Jon’s Pajama Problem
Reading Comprehension Activity

Author: RV Staff Writer J.C.

Jon can be a forgetful kid. When he forgets his pajamas for the visit to the family cottage, he knows it will ruin the tradition of the annual Christmas morning photo. What can he do about it? Students will read the story and be asked to make an inference and answer questions on the language and plot.

Topic(s): Realistic Fiction. Skill(s): Summary, Context Clues, Story Elements. Genre(s): Prose

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Oh no, he had done it again. He’d forgotten something important. Last year on their family trip to his uncle’s cottage for Christmas, he had forgotten the bag with the toiletries in it. Neither he nor his brother had toothbrushes or toothpaste or shampoo. He’d had to borrow from his cousins who were not thrilled to share, and Jon was not too thrilled that his hair smelled like strawberries all week.

The year before, Jon had left the marshmallows and graham crackers at home, so they had no s’mores for the evening fire and annual reading of “The Night Before Christmas.” They had to nibble on some stale crackers instead. His cousins still teased him about that.

And now, Jon couldn’t believe he had forgotten to pack his pajamas. At home, that wouldn’t really be a problem; he had extra pajamas. But at the cottage, there were photographs dating back for years and years of Jon’s family on Christmas morning in front of the tree in their pajamas. Jon was feeling awful. He would be the first one to break the family tradition ever. Would he ruin Christmas for everyone? What could he do?

He didn’t want to tell his parents. He went looking around the cottage, and found an old T-shirt. That could work. He tried putting it on, but it was too small. He tried to stretch it, but it must have been washed 100 times, and it ripped when he pulled on it.

At this point, Jon was getting desperate. He snuck into his brother’s luggage, trying to find some spare pajamas, only to find himself in trouble when his older brother caught him and yelled. His brother hated it when Jon messed with his stuff. Then his brother told their parents.

Jon’s parents listened quietly. They were not angry at him for not bringing pajamas. They were not even upset that he had rummaged through his brother’s stuff. They were unhappy that Jon didn’t come to talk to them about his problem first. They hugged him and told him everything would be just fine. That night he went to sleep in a pair of track pants and one of his brother’s T-shirts.

Morning came, and the family gathered around the Christmas tree. Everyone was in pajamas except for Jon. His uncle grabbed his camera and ushered the family together for a photo. Jon felt terrible.

“Just a minute,” Jon’s mother said. “Before we take the Christmas photo, I have a special gift for someone.” She grabbed a festive package from under the tree and gave it to Jon. “Open this, honey.”

Jon looked at his mother curiously. They never opened presents before the photo. She smiled at him and gave him a wink. “Go ahead, it’ll all be okay.”

Jon quickly tore off the red and green paper and opened the box. He grinned and gave his mother a big hug.

“I’ll be ready for that photo in just one minute, guys!” Jon said, racing off to his room.

Comprehension Questions

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