Jack After the Beanstalk
Reading Comprehension Activity

What happened after Jack climbed the famous beanstalk and got his fortune? This story is a follow-up of the classic fairy tale of “Jack and the Beanstalk.” After returning from the giant’s castle, Jack quickly squanders his gold trying to get even more wealth without having to work for it. Students will answer questions on the theme and the details after reading the passage.

Topic(s): Fairy Tales & Fables. Skill(s): Theme, Summary, Story Elements. Genre(s): Prose

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Jack got a cart from the shed and loaded gold pieces into it. Then he pushed the cart into the house. “Mom! You’ll never have to worry about food again!”

“Jack! What is this? Where did you get these gold pieces? What have you done now?”

Jack’s eyes lit up. “Remember those beans I got from the butcher for our cow? You thought they were worthless. Well, they were magic beans! Come outside.”

Mom followed Jack. “Oh, my,” screamed Mom. “That beanstalk goes right up into the sky.”

“Yes,” said Jack. “I climbed it and found a giant’s castle. He has a goose that lays gold eggs. I took one. Going down the stalk, it fell and broke into tiny pieces.”

“But, Jack,” said Mom. “It’s not right to take what doesn’t belong to you. That’s not how you should help provide for our home. Promise me you won’t climb the beanstalk again.”

Jack tilted his head then shrugged. “Mom, you worry too much. But I won’t climb it again.”

Mom shook her head.

The next day, Jack went to the butcher to buy back the cow he sold to him for the magic beans.

The butcher saw the gold pieces in Jack’s money bag. “Jack, did I tell you about the special horse?”

Jack’s eyes lit up. “A special horse. What does it do? Can I become wealthier with it?”

“If the horse likes you, he flies,” said the Butcher. “Imagine the money people will pay to see a flying horse.”

“I’ll take him,” said Jack.

The butcher brought an ordinary looking horse to Jack. “He’s only 100 gold pieces.”

Jack looked at the horse. “He doesn’t look special. Are you sure he can fly?”

“Of course I’m sure,” said the butcher. “If he likes you, he flies.”

“Okay,” said Jack. “I’ll come tomorrow with the gold.”

The next day, Jack rushed to the butcher. “I only have 99 pieces of gold. Will you take that for the horse?”

“Hmm,” said the butcher. “I’ll take it, but you have to give me back the cow also.”

A smile spread across Jack’s face. “It’s a deal.”

When Jack got home, he brushed the horse and gave it sugar bits every day for a month. The horse wouldn’t fly.

“Jack,” said his mom while they ate breakfast. “We need food and supplies. Go to town and pick them up, please.”

Jack lowered his head. “I can’t. We don’t have any gold left.”

“What?” said Mom. “How? You had all those gold pieces.”

“I bought the horse with them. It’s a flying horse . . . if he likes you. We could be even richer.”

“A flying horse. How could you?” Mom dropped her head into her hands and wept.

Jack had never seen his mom sob. He stomach felt sick. “It’ll be okay, Mom. I’ll get a job.”

Jack headed to town. On the way, he stopped at every farm and asked if anyone needed help. At town, he stopped in every store and asked if anyone needed help.

When daylight faded, Jack started home.

“Jack! Hold up!” called the butcher. “The gold you gave me turned to stones. And, your cow won’t give any more milk. Get them out of my barn! And, bring my horse tomorrow.”

Jack stuffed the stones into a sack and led his cow home.

The next morning, Jack tried to milk his cow. He got two buckets full. He looked in the sack. The stones turned back to gold.

Jack raced to the house. “Mom! You’re not going to believe it!”

Comprehension Questions

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