Jonas’ First Job
Reading Comprehension Activity

Jonas wants a new video game, but he has to earn it. While most kids are playing in the snow, Jonas is hard at work around the neighborhood. After reading the story, students will answer questions about character traits and the language.

Topic(s): Realistic Fiction. Skill(s): Character Traits, Context Clues. Genre(s): Prose

Click for the passage & questions on one printable PDF.


Jonas loved to play video games. He liked all kinds of games, but he especially enjoyed games that let him pretend he was a race car driver. He loved to watch all the scenery fly by while he turned the wheel to get by the other players.

More than anything, Jonas wanted the newest driving video game. It was called Race to the Top of Speed Mountain. It looked like so much fun in the commercials.

But when Jonas asked for the game, his mother only sighed. “Your birthday isn’t until July,” she said. “If you want the game sooner than that, you will have to buy it yourself.”

Jonas thought hard. He was too young to drive to work like Dad, and he couldn’t turn his bedroom into an office to work at home like Mom. He went to his favorite thinking spot to look at the bird feeder in his back yard.

As Jonas was thinking about getting a job, it began to snow. At first there were only a few flakes, but soon the ground turned white.

“I know!” cried Jonas. “I’ll shovel the sidewalks on snow days. If I’m fast, I can do a lot of houses and make a lot of money.”

So Jonas put on his warmest sweater and bundled up in his winter coat. He added gloves and a hat. Then he went into the garage to grab a shovel.

Jonas started next door. He rang the bell and asked Mr. Travers if he would like his sidewalks shoveled. “Yes,” said Mr. Travers. “But you should wait until it stops snowing before you start or you will have to do it twice.”

“I’ll be back!” said Jonas. He went around the block to see who would like their walks shoveled after the storm. He had eight customers by the time he got back to his own house.

When it stopped snowing, Jonas grabbed his shovel and got to work. He started at Mr. Travers’ house and shoveled the sidewalks in the same order he talked to his neighbors. When he was finished, he was very, very tired. Jonas was also happy. He had earned forty dollars for his work, and now he would be able to buy his video game.

And he did – right after a warm cup of cocoa.

Comprehension Questions

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