues from the sentences in the passage, underline the correct meaning of the word in boldface.

1) “But make allowance for their doubting too”

a. note or observe     b. give money; pay     c. ignore or disregard     d. indulgence; have tolerance

2) “the truth you’ve spoken / Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools”

a. fakes or rascals     b. sharp blades; knives     c. insane people; lunatics     d. decades

3) “If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew / To serve your turn long after they are gone”

a. tendon; muscle     b. soul; spirit     c. mind or intellect     d. passion or enthusiasm

4) “If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue

a. sanity or stability     b. imagination     c. moral character or goodness     d. nerve; composure

5) "If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you"

a. close family     b. enemies or opponents     c. insults; slurs     d. troubles or worries